Michael Waldman

Michael Waldman is executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. He was White House Director of Speechwriting from 1995 to 1999.

Recent Articles

Minimizing Special-Interest Power by Maximizing Participation

Fighting back against restrictive voting-rights laws and empowering small donors can help reclaim elections.

This is a dark time for those who worry about big money’s outsized role in American politics. Radical Supreme Court rulings, a comatose Federal Elections Commission, and ever more shameless political operatives have obliterated the campaign-law edifice that stood shakily for four decades. The 2012 race will be dominated by secret funds, unlimited special-interest gifts, and massive independent expenditures. Expect corruption not seen since Watergate.

Will all this stir a backlash? Perhaps. I am more skeptical than many that the current mood of disquiet will translate into a reform moment. What can we do to tip toward positive change?

Behind the Numbers: Tilt!

In the final weeks of the 1968 election, Hubert H. Humphrey was closing in on Richard Nixon. Supporters of George Wallace's third-party campaign were returning to the Democratic fold, and Humphrey was winning renewed support from liberals after calling for a bombing halt in Vietnam. It seemed Humphrey might have a chance.