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Forum Post: POLL: What do you want in a 'Money Out Of Politics' Amendment Proposal? (English)

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 17, 2011, 2:09 a.m. EST by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Since there has been a great amount of interest in the concepts of campaign finance/voting reform becoming one of the central themes of OWS, I suggest that we put some ideas down on paper in the way of specifics for a potential Constitutional Amendment. Why an Amendment and not just federal legislation, you say? Because legislation can be easily repealed and/or challenged in the courts (think National Healthcare under threat and Citizens United vs. FEC).

You can propose any idea you want, and you can list as many separate ideas as you can think of. Please try to keep each idea to no more than three sentences (one sentence is ideal). And please do not lump separate concepts together in the same post: what we're looking for here is a chance for all of us to look at a menu of individual items, add those items that we see as missing from the dialog and upvote those that we find most compelling.

If you wish to propose other ideas for different types of amendments, please feel free to start a parallel forum. If you are bilingual, please consider translating this into your other language and add a new forum post with the language bracketed in the title. Please communicate this as far and wide as possible so that we can get as much input as possible.

Also, keep in mind that amending the constitution is for forever and all time; when proposing draft language, you should try to think in general terms that cover all the possible bases rather than super-specific language that will run into problems in 100 years when things look a bit different than they do today (think 'clear and present danger' or 'cruel and unusual punishment'). Could be a good idea to read the Constitution as it is today before posting.

Thanks to jdragonlee for format inspiration, and to everyone adding positive vibes and voicing their concerns here in these forums, out in the streets and everywhere around the world. Beautiful to see!

(Also, be aware of the 99% Declaration Working Group: https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/please-join-this-working-group-and-let-your-voice-be-heard)

144 Comments

144 Comments


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[-] 6 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Every election will be purely publicly financed. No private funds can be spent on any campaign in any way. All candidates will be given equal access to the same publicly-owned communication and travel resources, such that the only differences presented to the voting public between the candidates will be their ideas.

[-] 3 points by Johnforeman (5) 3 years ago

Love this idea. I was thinking exactly the same thing. We should force all media to give FREE equal access to all candidates.

[-] 2 points by Lightsout (14) from Chatham, IL 3 years ago

But, is it the same for every candidate? for instance: is it limited to just Democrats and Republicans or do we include Greens, libertarians, and whatever small party. Do they get the same money as Demos and Repugs?

[-] 2 points by freeflyer22 (49) from Portland, OR 3 years ago

my understanding is everyone

[-] 2 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Everyone should be given equal access to limited resources in the primaries, and greater resources if they proceed to later election stages. This would be independent of parties, necessarily, and could cause them to diminish in power enormously, depending on the specifics of the provisions in the final draft. I, for one, would rather do without their formulaic blather that has kept up appearances while it ignored our real problems for decades. How many candidates of either party talked about dependence on foreign oil on the stump, for instance, while we dug deeper and deeper into the addiction all the while?

There are a couple of other mini-proposals in the middle of this forum that I think may have been overlooked. One of them specifically states: "Open voting rights in each and every election to all qualified voters in any given electoral district, regardless of party affiliation. (So, no more party restrictions in primaries.)" Another states: "Every citizen of voting age participating in any election is guaranteed an equal, counted vote. No results may be made public or certified until all votes cast have been counted." Please give them an upvote if you agree with either, and please submit any bite-sized language of your own that you may feel is not yet represented here.

[-] 2 points by gwilson239 (16) 3 years ago

essentially this.

[-] 2 points by freeflyer22 (49) from Portland, OR 3 years ago

Excellent idea, not a new one. I was just thinking of this earlier. It is a very important concept!!

[-] 3 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Give it an upvote?

[-] 1 points by ChrisArnold (68) 3 years ago

but what hapends when they just give money to people out of the public to donate to candidates?

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 3 years ago

Like the idea, but some potential issues/questions come to mind:

can they host a tv or radio show?

can they go on talk shows?

can political commentators talk about them?

can editorials be written about them?

can comedians talk about them?

can they act in tv shows or movies?

can they twitter and facebook?

