Let’s have Congressional and state legislators, during public appearances, don racing-style driver suits adorned with their corporate sponsors. Major donors would get the biggest logos, with smaller trademarks for the small fry. If Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, Apple or “fill in the blank” anted up big bucks to get you elected, show us the money trail.
Okay, that one’s a fantasy. Never going to happen. But it might be within the realm of possibility that some of our bolder and more public-spirited news organizations (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) could place sidebars beside stories where politicians are quoted, listing the politician's major sponsors. This is occasionally done but not with any consistency. Same basic principle could be applied in TV or digital media, with crawls placed beneath sound bites.
Mega corporations are increasingly dominating our world, many of them subtly promoting the notion through their numerous PR outlets that there’s “too much government interference.” I don’t believe it’s coincidental that at the same time this is happening, we’re seeing greater income inequality in the U.S.--more money for those at the top--than any era since the Depression years of the 1930s.
It’s hard not to be cynical about government, I know. But I still believe that the majority of politicians, despite their corporate sponsorship, want to please all of their constituencies--if for no other reason than to get reelected. Bottom line, more transparency is needed. Open government remains our best shot for containing the excesses of corporate avarice.