RENO, Nev. (AP) — Two retired Democrats who served in the U.S. Senate together for nearly three decades say money has been the driving force behind a dramatic rise in partisanship and resulting gridlock in Congress over the past decade.
Ex-Secretary of State John Kerry of Massachusetts and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday the failure to enact enforceable limits on corporate and campaign committee contributions puts candidates in a race to raise money with little or no incentive to seek compromises on tough issues.
The two appeared at the launch of a lecture series named after the native Nevadan at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Reid said, "Money is everything in politics today."
Kerry said money doesn't always get what it wants, but it almost always can achieve gridlock. He says that's why the current Congress can't get anything done.
Kerry, who ran for president in 2004, says the only way to change that is for voters to turn out at elections and make their voice heard in support of campaign finance reforms. He bemoaned the fact only 55 percent of Americans voted in the last presidential election.