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Great questions, and I don't have all the answers - we'd have to decide them together, I think.

I would say that they can't do anything that the other candidates cannot do. Only by presenting the candidates to the public equally - with no private advantage to anyone - can we guarantee the functioning of real democracy. As soon as someone has an advantage in access, the other candidates have a disadvantage, and the system fails to enshrine equality, as it always should.

The system I imagine would be strict about the resources that can be used, and those resources would all be publicly-owned and monitored for equality of access among the candidates. You could use less than your full allotment of a particular resource, but never more.

What others can say should not be restricted, but those with public forums like the Tonight Show ought not be able to provide unequal access for one candidate over another. Equality of idea presentation needs to become the urgent goal of our democracy. The idea here is that the process would be owned by the people - they could talk to each other about the candidates all they wanted, but what I wouldn't like to see is someone speaking in any forum with more resources or access than the other participants in that forum, or speaking anything other than their own personal opinion.

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 3 years ago

So "9-11 was an inside job" gets the same time as "improve education for our children"? I feel like the messages and opinions would be so myriad that they would lose meaning.

What I would prefer is a more fluid party system. I think that can be achieved with social media, potentially, if we can apply the right technology and can generate enough interest in more personal engagement.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Only in the primaries. But, if you don't hear those voices that may seem wacky to you, you don't hear democracy. It is tempting, I certainly agree, to say that certain ideas are kooky and shouldn't be allowed a voice in elections. But who decides that? If it isn't the people themselves, you've got an oligarchic system. What's to prevent the people or parties deciding who gets to be heard by the public from applying their own greed and self-interest to the question?

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 3 years ago

no doubt, but my concern is that the noise would be too much to hear the voices of reason... I don't know that would be the case, but it would certainly hinder our democracy if it were

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Well, then maybe democracy is the problem, and we should look for an alternate system. We can easily say that one needs the support of x number of citizens before reaching a place on the primary wall, but saying that certain voices can't be heard is what we're complaining about today, in my opinion. Once you start down that road, I think it's inevitable to end up in a 1% vs 99% equation. The 1% will do the deciding for their own benefit, as we would expect of any human beings, and the 99% will do the suffering from lack of access to the political process.

There are kooks in that 99%, certainly. They can be culled out by the signature requirements (the same for every candidate, BTW) and also by the voters themselves early in the process. By mid-September, you're listening to multiple-qualified voices that the people wanted to hear from a bit more before making a final decision. Oligarchy is tidy and quiet. Democracy is messy and noisy, especially early in the process. I think it may be worth the trouble, though, to suffer through a little democracy for a change.

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 3 years ago

excellent point

[-] 3 points by DirtyHippie (200) 3 years ago

People are forgetting about the political parties. I want to eliminate campaign funding from all private sources including business, religion and any other special interest groups. That includes the political parties. Without that piece, we're wasting our time. There must also be an impenetrable wall between elected officials and moneyed interests. Term limits are needed as well. Too many career politicians are there for the gravy train, not the public service.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I completely agree! Absolutely!!

[-] 3 points by Dante (4) from Tallahassee, FL 3 years ago

I think this is a great idea. Congress and the President will never ever eliminate money and corporate influence. I think a major way to get the Congress working for the nation and its people (all of them) has to include two major tenets: 1) Eliminate the personal status of corporations. It is artificial and flawed because it gives corporations the benefits of being a person with none of the responsibilities. 2) Pass a sweeping campaign finance reform law or amendment that a) limits all personal, corporate, and organizational group donations to a level determined by a percentage of the GDP, b) eliminates all gifts and free trips given to any elected federal official (other government employees are already under such a ban), c) forces campaigns to run on free mailing provided by the USPS and free radio, television, and Internet time provided by the media as a condition of their licenses, and d) limit campaign seasons to reasonable periods of time yet to be determined but definitely something like 3-6 months.

If we can't get the money put of politics we will never have a clean political system.

[-] 3 points by astramari (57) 3 years ago

Absolutely take private money out of elections. Period.

