Via Naturalnews.com, Neil Young looks to bring activist groups further into notoriety with his latest tour. As the race towards the national election creeps up from still so long away, Young seems to hope this latest move will allow more light to be shed on the problem of money in politics.
With letters A-G already released, Pay2play.tv/a_to_z is a great new project released by the makers of the documentary Pay 2 Play.
Each one of the letters, released daily, contain links relating to the subject at hand and unique sponsors in support of a related cause, making the list appealing to everyone from the casual observer to the probing skeptic.
With great information and a well-organized style and launch, this latest tool against money in politics sheds light on the myriad of different ways money in politics affects every aspect of our lives. Together, through building the knowledge, and the support that naturally comes with it, we can get back our representative democracy.
Browse below for issues important to you, click a card to enter manual slideshow, or hover over auto slideshow at the bottom of this page.
-More letters posted every weekday
Corporate special interests and a wealthy donor class speak volumes in Seattle elections, Honest Elections Seattle looks to raise the voice of the people.
Passed by the city council on July 13 and on the November ballot, I-122 would be the first system in the U.S. that gives public money to citizens for their use in supporting the campaign of their choice.
However, because of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, they cannot make donations illegal or limit them in any way, and therefore it would be an opt-in system.
Candidates will have to agree to the donor limitations if they want to be eligible to receive vouchers from the public. In a progressive city like Seattle, this might work, but it certainly wouldn’t work in every city.
Citizens United and it’s subsequent rulings are still in control of our democracy, and this piece talks to members of wolf-pac.com Washington and their fight to amend the constitution in order to regain the voice of the many.
Seattle doesn’t have the Koch brothers or Super-PAC’s influencing their campaign like what’s being experienced on a national campaign level.
I-122, if passed, would give Seattle voters four $25 vouchers for them to split between the candidates in any combination they choose. In order to pay for the voucher system, the bill includes a 10-year property tax levy with $30 million collected in 2016.
Measures towards limiting the amount corporations and big donors would come in the form of limits to the contributions from entities receiving city contract totaling $250,000 or more as well as persons spending $5,000 or more for lobbying.
I-122 would also reduce the max amount of donations an individual can make to any one candidate to some of the lowest on the country: $800,000 for the mayor, $300,000 for citywide and district council members and $150,000 for city attorneys.
Additional measures include 24-hour reporting of electronic contributions, a required paid signature gatherer identification and limits to lobbying by former city officials.
Unfortunately, because of Citizens United, there are limits to the power of I-122. However, campaigns will only be eligible to receive the vouchers from citizens if they agree to the I-122 regulations.
Furthermore, if I-122 passes, donors still will be able to donate unlimited money beyond the vouchers which would simply allow those usually unable to participate in the process a stronger voice in their government than what is currently possible.
In a progressive city like Seattle, the possible negative repercussions to one’s campaign might be enough of an incentive to lure candidates into opting into the restrictions.
Bans on contributions from corporations who shovel money into lobbying the city and corporations with juicy city contracts while at the same time setting tighter campaign reporting deadlines and increased transparency.
The dismantling of the citizens united ruling would significantly strengthen a proposition like I-122. This would make it easier for cities and states all across the country to implement similar campaign finance laws, with those laws baring its teeth in a way that citizens united currently makes undoable.
Via infoplease.com: Campaign-Finance Reform: History and Timeline shows some of the most key stages in the campaign finance reform battle but only starts in 1890. Unfortunately, money in politics goes even further back than that! Via ctn.state.ct.us, Victor W. Geraci, PhD draws the timeline back as far as 1757 when: “(George) Washington was charged with a kind of campaign spending irregularity in his race for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Said to have purchased and distributed during the campaign more than a quart of rum, beer, and hard cider per voter (391 voters in the district).”
Revised: I wrote this story a few month ago for the Seattle Weekly and posted on my blog reverse citizens united, but it still holds relevance in regards to what’s happening in Seattle as of right now.
Monday 7/13 2:00pm City Council will vote to place Honest Elections (I-122) on this Nov ballot in Seattle.
If passed, will be the first voter voucher program in the country that gives tax collected money to voters for them to give to whichever candidates they so choose.
However, because of the citizens united decision, they cannot make donations illegal or limit them in any way, and therefore it would be an opt in system.
Candidates will have to agree to the donor limitations if they want to be eligible to receive vouchers from the public. Now, in a progressive city like Seattle this might work, but it certainly wouldn’t work in every city.
In other words, citizens united and it’s subsequent rulings are still in control of our democracy, and this piece talks to members of wolf-pac.com Washington and their fight to amend the constitution in order to regain the voice of the many.
Icons by Brennan Moring.
Late last month, campaign-finance-reform activists got some good news when a bill calling for a constitutional convention was assured consideration in the House State Government Committee in Olympia. The aim of the convention would be to propose “a free and fair elections amendment” to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment would nullify the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling inCitizens United v. FEC, which lifted all restrictions on independent corporate-funded advocacy regarding elections. But there is a long way to go before that happens. What is the path forward, and what are the pitfalls?
