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Forum Post: Get the money out of politics!

Posted 8 years ago on Oct. 21, 2011, 12:11 p.m. EST by aphrodite837 (145)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am serious about a call to action for campaign finance reform. I have been posting do people on different threads. (if I've lost a conversation with a particular individual, I apologize.) If there is anyone out there who is willing to push for change, please let me know on this post. The first thing that I need to figure out is if we should work for this through OWS or in parallel and then seek support from OWS.

Here is my original post:

Our election system is broken, which has created a system of government beholden to the wealthy at the expense of the majority. Could we find a way to get the money out of politics? I have an idea. Individuals wishing to run for an office would need to obtain a certain number of signatures (the number to be dependent on the level of office). They would then be placed on the ballot and receive a specific amount of money from a general election fund (the amount to also be dependent on the level of office). They could only spend that money on their election - no donations, none of their own money. The general election fund could come from a small tax (perhaps 0.5%). My thought with this idea is that everyday individuals could run for office, not just the wealthy. Elected individuals would not be wasting their time fundraising. They would also not be indebted to the wealthy and corporations. I have no idea how to get a system like this in place. The people currently in office would not agree to something that would most likely cost them their jobs. Any thoughts?

P.S. Although I am unable to be physically there with you, I support you!

93 Comments

93 Comments


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[-] 2 points by concernedinutah (102) 8 years ago

Completely agree!!! Spread the word this needs to be THE main focus of the protests!!

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I think people need to organize to make sure something can actually be accomplished. If that involves getting OWS to focus on this, or if it necessitates a parallel group working specifically for this.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 8 years ago

Count me in; I actually have a draft on campaign finance and lobbying reform that I've been working on with a couple of guys I met through this forum. The draft is a Google doc that still has a lot of our markup all over it, but if you'd like you and I could talk about any changes you'd like to see made: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gytiI1qwPDpnLQ8cRmNXoJFmiy4ob3n6yjqfBHpBH8M/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Taking a closer look, there are many good points. I think that it will ultimately need to be very concise. I believe that if we can achieve campaign finance reform first, many other reforms will be easier.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 8 years ago

Yeah; I figured it would be better to get it all on paper and argue it out first, and then look to compress it down to a core document or series thereof.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Wow, that's quite a document. I am thinking of posting a thread to discuss possible actions. Perhaps we can build a consensus online. I think we first need to brainstorm and critique different broad-strokes plans, then we need to vote on which to refine. The next thing would be to hammer out specifics of the plan. Finally, we would need to figure out how to accomplish it.

I don't know a whole lot about doing things like this online. I was going to try to manage a discussion through editing a thread. It would be great to get something that wouldn't require me constantly updating an original post to address all the comments...

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 8 years ago

I think that Google docs would be great for doing something like this, primarily because it allows for dynamic writing and editing better than a thread on here will, plus the introduction section means that we can identify and either keep out or boot trolls fairly easily.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I put the intended post I was working on into Google docs so you can see what I was thinking of. (Best off posting here rather than through google.)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/166VyU0RvTlhPJE-5AY1bS7KTT9ZD7QOmMK6MIK88j_U/edit?hl=en_US

[-] 2 points by slickrjt (47) 8 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/forum/to-the-insert-title-here-of-occupy-wall-street/#comment-171433

I wish we could merge different comment threads into one single thread; there are so many common ideas, but the organization is lacking. Instead of consolidating our efforts, we all seem to be working independently. That needs to change in order for the Occupy Movement to transition to REAL political change.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

That would be so helpful. The same idea is bouncing around different threads.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Don't take money out of politics! Let people and corporations spend/donate as much as they want to.

Just do not let anyone earmark their donation. Make each and every donation go into a general election fund.

Divide the General election fund into equal portions as to how many party's there are.

Then divide the fund assigned to each party equally between all candidates in the party.

No-one can have more no-one can have less.

This is free speech enforced.

No-one is given a monetary advantage.

No private group campaigning allowed.

The only campaigning, the only commercials, the only advertising allowed will be by each individual candidate with their portion of the general campaign fund.

Supporters will only be allowed to advise on how the money is spent. They will have absolutely no control on content. They can advise on strategy.

Let the Best candidate win on their own merit.

If money was not spent during a campaign, no problem it just rolls over to the next campaign's General Fund.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

One more thing on the General Campaign Fund.

Make sure your accounting adds up correctly because your receipts and proof's of work provided will be required for the General Campaign Funds accounting. Any misspending of funds can and will be held accountable by the candidate, if their campaign spent more than was allotted and they won the seat, They will actually have lost to the runner-up by default of misappropriation of funds.

[-] 1 points by julianzs (147) 8 years ago

OWS is the 99%. Work within it. Why struggle without?