No riders on bills presented to congress.

End Free Trade Agreement.

[-] 3 points by ClayK (9) from Gilbert, AZ 3 years ago

Remove the ability for lobbyists to use votes as a form of bribery, or remove them all together. Or by removing state representatives there would be no need for lobbyists.

[-] 3 points by jjmr1 (4) 3 years ago

STOP the gerrymandering ( how to implement im not sure)

no more Electronic voting, i have real concerns about not having a paper trail Proof that could be rigged http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQdmG1Ii6qc

Third party able to verify ballot box vote counts

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

everyone could vote with there identity

[-] 2 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

All of this sounds really good and if it succeeds, I believe it will create a new crop of individuals that want to run for government that are actually sincere, have integrity, and actually have a vision of being a true leader. The system now just breeds corruption and self serving individuals.

[-] 2 points by occupypitt17 (24) 3 years ago

More important is how to pass the constitutional amendment. We need to pressure the states, by occupying state capital buildings, into calling for a constitutional convention. Congress will not pass an amendment due to partisanship and corporate interests. My thread on it here http://occupywallst.org/forum/this-should-be-our-1-demand-and-here-is-how-we-mak/#comment-131681

[-] 2 points by TimC (2) from East Brunswick, NJ 3 years ago

Pass the 28th Amendment "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States". A flat tax for everyone -- NO DEDUCTIONS OR LOOPHOLES Also, look up the Congressional Reform Act of 2011

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

Re establish and Retake the Commons! The Airwaves are the commons!

Make all licenses VOID with requirements for re application !

Have Congress make itself accountable through FOIA, currently exempt! We must know that the people calling congress are getting accurate representation!

[-] 2 points by farrhc (6) 3 years ago

A Constitutional Amendment is required to remove two critical issues from interpretation by the courts. “Money equals free speech" and "corporations are individuals" have been established and upheld by the Supreme Court. A Constitutional Amendment is required to clearly and unequivocally refute these twisted interpretations of our constitution. Does anyone really believe that the founding fathers, who were forced to bear arms against the East India Company shareholders in the form of a King and Parliament to get the boot of oppression of their necks, intended interpretations like that? Citizens can be called upon to give our lives in return for the rights afforded to us legally as individuals. Is a corporation a citizen? Can they vote? What is a corporation required to sacrifice for this country. What sacrifices have they have made for this country in the past? Take a tour of Arlington Cemetery and see how many corporations are buried there! This is what your platform should be and it should be supported by all U.S. citizens regardless of their political affiliations. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS to clarify that; MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL FREE SPEECH CORPORATIONS ARE NOT INDIVIDUALS.

[-] 2 points by farrhc (6) 3 years ago

A Constitutional Amendment is required to remove two critical issues from interpretation by the courts. “Money equals free speech" and "corporations are individuals" have been established and upheld by the Supreme Court. A Constitutional Amendment is required to clearly and unequivocally refute these twisted interpretations of our constitution. Does anyone really believe that the founding fathers, who were forced to bear arms against the East India Company shareholders in the form of a King and Parliament to get the boot of oppression of their necks, intended interpretations like that? Citizens can be called upon to give our lives in return for the rights afforded to us legally as individuals. Is a corporation a citizen? Can they vote? What is a corporation required to sacrifice for this country. What sacrifices have they have made for this country in the past? Take a tour of Arlington Cemetery and see how many corporations are buried there! This is what your platform should be and it should be supported by all U.S. citizens regardless of their political affiliations. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS to clarify that; MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL FREE SPEECH CORPORATIONS ARE NOT INDIVIDUALS.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

that people use their names when they vote

that voting system be made transparent by making all that information public

that the actions of the government and corporations be made comprehensible and transparent

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 3 years ago

Actually this is a bad idea. If you believe in X but everyone around you believes in Y, then there can be a great deal of pressure to not vote your convictions if the results of your vote are known. This isn't just over-exaggerated caution. People try to intimidate and coerce voters even with votes as private information.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Good idea!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

added and corporations

[-] 2 points by uslynx81 (203) 3 years ago

This is an issue that we should get behind.

