Politicians in the United States are diverse. They are tall, short, young, old, Republican, Democrat. But they all have one thing in common.
They want to be reelected.
That is why the vast majority of them sell us out for special interest campaign contributions. They think that the only way they can get elected is to buy expensive television time in order to get mindless name-recognition or poison their opponent with vicious, negative ads. In exchange for this money, they are willing to vote for bailouts, subsidies and tax breaks for their contributors.
But the whole system is remarkably vulnerable. It depends on us not paying attention to how candidates finance their political careers.
It can fall apart in the time it takes you to send this email to ten of your friends.
We need to stop looking at the ads and thinking, “Oh that politician looks nice, and his family seems nice. Oh look! He’s reading to kids, and there he is walking his puppy in the forest. He must be a good guy.”
If instead we look at the ad and think, “Where did the money come from for the ad?” the whole system falls apart.
We are starting a website to answer that question and highlight leaders who don’t take special interest money. It is called CleanSlateNow.org.
Here is the first installment. There are a hundred members of the Colorado Legislature. Seven of them don’t take special interest PAC money. They are Sen. Irene Aguilar (Denver), Rep. Lois Court (Denver), Rep. Janak Joshi (Colo. Springs), Sen. Joyce Foster (Denver), Sen. Michael Johnston (Denver), Rep. Dan Pabon (Denver), and Sen. Pat Steadman (Denver).
Send them a note thanking them.
If you know of any other candidates or elected officials anywhere in the country who don’t take special interest campaign contributions, write in. Also write in with comments or questions.
After the recent Supreme Court case that strips all governing bodies of the authority to pass laws to keep money out of politics, getting this information out is key to saving our democracy.
In centuries past, Americans have frozen and starved at Valley Forge, and stormed machine guns at Omaha Beach. Forward this email to your lists–you won’t have to freeze, starve, or storm a beach, and you will be fighting for our democracy.
We can do this. And in fact, we have to.
How Justice Kennedy paved the way for “SuperPACS” and the return of soft money.
By Richard L Hasen
Soft money is coming back to national politics, and in a big way. And we can blame it all on a single sentence in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in 2010’s controversial Citizens United decision—a sentence that was unnecessary to resolve the case. READ MORE