by Ben Hosking
College of Social Sciences and Humanities Professor of Political Science Costas Panagopoulos was recently appointed by Massachusetts State Senate President Karen Spilka to the Citizens Commission, formed to examine the regulation of corporate contributions to political campaigns. With a strong background in United States campaign finance and elections, Panagopoulos brings his expertise to a diverse panel filled with specialists and public servants. He has also been part of the Decision Desk team at NBC News since the 2006 election cycle.
“It was a tremendous honor to be selected to serve on the commission given the number of impressive individuals who were asked to serve,” says Panagopoulos.
Created by the affirmative response to 2018 Ballot Question 2, the Citizens Commission’s mission is “to advance the policy of Massachusetts in favor of amending the Constitution of the United States to affirm that artificial entities do not possess the inalienable Constitutional rights of the people, and in order to eliminate the undue influence of concentrated money on elections and on governmental policy, campaign contributions and spending may be regulated and limited.”
Dean Uta Poiger remarks, “We are pleased to have Costas help shape the work of this important Citizens Commission. I have no doubt that he will make significant contributions based on his manifold experiences as a researcher of and commentator on elections and democratic processes. And I am sure that our student body, and many others throughout the Commonwealth and the nation, will be highly interested in the recommendations of the commission.”
The Commission is comprised of professionals with a wide range of experiences, from former members of Congress to local public officials, academics, and ordinary citizens who all bring a variety of perspectives to the table.
Panagopoulos holds his colleagues on the commission in high esteem: “We’ve had very rich discussions already, and these different points of view have helped us to think through very complex issues raised by money and politics. Now, we can move forward with our work in a way that reflects these various views.”
All 15 members of the Citizens Commission are volunteers – all are devoting their time, energy, and professional judgement to focus on this important issue. The group elected Panagopoulos as co-chair of the commission.
When asked why he serves, Panagopoulos explains, “I have a deep personal commitment to ensuring that elections have credibility and integrity and that we minimize the perception that money is corrupting the political system.”