[-] 2 points by BenjaminFranklin (45) from Honey Brook, PA 3 years ago

Yes. This would be a lasting monument to OWS and one of the most important things that needs done in the US today

[-] 2 points by SolveEtCoagula (97) 3 years ago

There MUSTTTTTT be some provisions to prevent congressmen from entering into an industry after they are in office that they just benefited....this happens all the time in the defense industry, for instance....might be difficult to craft the words

This should also apply to spouses and immediate family (also, we cant have supreme court judges ruling on cases where their spouses can benefit, as is happening now)

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Totally agree.

[-] 2 points by ThePoliticalZealot (4) 3 years ago

Enact an online voting system for national elections. By allowing the people to more easily vote in national elections, the voice of the 99% will drown out big money, corporations, unions, and lobbyists!

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Not sure if that is specifically called out one way or the other in the current Constitution. Any scholars listening out there? Could this be done via federal legislation right now, or does it need to be part of a Constitutional Amendment?

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

a direct voting system

we can't all be bribed

[-] 2 points by ClayK (9) from Gilbert, AZ 3 years ago

Make our votes actually count by doing away with state representatives. We have the technology to make each legal citizens vote count and the state representatives was a solution that we no longer need. That way we know each one of our votes counts and don't have to "assume" that a group of people are voting right, or haven't been lobbied (form of bribery)

[-] 2 points by ClayK (9) from Gilbert, AZ 3 years ago

Reduce the pay of all high level government officials to something a middle class citizen makes such as a teacher or a framer. We would see a lot of people jumping ship but that makes room for people that don't care about the money and more about the overall good of the country.

And make it so their pay check is dependant on the average of Americas pay checks. If we are doing well then they do well which gives a further incentive to do what is right for the country and not just themselves

[-] 2 points by hardworkingamerican (6) from Tucson, AZ 3 years ago

Update freedom of speech in reference to how technology has changed our society. When the constitution was written there was no such thing as TV, and candidates did not buy air time. Now that the most effective means of communication has a large cost attached to it there needs to be an addition to freedom of speech that makes it truly free (no cost).

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

It's only expensive if you have to buy the public airwaves back from private interests at market rates. The fact of the matter, however, is that the people own the airwaves, and the greater good requires that these means of communication be made available -- equally -- to all qualified candidates running for public office during election season.

We wouldn't expect to pay CBS or NBC to broadcast on their frequencies during a time of national emergency, so why should we expect to have to do so in order to avoid the clear and present danger of oligarchic control of our public, democratic dialog -- the sacred dialog that guarantees our mutual liberty and equality? Do the rights to profit of the shareholders at these private companies really outweigh the rights of each of us to ensure the healthy functioning of our democratic government??

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

YES!-Update defined = public criteria for empowerment of speech on a national level for the purpose of assuring that information vital to survival and defense of the constitution be shared and understood.-----

Yes, big job, but in reality, nothing else will suffice. Article V can get this done very well. What is good, is that it does not have to happen all at once. Immediately after America gets good information, education, it can start voting in state ratifications of proposed amendments. A securing voting rights, election reform should be next after malfeasing media is removed from the info equation. Some of ----- http://occupywallst.org/forum/poll-what-do-you-want-in-a-money-out-of-politics-a/#comment-122969 pityu's points are good. Once difficult truths are out, media will slowly start addressing them. They will NEVER bring out the truth.

Once America gets the truth, it can democratically control the republic through amendment to upgrade the entire underlying system of federal government. Congress will have to step aside for a time.----

Congress is very afraid of an Article V.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution "Congress acted preemptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention."

Our first right in our contract is Article V, the right to have congress convene delgates when 2/3 of the states have applied for an amendatory convention.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

[-] 1 points by frontierteg (137) from Kalamazoo Township, MI 2 years ago

All recognized political organizations shall be funded solely by citizens of the United States. No organization, excepting recognized political organizations, shall participate in the political process of the United States.

