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Forum Post: Our 1st Demand Needs to Be...

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 18, 2011, 1:01 a.m. EST by dmjordan (48)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

We must demand that Congress pass a constitutional amendment to ban federal campaign contributions by anyone other than an individual and in an amount not to exceed $100/yr. Further, the amendment must require that the names of contributors be publicly disclosed. This is the only thing that will get Corporate influence out of Congress and allow the American people to be the constituents of lawmakers again.

The reason lawmakers will want to vote for this is that we will publish who votes for and against the bill on this site and say categorically, that whoever doesn't vote for the amendment will not get our vote again, period. It will be revealing for the 99% because those that don't vote for such a measure will be shown as what they really are - people in the campaign business, not the citizen-representing business. Anyone who doesn't vote for radical campaign reform isn't one of us, plain and simple.

The process of reasonable wealth distribution is going to be a long process, to be sure. But if we are going to be effective this has to happen first. We must simultaneously require the same thing in local and state governments. If it doesn't happen the first go round we mustn't be discouraged. It may take us voting them out of office to make it happen. But if we stay the course, we can occupy not only Wall Street, but the United States Congress.

PS, as a bonus, when Corporations can no longer spend a gazillion dollars on campaigns, maybe they'll have money to hire some people.

76 Comments

76 Comments


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[-] 5 points by LagMonster (8) 3 years ago

I'd agree to this.

[-] 2 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I'm glad to hear it sounds reasonable to you. I'd do it too - that makes two of us! Please pass along on FB and elsewhere so the idea can get heard and considered. I think it could work.

[-] 3 points by crawfordjoanne (11) 3 years ago

I agree...email your congresspeople! Do it now, do it tomorrow...again and again! It's easy! I informed my senators that I would support them if they did this. If we all do this, maybe it would start to sink in. Peace out, people!

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Great work - way to go! We need to get the word out to Congress and to the 99% so we are all singing the same song (although I suspect we already are...that's the beauty of this thing, common experience). Now is the time to act.

[-] 3 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 3 years ago

I admit to not understanding how purely public financing is supposed to work. Who decides who is eligible for the public financing? How many candidates for a given contest are eligible? Do they split a fixed pool size of money or does each eligible candidate get a fixed amount?

That first question is the trickiest of all... who's decides who can run and on what basis?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but i just don't know what a purely public financing option looks like?

[-] 1 points by elamb9 (112) from Portland, OR 3 years ago

I think there should be a minimum number of signatures that need to be gathered in order to initially participate. From there, public debates should be held and follow up polls should determine the top x# candidates. Those candidates should be awarded airtime, funding, and another spot in a debate. Repeating the debates, polling, funding cycle should narrow down the candidates until x# remain and an election is held. An election should look something like a tournament where the candidates with the best ideas/platform advance and are rewarded with airtime and campaign funds. With national elections, candidates must start local, and work up regionally through each level. I don't believe that any private money should be used, not even those $100 contributions.

[-] 1 points by elamb9 (112) from Portland, OR 3 years ago

I think there should be a minimum number of signatures that need to be gathered in order to initially participate. From there, public debates should be held and follow up polls should determine the top x# candidates. Those candidates should be awarded airtime, funding, and another spot in a debate. Repeating the debates, polling, funding cycle should narrow down the candidates until x# remain and an election is held. An election should look something like a tournament where the candidates with the best ideas/platform advance and are rewarded with airtime and campaign funds. With national elections, candidates must start local, and work up regionally through each level. I don't believe that any private money should be used, not even those $100 contributions.

[-] 1 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 3 years ago

Thnx for the plausible explanation of how it could work. I do think getting undue corp influence out of politics is important and campaign finance dollars are a considerable part of that. Another part is the corp lobby.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

It's not stupid, I don't know much about it either. I guess it would work like it does when you contribute money on your IRS tax return. Then, a candidate has to meet certain rules (like raising a certain amount of money on their own, etc) to have access to a finite amount of money that is allocated to the candidates. When the time came we could actually propose rules that we think are reasonable, after all, it would be our money and it would seem we'd have a say in how campaign dollars from taxes are spent.

[-] 2 points by crawfordjoanne (11) 3 years ago

I don't think any of us know what it looks like...it would be new!

I think it doesn't need to be a "check the box" thing to donate on your tax form. I think it should simply be PART of our regularly-paid taxes. Every taxpayer pays, no "donation" about it.

Then, divide those funds equally among the 2-3 candidates (2 now) running in the general election. This would hold for US congresspeople too (especially congress!). That's all. Common sense. They make things so complicated and then give us excuses for why they can't do that. Don't believe it. This is our country too!