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I am trying to work within the OWS movement. Unfortunately, it has been extremely difficult to get people to be focused on having a collaborative discussion to work towards consensus.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

We need a Constitutional Amendment to do this.

www.getmoneyout.com

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

A constitutional amendment is one of the things that has been proposed. I think the important thing is to first figure out a consensus for what we want to achieve and then figure out how to achieve it. I'm thinking about starting a group at openassembly.com for brainstorming since my googledoc has been deleted.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

The only way to reverse a SC ruling is with an amendment.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

But some of the ideas proposed would circumvent the supreme court ruling by having completely publicly funded elections. You are right, that if repealing corporate personhood is the only action taken that it would require an amendment. But there are other ideas that would render that moot.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Publicly funded elections are not going to help because the SC has said that anyone can fund outside groups to support or denounce candidates.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

The existence of outside groups is another concern. This is why I would really like to have a group focused on brainstorming and discussing different possible ideas...

[-] 1 points by Idaltu (662) 8 years ago

Yes I agree...and a suggestion.

One term for everybody across the board. Each term to be 6 years for Representatives, Senators, President and out with the "for life appointments to the Supreme Court". A supreme Court Judge would also be 6 years.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Have you checked out the brainstorming document? Feel free to add term limits to the list of ideas.

In case you don't have the link: http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by stove2 (1) from Flagstaff, AZ 8 years ago

Agreed. First change should be getting a congressional law passed forbidding corporations from donating to campaigns. This simple thing would help level the playing field.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I am working on a brainstorming document. Please check it out. http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by Bernie (117) 8 years ago

Good Post! Good ideas......with this one demand we could start to repair our country.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Sorry - got confused by which post I was looking at. I'm working on a brainstorming document. Please check it out. http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Thank you for the support. What did you think of the brainstorming document?

[-] 1 points by Bernie (117) 8 years ago

Good start! We must make it simple so that we get more of the 99% to support it.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I'm not sure how to advertise it outside of these forums at this point... I have posted it in a bunch of places. I also don't know when would be the right time to push for more outside support. During the time of getting ideas together, or once an idea has been selected and refined.

[-] 1 points by Bernie (117) 8 years ago

At some point the OWS must stand for something or just fade away. I want to push for the simple demand that the 89% can get behind, get money out of politics.

[-] 1 points by enough (587) 8 years ago

Your message is spot on and needs to be taken to Washington DC in massive numbers. That's where the recipients of the bribes work and that's where the lobbyists do their thing. That's where #OWS needs to be so the bribe takers in government and the bribe makers on K Street get the message that the corruption needs to end. It doesn't help that the POTUS and the candidates running for president are holding fundraisers 24/7 to solicit funds from wealthy banks, corporations, and individuals .

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Have you taken a look at my efforts to move this idea forward? http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 8 years ago

There is several growing movements to do just what your asking for. here's a link to one called Move to Amend http://movetoamend.org/motion-to-amend Its trying to amend the Constitution to eliminate Corp.person hood with the 28th amendment. Since the infamous "Citizens United" SCOTUS rulling 2 yrs ago the spigots of Corp. $$ have been jammed wide open and the Gov't has essentially been bought by the Big Int'l Corps.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

The way you are organizing yourselves, it does seem it would be a good time to start organizing this forum, and do it along the same principles of concerns that are being voiced.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I'm trying to do something organized. Please check out my new thread http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by yankeeleenin (5) 8 years ago

The main focus of the protests needs to be this book. Its rumored to be what started it all and is full of solutions. Wildfire The Legislation That Ignited the Great Recession. Lawmakers started this mess, get 'em out.

[-] 1 points by Hadenessence (4) 8 years ago

There are two options: Campaign finance reform and making money irrelevant. There is no will for campaign finance reform since it serves the monied interests. However, money can be made irrelevant using viral tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The system is ripe for co-opting not by being separatist but by being inclusive. Create one free site for each state where all candidates can present their case and voters will not need to watch tv ads, recieve mailings, etc. Make the money irrelevant.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by Hadenessence (4) 8 years ago

There are two options: Campaign finance reform and making money irrelevant. There is no will for campaign finance reform since it serves the monied interests. However, money can be made irrelevant using viral tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The system is ripe for co-opting not by being separatist but by being inclusive. Create one free site for each state where all candidates can present their case and voters will not need to watch tv ads, recieve mailings, etc. Make the money irrelevant.

