Jessica Levinson is quoted in this story on KCET.org.
Here are some excerpts:
"Contributions given during the budgeting process can raise unique problems because legislators are making decisions which can directly affect that contributor's livelihood and business," said Jessica Levinson...
"It is merely human nature that representatives would consciously or unconsciously be grateful to their large contributors," Levinson said. "That gratefulness can manifest in a budget that is favorable to large contributors."
His donors might have been thrilled, but many of Ryan's constituents weren't. So even if Ryan's 2011 contributions did not, in fact, influence his budgetary decisions, they may have further eroded public support of his policies, Levinson explains.
"[The contributions] may merely be an appearance issue, but appearances are important in a democracy, where every constituent should feel their legislators are making decisions that best serve the public good," she said. "If the public feels that their representatives are more responsive to the needs of contributors, as opposed to constituents, that sentiment can lead to a dangerous erosion of public confidence."
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