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I like it, thanks!

[-] 2 points by LeanneC (62) from Fremont, CA 3 years ago

Here, Here! Good ideas. I also believe this is the best starting point for any change in government.

Also may cut down on the horrible campaign ads that air endlessly in an election year? Double bonus!

[-] 2 points by JCrPdA (2) from Minneapolis, MN 3 years ago

This is an issue that both sides of the political spectrum have been shown to agree on. A recent poll in New Hampshire shows this clearly.

http://www.truth-out.org/new-hampshire-polls-show-both-side-aisle-agree-something/1319124406

The other problems get easier to fix the moment the hole Citizens United caused in our political system gets plugged.

[-] 2 points by Neworldvisions (7) 3 years ago

Good idea, but would it be an obstacle with corporations' rights as individuals?

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Not as long as they can only contribute $100 bucks :)

[-] 2 points by dingalingy (54) 3 years ago

i think this is great -- remember, we can keep demanding things --

[-] 2 points by anonymouse1 (5) 3 years ago

I am down with this idea, and I agree this demand should be made NOW! Someone also suggested that we should have shorter terms for congressmen. And that people running for office should have to collect signatures from the people.

[-] 2 points by Avoice (81) 3 years ago

I would like to see some form of public funding but I'm also concerned about a couple of situations. Mayor Bloomberg is a great example of the first one. He needs no public funding and he spent more than 200 million dollars on a job that pays him $1. So question #1 would be does public funding give a wealthy candidate any advantages? The other situation is not a obvious. Gov. Cuomo set up a "Committee to Save NY" and this action gave him an additional 10 million dollars in corporate money to influence public opinion and legislature opinions. What would stop the monied elite from organizing similar "Committees" during election campaigns to buy television and newspaper access? There also will be the continuation of think tanks like the Manhattan Institute which appear to be independent but are another useful tool of David Koch to manipulate business policies in Washington DC, Albany NY, Wisconsin,etc.....

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

The monied elite, I like that term. They will still find their ways, to be sure. But this would be a start to a list of needed campaign reforms. I think we also need some way to help the public identify real journalism versus the kind of thing you're talking about. The right to free speech must be protected, but there is a responsibility that "news" has to tell the truth and we have to do something, like have an accreditation or licensing that only legitimate news organizations would be able to get.

[-] 2 points by J789 (18) 3 years ago

Personally I will change it to our only demand.

The problem right now is we have too many demands, can never reach to a consensus support.

Once we reach this goal, then can our voice be heard without interuption.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I agree with that. While the movement is already showing it is making a difference, by starting the conversation, in order to maximize impact, I suspect we will need to develop our message and boil it down to a few, if not a singular, demand. I think you're exactly right - we've got the attention of many now, it's time to take the next step and capitalize on the momentum.

[-] 2 points by carrolleastman (2) 3 years ago

Thank you! This is the fundamental issue. Once we actually have a democracy we will have the opportunity to address so many issues and make a better life for all of us. We each need a voice; one based on our personhood, not our wealth. One person=one voice. Money should be speechless.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

No, thank you. Thank you for caring. I love what you said, that money should be speechless. Wouldn't it be great to see real, honest, hardworking, normal, balanced people in the US Congress - people that would actually go there to roll up their sleeves and solve problems, with the will of their constituents in mind? Yes, that is the democracy we had in the beginning...

[-] 2 points by Daxattack (15) 3 years ago

I thought you would be interested in the electronic petition that has been created on We the People, a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov Warren Buffet himself outlined this petition to stop the corruption in Congress. If this petition gets 5,000 signatures by October 22, 2011, the White House will review it and respond! If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response. You can view and sign the petition here: http://wh.gov/gWX

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I like the idea of the pay raise limitation, but am concerned about the others, because I think it sends a bit of a spiteful message, not a fair message. Federal employees are entitled to participate in the group health plan, a 401K plan and they get paid time off. Congressmen have had access to similar benefits, which I think is fair, because when they are elected to Congress, they are accepting a job. I think the problem is, we are electing people that don't understand the real world or the challenges financial and otherwise that real people face. We want a good set of benefits to accompany the job so that we can attract good people, just like any other employer. The problem is in our selection criteria - that's what we need to address. Get good thinking, real people in there with a conscience, and the things you mention will be a non-issue. But good on you for starting the conversation.

[-] 1 points by Arnold (3) 3 years ago

Agree

[-] 2 points by Justice4All (285) 3 years ago

Moratorium on Foreclosures.