[-] 1 points by Hadenessence (4) 8 years ago

There are two options: campaign finance reform and make the money irrelevant. There is no political will for campaign finance reform. These rules serve the wealthy. However, the monied system can be made irrelevant. A viral campaign can be run using YouTube, Facebook, and twitter for almost anything. Additionally, if you really want to bring the system down, create a site where everyone running for office in a state can post up to ... let's say 20 .. videos. Centralize, make public, and make free the information and money has no power. Co-opt the system.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Those are some interesting ideas. My only concern is that the people running for office must still fundraise and therefore they are going to be getting large chunks of money from people who are not interested in the benefit of the people. The most attractive aspect of your idea is that it can already be done and does not require any approval from those already in power. I think that should be pushed for in tandem with trying to reform the system.

[-] 1 points by TalkingHead (101) 8 years ago

We need a Grover Norquist type pledge supporting a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. If you don't sign it we're not going to vote for you.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 8 years ago

yup, i'd support this... this should be the signature goal... purely public federal campaign financing

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Thanks for the agreement. I am going to try to organize some sort of collaborative discussion on the issue. Maybe we can get some sort of online consensus.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

The only way to accomplish this is to remove the Constitutional Rights of the Corporation and that can be done by defining through a Constitutional Amendment what an individual is and the reserving the Constitutional Rights for Individuals.

I posed a way to accomplish in other threads and other forums. Draft the bill and in the spring and summer of the coming year, print and mail copies of the bill to your legislators with implicit instruction to pass the bill as is by the end of summer.

It is something that would work if the movement survives the freezing winter and if we end up with enough people. Personally, it is something I would support in spirit and with dollars so as to minimize the discomfort of those people out in the cold.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I don't think removing corporate personhood is the only way to accomplish it. It could clearly be a component, though.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

I think it is the only way to remove private money from the legislative or electoral process. If the Constitutional Protections are not removed first the corporation will rely on them for protection and the Court will reaffirm them.

The case law supports this in that any and all municipal codes, state and or federal regulations and all state and/or federal laws have to be held as constitutional or it can and will be stricken if enough money is thrown at the Court.

The United States Constitution is the highest law in the United Sates.

- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

You don't think that publicly funded elections will remove private money? I agree with you that corporate personhood should be revoked. I disagree that it will completely fix the problem, though. I also disagree that it is the only way to achieve the goal.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

No it can't. The way the rights are set up now is that lobbying directly impacts legislation, private money impacts elections.

If a Corporation retains their Civil Rights then they have every right that you have. There will always be a backdoor into the office of the politicians.

If you remove their personhood, then they lose the civil liberties that come with that such as funding legislation, funding elections and importantly, the right to lobby the legislature.

It is a more complete solution that once enacted cannot be undone because it is done by a constitutional amendment and not legislation that can easily be repealed by the legislature when people are not paying close attention :-)

Does this put it in perspective?

Added as an after thought:

I want to be absolutely clear that I support 100% publicly funded elections and agree with you on this removing money from politics and eventually politics from governance.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

It sounds like we might be thinking along the same lines that there does not need to be only one solution to the problem. Removing corporate personhood is one component and (hopefully) publicly funded elections.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

I expend energies finding ways to implement the changes and not on the changes. This way when the time comes for the changes then people will have a clear path and opportunity for the changes they are trying to make.

As it is currently, if you attempt to make change it has to pass the approval of the legislature, then if businesses object it can be detained in Court for years; this is not the will of the people.

Removing the personhood of a corporation is not and end goal for me, it is simply a means to an end goal no matter what that goal ends up being.

It removes some of the obstacles that bar people from enacting meaningful and constructive change through legislation. If you want to control your country and make it so the citizens have equality then you remove the impediments to said goal.

Corporate personhood is an impediment to most any goals that do not serve the corporate interests. These interest are not always in the best interest of the public or the best interest of the country or world.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I'm trying to get different people working together to first figure out what to specifically work towards (and there may be a few goals) and then how to do it. I hope you will be an asset in that discussion.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

I think you can contact me by private message if you need to. I think this forum has that feature.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I had been thinking about working completely within the forum, but someone suggested that using Google Doc allows for user editing, which would mean that I wouldn't have to update the post to reflect suggestions made in comments. This is what I'm working to put together. What do you think? https://docs.google.com/document/d/166VyU0RvTlhPJE-5AY1bS7KTT9ZD7QOmMK6MIK88j_U/edit?hl=en_US

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

Sorry, went away for a while. This forum is pretty much a cluster f*ck at times.

I think google docs could be useful for this.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 2 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I've been missing in action for several days. I'm not sure if it was a technical glitch or a malicious attack, but the google doc got completely deleted. A little bit before it got deleted, I was working on this website: http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Step_1:_Brainstorm_and_Critique

I'm thinking about creating a group on openassembly.com. At least there, no one should be able to delete the entire discussion...

[-] 1 points by Indepat (924) from Minneola, FL 8 years ago

Okay, Let this is so you can let me know when your able to create a group. Let me know when you do.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I have so far heard nothing back about creating a group, but I'm trying to get people organized through this new thread. http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by Indepat (924) from Minneola, FL 8 years ago

Great idea, I'll check it out.

