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Corruption Consultants: Conservative Special Interests and Corporations Hurt State Economies and Democratic Processes
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Corruption Consultants: Conservative Special Interests and Corporations Hurt State Economies and Democratic Processes

Malkie Wall, Danielle Root, and Andrew Schwartz explain how special-interest groups have used states’ tradition as “laboratories of democracy” to implement damaging and regressive policies at the behest of corporate clients and wealthy donors.

Federalism encourages states to act as “laboratories of democracy,” wherein states experiment with untested ideas and policies to gauge their effectiveness and potential value elsewhere, including at the federal level. Over the decades, state-level innovations have made dramatic improvements in the lives of millions of people in the areas of social insurance, child labor protections, and health care reform. States continue to take up the mantle of innovation by experimenting with various economic and election-related policies.

However, this mantle of states being laboratories of democracy has not always been used for the public good. Unfortunately, states can also be used as a testing ground for policies that skew political and economic power toward corporations or billionaires and away from everyday Americans. In too many states, this is precisely what is happening today.

The above excerpt was originally published in Center for American Progress. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Malkie Wall

Research Associate

Danielle Root

Former Director, Voting Rights and Access to Justice

Andrew Schwartz

Senior Policy Analyst

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