Once the amendment is in the constitution, laws can be written around it to define the fines, penalties and what the activities non political organizations cannot participate in, how lobbyists fit in, etc... Then regulations can implement the laws. For now, keep the amendment brief and to the point.

[-] 1 points by SciFi1701 (9) 2 years ago

GetMoneyOut.com is already drawing up amendments to ban or limit campaign contributions. You might coordinate with them.

For day-to-day politics we should outlaw "contributions" to public servants beyond their normal pay. Contributions would need defined as any money, kick-backs, lobbying, free transportation, lodging & meals, etc.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

We're aware of their work, and they have posted extensively here below. The problem I see with their amendments is that they like the idea of leaving private money in the system. For some reason, they can't imagine the system functioning well without it. And though they say that money shouldn't be considered speech, I personally just don't think that their actions demonstrate that they believe it.

Pull all the money out of the system, and we'll be left with the speech that we desperately need. Leave any private money in the system and it will work to undermine that speech and replace it with puppet strings.

[-] 1 points by CorporationNotPerson (129) 2 years ago

End corporate person-hood. Support the Human Worth Amendment! Learn more at: http://occupywallst.org/forum/human-worth-amendment/

[-] 1 points by cwags69710 (1) 2 years ago

Set up a "party financed fund" based on taxes that come out of the pay of current sitting elected officials. That fund can the finance their own candidates.

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

I am trying to use existing means to get our point across.

http://wh.gov/2zR

It is a petition using the we the people white house site.

[-] 1 points by marco01 (6) 3 years ago

The influence of money has thoroughly corrupted our system, our politicians heed the $$$, not the voice and vote of the people.

Candidates must raise a relatively small but appropriate and set amount of cash from small individual donations with these funds going towards campaigns and the set balance of campaign costs being paid from the public trust. The winner of the nomination runs against the incumbent in the election which is fully publically funded - no private funds allowed.

[-] 1 points by nawi (24) 3 years ago

This should be in there:

The word "People" refers ONLY to living, breathing human beings.

[-] 1 points by Cedar (4) 3 years ago

It works in Canada -- so why not elsewhere?

[-] 1 points by jameswestonmusic (222) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

Any party gets the same amount of public money. Consider it in the GRANT category. Any American can run for office, but there is a limit to how many campaigns you can be qualified for. Say 2- 3 tops. That way, politics is no longer a career and more like a service. Also, no pensions when completed with Duty.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 3 years ago

No money period.,free media and equll time to all party no mater how small the party is

[-] 1 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

and

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/forgive-student-loan-debt-stimulate-economy-and-usher-new-era-innovation-entrepreneurship-and/jHfPW9c9

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

1) Prohibit private contributions to any public campaign/election.
2) Candidates must EARN airtime and campaign funds for each level of the electoral process by demonstrating the popularity of their platform/ideas among the public though signatures (probably only the initial step) and/or polls. Certain polling/signature benchmarks would be set and only candidates who reached these benchmarks would receive the public airtime and funding.

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

No campaigns for any federal office, nor any candidate for any federal office may accept any donation or gift from any source other than the Federal Elections Commission.

No candidate may use their own funds toward their election campaign.

The Federal Elections Commission will establish a standard amount for each office to be elected. This amount will be equal for challenger and opponent in each race.

Any funds not used in the election cycle will be returned to the FEC.

[-] 1 points by farrhc (6) 3 years ago

Before you can do any of this a Constitutional Amendment is required to remove two critical issues from interpretation by the courts. “Money equals free speech" and "legal constructs such as corporations are individuals." These were established by the Federal Courts and upheld by the Supreme Court. They are the root cause of the coruption caused by campaign funding. A Constitutional Amendment is required to clearly and unequivocally refute these misguided interpretations of our constitution. Make every candidate who wants the vote of the 99% pledge to support the amendment.

[-] 1 points by farrhc (6) 3 years ago

Before you can do any of this a Constitutional Amendment is required to remove two critical issues from interpretation by the courts. “Money equals free speech" and "legal constructs such as corporations are individuals." These were established by the Federal Courts and upheld by the Supreme Court. They are the root cause of the coruption caused by campaign funding. A Constitutional Amendment is required to clearly and unequivocally refute these misguided interpretations of our constitution. Make every candidate who wants the vote of the 99% pledge to support the amendment.

