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By crabtops
I think the one thing that most of the frequent posters and onlookers down here, Republicans, Democracts, liberals, conservatives, libritarians, progressives etc can agree on is that politics just sucks and pretty much everyone in our government should be fired and replaced.

This guy makes a much well reasoned argument about why money in politics hurts both sides' agenda and he is trying to do something about it.

User avatar
By Plow
Interesting but I'd like to see who and what the PAC will support. Something gotta be done.
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By blumpkin
I say it all the time... Willi said it best down here...

till you take the money out of it, don't bother arguing about it.

Cool to see you make a stop down here crabs, I know that you use actions more than words to help your community.
User avatar
By crabtops
We don't all agree on the details but I think most Americans agree that our system is fucked right now and the way this guy lays it out, his arguments are well reasoned, is that YOUR representatives are not working for you. They can't because they are too busy keeping up with each other raising money from a select few who get to have a say before you and I do.

The whole citizens united decision and the other most recent one that says that money is speech is absolutely asinine. Of course it's speech but what about the voice of the people with out money? There are maaaaaaany more of us with out "money" then there are those with. And besides that to think that money can be used as speech with out influence is beyond is willfully ignorant.

If our representatives spent their time governing and not raising money maybe they could actually get something done.

I would love to see term limits enacted along with campaign finance reform.

But anyway, PLow, they haven't said exactly who they are going to endorse only that they are going to work with candidates of both parties that are willing to commit to reforming the system.

From what I can tell these people are the only people who are addressing the main underlining issues in our democracy and are actively working to change it for the system to work better for all of us. That is why I am trying to spread the word about them. This problem cuts across both parties and I hope you all will get involved too.
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By Upsetter
crabtops wrote:The whole citizens united decision and the other most recent one that says that money is speech is absolutely asinine. Of course it's speech but what about the voice of the people with out money?
When one person (or corporation) spends outsized amounts of money, its no longer "speech", its bribery.

Weve created a system in which it takes millions to get elected, so politicians are beholden to those who can pony up that dough. Plain and simple. Its the same shit we outlawed here a 100yrs ago when anaconda copper bought and paid for the newspapers and the politicians needed to ensure its will would be done in Helena. Now that law is gone cause of citizens united, and we are somehow better off for it?
crabtops wrote:I would love to see term limits enacted along with campaign finance reform.
This I disagree with. Our experiment here with term limits created an ignorant legislature, carried by the whims of the day, with little to no institutional knowledge of long running govt efforts. It often creates worse outcomes and makes govt less efficient cause of all the time spent fixing the idiotic mistakes made by crusading retrads who dont really understand the issue they are legislating on. Rather than term limits, make it illegal to leave office to work for any industry related to a committee you sat on, or to lobby, for several years after you leave. Thats the one two punch to get the money grubbers out of it, not term limits.

If you remove the money, remove the legalized bribery, remove the revolving doors, you will solve most of the problems. A career politician who chooses that career cause he/she is good at it, effectively represents the constituents, and enjoys service to the nation is a good person to keep in place, not lose to term limits only to get a new guy with no influence or knowledge. Let the voters decide if encumbants are worth re-electing. We will see a much wider array of challengers if it doesnt take sponsorship of the major parties and millions of dollars just to get thru the primaries. Elections will be much more interesting animals.
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By crabtops
I had never considered those points about term limits. And your points about the revolving door are well taken. IN fact, Lessing takes those up and are part of the May Day platform. They want to change the campaign finance and outlaw congressmen from going into lobbying after service. I think that outlawing going into the industry you regulated another good touch.
By gadflyfisher
You all should have gotten behind Buddy Roemer like I did.
Didn't accept any donations over %100.
The Repubs kept changing the rules of the debates so he never got a chance to challenge Mitt or the rest on their accepting the bride money face to face.
User avatar
I think Lessig's idea is the most interesting idea to come along in a while. At least he's trying to do something in the face of the status quo. Hope it doesn't get submarined by the powers that be.
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By befuddled
As we all lament over the current state of the Presidential race, I thought I would try to post something at least mildly more encouraging.

WOLF-PAC Progress Report:

This is a real effort and gaining momentum. There are plenty of folks willing to sign the petition. FAR fewer actually donating their time. But the folks who are, are very passionate and determined, and they are inspiring more people to give a few minutes a week. And they absolutely believe that because so many people agree with the premise (no shit like 97%) that it will eventually succeed.

Even here in NC, where the climate is not especially favorable for something like this, we have bi-partisan support with an (R) as the main sponsor. The elected officials who do support it or are leaning towards it are happy to have a group of folks actively working towards furthering the goal. The Federal government can't be relied on to fix this problem so going through the more grounded state officials is the way to go.
One thing that we probably already know on some level but may not realize fully is that the money in politics is absolutely constant and it affects every single person governing. Our (R) who is sponsoring the bill confided that even this year, while is running uncontested, he has to raise a certain of money to put into the party coffers. If not, the big boys will make sure he's gone the next election cycle. So he has to raise money even though there is nobody running against him. That's fucked.

I don't know about the organization on the national level, but here the group isn't focused at all on giving endorsements, it's all about getting as many state officials as we can to come around to this. Phone calls, e-mails, and face-to-face meetings. If we talk to a republican, we talk about which right leaning organizations have published studies etc. If we talk to a (D), we only mention the left leaning ones and stay as neutral as possible to reinforce the fact that people in both parties want this system changed. This isn't a red or blue issue, it's systemic and poisonous.

Of course, it's an uphill battle, but at least it's being fought.
User avatar
By Redchaser
I think it would be hard to make an argument that money isn't speach within the framework of the constitution and other potus decisions that have been made regarding what is and isn't speach. However the impace of Speach = money could be greatly reduced if we got rid of the notion of corporate personhood.
User avatar
By Plow
Meanwhile at the doc...
The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.
DNC rolls back Obama ban on contributions from federal lobbyists

What the hell, hillary is going to need the bucks to beat back bernie. Wonder how much bernie can expect from the federal lobbyist.
User avatar
By befuddled
Plow, exactly why you can't expect this at a federal level and have to look to the states.

Historically when you need an amendment, the way to do it is to call for a convention (14 of 27 of our amendments and 4 of the last 10). Or the building pressure can maybe spur congress into action. (17th amendment, when states got close to the 2/3 needed to force a convention, congress drafted the amendment themselves.) The important part is to inform the legislators of the vast number of Americans who are worried about this issue. Especially if they already lean that way and just need to see that many of their colleagues, and virtually all of their constituency, do too. Kind of a "Look at this, you aren't the only one". But more importantly, the initiative right now isn't the final solution (money as speech vs corporate personhood), it's just getting the convention, which forces the conversation/debate/national discourse.

Red, remember, the goal is to make the system better, not perfect. Even a "voter/donor" solution is preferable to what we have (when a legislator believes his constituency should be allowed to donate all they want, as long as they can vote in the same district or state, but hates big, outside money influencing his local district or state). Even somebody with this mentality at least already thinks there is a problem with the system and can be talked to about reform. Not everybody's idea of what a representative democracy looks like is going to be the same. But almost nobodies version of it is what we have now.
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