Newly released Federal Election Commission reports and Internal Revenue Records confirm what many of us already know: A small group of wealthy donors are dominating our elections.

A recent New York Times analysis reports that today’s fundraising efforts rival that of a full-blown arms race, with many presidential hopefuls depending on a very small group of donors to float their campaigns, while the voices of everyday Americans go mostly unheard.

“Fewer than four hundred families are responsible for almost half the money raised in the 2016 presidential campaign, a concentration of political donors that is unprecedented in the modern era.

The vast majority of the $388 million backing presidential candidates this year is being channeled to groups that can accept unlimited contributions in support of candidates from almost any source.”

The Times found that the highest concentration of these heavy-hitters are on the Republican side, with great efforts going towards fueling the rise of super PACs and exploiting campaign finance rules. According to the Times, about “130 or so families and their businesses provided more than half the money raised through June by Republican candidates and their super PACs.”

And while this may seem like ‘chump change’ to some wealthy elite, to the average American it marks a growing political divide. When seven-figure checks become the norm, one must ask who these candidates really plan on serving.

Michael J. Malbin, president of the Campaign Finance Institute had this to say, “The question is whether we are in a new Gilded Age or well beyond it —to a Platinum Age.”

Time will only tell.

Read the complete article, here.