The Convention: Article V of the Constitution provides two paths to an amendment. One is through the will of the U.S. Congress. The other—currently being pushed by a national activist group called Wolf PAC—goes through the states and requires two-thirds of their legislatures to request a constitutional convention. Such bills have been passed in four states—Vermont, California, Illinois, and New Jersey. Washington, some activists hope, will be next. So once every week, a few Wolf PAC volunteers spend the day at the capitol attempting to build support for the bill. “Right now it’s stuck in committee and there’s no motion likely until 2016,” says Washington’s Wolf PAC leader Jeff Eidsness. “So what we need to do is inoculate as many people as we can against all the fears.”
The Runaway Convention: State Senator Jamie Pedersen is no enemy of campaign-finance reform, having endorsed several attempted measures in the past. But the 43rd District democrat believes a constitutional convention could cause trouble. “I think if you open up the Constitution, you could potentially have a convention that would make much more dramatic changes to [it],” he says. “Would we ban flag-burning? Would we be doing something about person-hood beginning at conception? I don’t know what things might be in there. There are a lot of pieces of the Constitution that are very protective of minority rights or the right of the accused that aren’t necessarily popular.”
The Congressional Amendment: Eidsness says the “runaway convention” is a “myth,” but he wouldn’t mind avoiding the whole affair either. Drawing on history, he explains how the threat of a convention can be enough to exact change. “With the 17th amendment, they were two states away from actually having a convention, at which point Congress is like, ‘Yeah, we better do this’ because they want the credit,” he says. “I don’t think a convention is going to happen, but we need to ask for it. The convention is not the goal, the amendment is the goal . . . History shows us that calling for a convention is the only legitimate way that people who aren’t arbitrarily wealthy can influence Congress to do the will of the people.”
Senator Marko Liias of Washington’s 21st district hosted a public forum in which he spoke out against money in politics and pushed for the reversal of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case.
Hosted by the league of women voters of Snohomish county, the forum focused around Senator Liias and his concerns over campaign financing and how we might fix it. Here is a short audio summary of the forums conversation with the Senator.
Do we want to wait who knows how long for the supreme court or congress to do something about Citizens United? If a total of two-thirds of U.S. state legislatures can agree to a constitutional convention, 34 of 50, then it will be so. Thing is, of the 27 amendments to the constitution enacted thus far in our countries history, none were completed through an article 5 constitutional amendment. Instead, Congress through a two-thirds of state legislature vote proposed the amendments.
Well Illinois just became the third state, behind Vermont and California, to call for the convention. The Rock River Times’ Brandon Reid wrote a more in depth look at this latest step towards a convention.
Published here on pay2play.tv is a good starting point for anyone wanting to know, in general, what public financing of
campaign means and how it helps get money out of politics. Included on the post are links to specific state measures that are happening across the country and a short video featuring Lawrence Lessig, among others, speaking on the importance of public financing of campaigns.
After the Citizens United Supreme Court decision corporation’s independent expenditures have been unlimited.
This great article out of brookings.edu brings up two great general points at the end which give great contest to the recent news about campaign finance and social media.
It’s based on the story about both political parties being caught using Twitter to circumvent contribution limits put in place by Citizens United.
Wolf-pac.com is a nation wide grass roots movement to reverse the supreme courts 2010 citizens united decision and get money out of politics, restoring our representative democracy.
The founders of wolf-pac realize that our federal government cannot be waited on to do something. Plenty of groups are working on that level, wolf-pac on the other hand is working towards proposing an amendment to the constitution through our state representatives as opposed to the federal government.
Through an article 5 national convention wolf-pac can force the amendment to the constitution through a 2/3 majority of states signing on in the pledge to put our political system through a much needed change. All they want is a chance at a real conversation. One the federal level, you’re still getting a conversation with conflicting interests that don’t fall in the common citizens favor!
I recently sat down with the leader of the wolf-pac’s Washington state division, Jeff Eidsness who was appointed to the position in 2013
RCU: How did you first get interested in wolf-pac and movement?
Eidsness: “I’ve been watching the Young Turks for years now, and have followed Wolf PAC ever since it formed during the initial Occupy movement. I started by giving them $10 or $20 per month, because I didn’t feel like I knew how to participate effectively…”
RCU: how can people start participating effectively?
Eidsness: “… first, people can get involved in the fight for free and fair elections (by calling) their state legislators (http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/). Ask for an appointment to speak (or better yet meet) with their elected officials about ending the corrupting influence for wealthy special interests.”
“You don’t have to be an expert to tell your representatives that you are tired of the undue influence of industry lobbyists. That being said, it never hurts to be informed! If you are interested in learning more about the issue in general, Lawrence Lessig’s book, Republic, Lost How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It is a thorough, if not meticulous rundown of the situation for the layman/non-lawyers among us (people like me!). I also like http://represent.us for good examples of how to communicate with the general public about campaign finance.”
“Once you’ve gotten a lay-of-the-land and evaluate the potential solutions, look around (google: ‘campaign finance reform organizations’?) and find a group with a plan that makes sense to you and then volunteer and/or contribute.”
“As one of many groups of people dealing with different facets of this issue, Wolf PAC is working towards having 34 state legislatures call for a convention of the states to discuss and hopefully propose an amendment(s) that would restore the founder’s idea of democracy, where the government was subject to the will of the people, and the people alone. If people are interested in volunteering, or simply learning more about the ‘in case of emergency’ clause given to us in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, you can visit http://wolf-pac.com or email me at email@example.com.”