Demand #1.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I was thinking big picture. But you're absolutely right, this needs to be addressed. Congress bailed out the banks, they need to do something to help homeowners by offering a moratorium and/or working out a plan for them to get back on track. The loans for most of the foreclosures were sold under false pretenses. Americans deserve the same consideration that the banks got.

[-] 1 points by Justice4All (285) 3 years ago

The banks tripled dipped:

(1) made money selling the security;

(2) made money when the security was bailed out;

(3) made money when AIG was bailed out.

And (4) currently make money servicing the debt and foreclosing on our American families.

[-] 2 points by OWSNewPartyTakeNY2012 (195) 3 years ago

you got my vote.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Hey - you've got mine too. It's interesting, the 99% are finally talking to one another and realizing that we are the same. We all want the same thing - to realize the hope and dream of America that our immigrant ancestors before us sought when they came here. It's time for the rebirth of America in its own image :)

[-] 2 points by Stewball (2) 3 years ago

I agree with your message that the only way any of the grievances of the 99% will ever be honestly addressed in this country is by getting big money out of politics. This is the one issue that the whole OWS movement should solidify around, since it will allow the entire spectrum of ills that are being ignored at the moment to finally be addressed. The OWS movement should adopt the Get Money Out constitutional amendment as its core issue and demand. You have to stand FOR something, not just AGAINST injustice. Big money controlling our political system is THE common reason behind everyone's complaints!

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Yes!

[-] 2 points by Meeky (186) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

Yes.

Less corporate influence on politics.

[-] 2 points by 8472ofborg (100) from Bruce, SD 3 years ago

I am trying to get people to use existing means to get a message across. The white house launched a site called we the people. It is for people to post petitions to the administration. Here is a link to the petition I am putting forth.

http://wh.gov/2zR

There are also several other good ones like:

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/restore-democracy-ending-corporate-personhood/KQYzl8S5

[-] 2 points by greenTara (15) from Ukiah, CA 3 years ago

First, Putting a figure like $100 into a Constitutional amendment doesn't make sense given that the value of the dollar will generally decline, and perhaps collapse. Before too long, $100 won't buy a loaf of bread.

Second, this draft doesn't address independent electioneering, such as was the subject of the Citizens United decision.

Campaign Finance Reform: +1 Constitutional Amendment or Convention: +1 This particular Amendment: -1

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Thanks for reading, Tara. I wasn't proposing a "draft", more an argument for what the 99% should consider as a major part of their platform for change.

[-] 2 points by Joey789 (34) 3 years ago

Well said. Everyone please spread this around.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Thanks, Joey - I hope everyone will share the idea so that it can become part of what the 99% works toward. I really do believe this would get us a lot of mileage in putting real people back in Congress and corporate influence out.

[-] 2 points by ChristopherABrown (550) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

Congress is not going to vote themselves out of next elections campaign finance. Lessigs video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

We need an Article V convention NOW.

http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I'll take a look at what you sent, but I think you're wrong. If they don't vote on such an amendment, we vote them out...we're the 99% after all. We have the votes, if we can be united to use them to get what we want.

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrown (550) from Santa Barbara, CA 3 years ago

The video is good. It describes the need for Article V very well. The power congress has with the money they get obiviates our intent and they get relected. Remember, they not only have this built in funding mechanism they also have corporate support.

[-] 2 points by HeardofEconomics (59) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

just an fyi...corporations dont hire people when they have extra money...they hire people because they dont have enough people to work....sorry for the fyi but more money doesnt usually = more jobs...

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Thanks, economics, I was being facetious - I don't expect companies to do the right thing with the money unless it stands to benefit them. But as an FYI for you, if a company has a need for more workers, but doesn't have money in the budget to hire due to campaign contributions, they may choose to fund the politician over doing the hiring, with the hopes it will benefit the company in the long run. Under this scenario, a campaign reform along the lines I'm suggesting would provide jobs.

[-] 1 points by HeardofEconomics (59) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

ill give you that...but i think the cases where companies would actually spend money on camaigns when then cant even meet the needs of their customers is pretty non consequential.

[-] 1 points by thecenterpath (26) 3 years ago

Just greater profits to distribute amongst stockholders

[-] 1 points by HeardofEconomics (59) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

you mean other people in our country that chose to put their money there instead of a bank...or are all people tha thave stock bad people too?

[-] 2 points by thecenterpath (26) 3 years ago

Where in my post do I demonize stockholders?