I went into that group thing, specifically for gov't reform. It didn't work well, and people in there are coming up with all sorts of ideas for creating an entirely new form of government. Seems like a useless exercise, since all we need is a little reform.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

And completely overhauling the system seems even less likely to gain popular support.

[-] 1 points by Indepat (924) from Minneola, FL 8 years ago

Exactly, it won't gain popular support, and it will never happen. We need to focus on the real problem, and on things that we can actually accomplish.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

I am serious about a call to action for campaign finance reform. I have been posting do people on different threads. (if I've lost a conversation with a particular individual, I apologize.) If there is anyone out there who is willing to push for change, please let me know on this post.

The first thing that I need to figure out is if we should work for this through OWS or in parallel and then seek support from OWS.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 8 years ago

This is an important issue and you can work from within OWS and from without. You can work towards multiple goals at the same time. You can try to make the changes you initially speak of, see if what I was talking about had any traction or find another way completely to accomplish your goal.

I have faith in your ability to make things happen.

-- I am simply unimportant

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Thanks for posting the link. It's difficult to see how many posts are discussing the same thing. Would you be interested in actually working to organize positive change?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

Yes, but my time is limited... I have a family to support !

I don't think this REQUIRES a lot of people doing a lot of work. All it would take is for OWS to put it out there as the single unifying message. Once it's out there, we'll see a groundswell of support from Tea Partiers and the general population. We all KNOW this is a problem in our system, and the objective is non-partisan.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Believe me, my time is limited, too. I understand. I don't think it would require a great deal of time, either. I see a great deal of people's ideas floating around out there, but I'm not seeing a true discourse.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

It has been suggested on http://occupywallst.org/forum/to-the-insert-title-here-of-occupy-wall-street/ to organize a group to work towards getting the money out of politics. Would anyone be interested?

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that feels this way. I believe that campaign finance reform could be a powerful first step towards achieving many other goals. Natasha54, I think you are right. The first step is getting the power of this movement focused on one or a few attainable, objective goals. April, I was unaware of this legislation. I would say that I wish it was something mandatory rather than optional. I do think, though, that because of that, it may be easier to pass. (I totally agree with your assessment, Idaltu). If implemented, it could be something that would morph into common usage. If one candidate for a position is utilizing this system and another candidate is using corporate money, it could be seen as a negative to the corporate-backed candidate.

I'm a big fan of lists, specifics and objectives. These are the two things on my mind.

  1. Would pushing for this bill be the best option, or would something else be better?
  2. How to build a consensus in the movement?
[-] 1 points by gardenguy (27) 8 years ago

Democracy, not corporatocracy! Let's build a new vision of politics by experimenting with a purple finger vote within Occupy. Shall we begin by establishing a much needed consensus for our movement?

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by Idaltu (662) 8 years ago

You asked for thoughts. First I agree with you. The question of course is how to get money out of politics. Well telling congress to enact legislation to do this is sort of like asking the weasel not to raid the hen house. Any one with an idea that might work?

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Agree, and you have good ideas here! Not sure if you are aware, but there is already legislation for this. I'm not sure if all the details are right, but this is a good place to start anyway.

The main point is, there are already supporters in Congress for this.

http://fairelectionsnow.org/about-bill

I think the best thing we can do is to push this protest and the GA to go public and official with the #1 demand of Campaign Finance Reform. We need this to go official. To propel this protest forward to gain another level of supporters.

We need to move beyond the circular arguments of everything else and all of the other diversions! The only way to do that is to push for Campaign Finance Reform as the #1 official demand. Please do all you can to spread the word.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by natasha54 (3) 8 years ago

I totally agree with you. This movement could get that sort of change if people will agree to focus on one issue - campaign finance reform. That is a first step.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 8 years ago

I agree 100% and I'm a conservative. This needs to be the only focus of OWS, if it's not you lose a lot of support. Since the politicians, you are right, will not acquiesce, amendment to the constitution will have to come from an Article V Convention, where at least 34 of the state legislatures must propose a convention relating to a particular amendment. The hard work comes in getting a unified, simple amendment drafted and getting it to state legislatures. Everyone should ask their representative, in public if possible, what their view is of the Article V Convention. This is a way to bypass the Washington pols and do it directly through the state legislatures.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

If it's something directed at first regulating the federal government specifically, there would be more likelihood of getting the state government behind it than the federal.

[-] 0 points by jeivers (278) 8 years ago
[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 8 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 0 points by jeivers (278) 8 years ago

Franklin D. Roosevelt First Inaugural Address

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm3Bntsp2ck&feature=share