[-] 1 points by HeardofEconomics (59) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

you just said "just greater profits to distribute amongst stockholders"

[-] 2 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 3 years ago

Great post! I think this would be a home-run for OWS.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

It sure would be - please help spread the word about this idea. Corporate dollars being funneled to campaigns is thing that's broke. I think if we can fix that, the way will be made for amazing change to take place.

[-] 2 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 3 years ago

Definitely! I do think this would be one of the tougher demands for congress to follow through on, but it would be a monumental start in fighting the "50 headed hydra" that is wall street corruption and a government enabler.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

excellent choice of words :)

[-] 2 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 3 years ago

http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/policy/political/ this is a starting point. set finance legislation to pay for this.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Oh my, yes. The FCC will need to be on board.

[-] 2 points by Quark (236) 3 years ago

I think they should use vouchers for campaign contributions. After the election they are worth nothing!

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Yep, yep, good stuff. Because you know if there is a way to stockpile the money they don't spend, they will. I like it - thanks for the input, and please, pass along the idea. This is how we'll get things done!

[-] 2 points by Quark (236) 3 years ago

Will do.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Thank you. That's the thing, we're 99% strong, not only in the US, but worldwide, there are the people just like us that get the shaft due to the rich influencing their governments. The time is now to set things right.

[-] 2 points by thecenterpath (26) 3 years ago

I agree with a constitutional amendment. Public financing would also work. I think a combination... capping at $100 per election per candidate and $50 from public financing per person for each election would also work.

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Nice - thanks for reading! Please pass this along to others to get the word out. I'm still dumb enough to believe that everything is possible :)

[-] 1 points by thecenterpath (26) 3 years ago

I am praying that this movement focuses on a constitutional amendment banning money in politics as its main priority. It would be perfect for a mass movement that seems to hate getting involved in changing the system through our majoritarian electoral system (using the primaries and retail politics).

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I'm with you. You're right, the 99% are very jaded about the electoral process, and there's no wonder. Addressing campaign finance in a radical way like this, will go a long way in helping us to establish a Congress that isn't focused constantly on fundraising for campaigns and how they are going to satisfy their corporate doners. This issue would lay the groundwork so that we can make big change quickly. I think it will also make it possible for politicians that aren't from wealthy families to run for office, where as it is now, you have to be old money to do such things. We could actually have a prayer of getting regular people in Congress that actually know what the American people want.

[-] 2 points by tr289 (916) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

I'm against any donations from any one and all political campaigns must be funded with tax dollars. If you allow donations you just open the door for more of the same. Some one will find a loophole that will allow them to donate large sums of money... Our politicians are not for sale !

Anyway, Very good post. =)

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

Yeah, I tend to agree, but my thought is that if Americans are sending their money to politicians that share their views...real money in $5, $10 dollar bills, it will reiterate that citizens are the ones they should be accountable to. Taxdollars would be from Americans too, but there's no face attached to it like a envelope in the mail from John Doe. I was thinking that a limit like $100 would be low enough to keep out the corporate riffraff and shenanigans. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

[-] 1 points by tr289 (916) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

Makes sense...

I'm not sure exactly how to go about campaign reform. I'm not sure what the best way to do it it. How ever i do believe that if this is all that the OWS movement accomplishes, It will change the world. It will allow our children to build a better world and fix every thing my generation destroyed.

[-] 2 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I'm no expert on it either, but you and I are smart enough to know that it has to be fixed if the people's interests are going to ever come before those of corporations. You are right - it will indeed change the world, which is why so many countries are standing with us. In countries worldwide, big business controls elections, only here, it's all nice and tidy and behind the scenes so we can pretend we have something pristene. We did, but now we don't. It don't work no more.

[-] 2 points by tr289 (916) from Chicago, IL 3 years ago

Well said my friend but it's not just you and i saying it. Many others are also. =)

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I guess that's the inherent beauty in being part of a 99% - we're not alone :)

[-] 1 points by PeoplehaveDNA (305) 3 years ago

Money out of politics, for sure!!

[-] 1 points by cga91 (12) from Aurora, IL 3 years ago

Overturning Citizens United should be the first goal.

[-] 0 points by andrewpatrick46 (91) from Atlanta, GA 3 years ago

I like the Demand on OWS News Page. so just shut up and quit giving firepower to the media

[-] 1 points by dmjordan (48) 3 years ago

I don't usually like to be mean and always try to give the benefit of the doubt. But like the rest of the 99%, I'm a little less naive now and a little less gracious than I used to be. Anyhow, I just wanted to say, that you're an idiot.