[-] 1 points by Chromer (124) 3 years ago

I want the money completely out of politics. I want it to be a criminal offense to accept any money from any corporation. A criminal offense for both the politician and the corporation and their dummy organizations. Karl Rove is retired and band from any future political affiliation for the remainder of his life. He can vote. That's it.

Every election is to be publicly financed. Lobbyists are allowed to lobby for their case, but under no circumstances will they be allowed to give any form of compensation to a politician. And if they do, it will be dealt with harshly. If a politician is found guilty of accepting any form of money, he is excused from office immediately with no chance of receiving a pension.

If a politician knowingly misleads, lies about "facts" surrounding important issues affecting the general public and it is proven that he knowingly and "purposely" lied to mislead the general public about an issue, then he should be excused from office as well. And depending on the circumstances could face criminal charges.

[-] 1 points by BHicks4ever (180) 3 years ago

I want what it says. Money out of politics.

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

Public finanaced elections with spending limits. No corporate funds.

[-] 1 points by RaySquirrel (4) 3 years ago

Harvard proffessor of Law, Lawrence Lessig, has been working on this issue for some time now. It is the subject of his recent book "Republic, Lost". And he is very good wit a power point presentation everyone should check out the link below.

As the Occupy Wall Street protests were just breaking out he organized a conference at Harvard calling for a constitutional convention. He has suggested what he calls a "Franklin/Roosevelt" campaign finance system, whereby every citizen is granted a $50 "democracy voucher", from the US Treasury, to spend on any candidate they prefer.

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

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

The direction Dr. Lessig has chosen in solving the overall problem is not the right one, in my opinion. Leaving any private funds in our political system is the equivalent of leaving corruption in the system, in my view. While I respect Dr. Lessig's legal & political experience, his great scholarship and his outspoken history on this subject, I just can't endorse leaving any private money in the system. There's no need for it, and the risk of corruption is simply too high. His comment to me at one of his speaking engagements that the private money was needed to give individuals the feeling of having "some skin in the game" just never made sense to me. The OWS protestors know that they have skin in the game, and they didn't need to pay anyone in order to feel it.

I propose the following radical idea instead of his "democracy vouchers": democratic votes. Every qualified candidate should be heard equally at all stages of the election process at every level of government (not just federal). In the primaries, candidates would have access only to limited resources to post their ideas in one or more central locations (like a central campaign website, government buildings and/or public squares, dedicated newspaper space, and maybe transportation to/from one or more debates or town-hall forums (and not showing up for debates should be the equivalent of not showing up for work - the public has an urgent need to hear from each individual in order to guarantee that they are properly informed before voting). In the secondaries, if applicable, the remaining candidates would perhaps have access to equal radio airtime in addition to the above. In the general election, remaining candidates could have access to equal government cars to take them wherever they'd like to go, equal lodging, equal meals while traveling, plus more debates, radio and possibly equal TV, if appropriate. We, the people, pay for everything. That way, the only differences presented between the candidates are their ideas. The people, acting from their own self-interest, with access to good information on the candidates' differences, would then vote, democratically, for the candidate that they felt best represented their point of view, and the only voices cut out of the process would be those not succeeding in the voting booths. NO to vouchers, YES to informed votes and institutional equality throughout the entire process.

[-] 1 points by randallburns (211) from Washougal, WA 3 years ago

100% public financing of campaigns allocated by a pool of voters selected at random from voter roles. Candidates deal with a cross section of voters to run their campaigns-and those voters can demand real access or remain anonymous-their choice.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I don't like the idea of potentially unequal allocation of resources between candidates for the same office. We could suggest that randomly-selected, rotating groups, kind of like juries, decide which resources to make available to candidates in the primary elections vs secondary or tertiary vs general elections, maybe...

[-] 1 points by randallburns (211) from Washougal, WA 3 years ago

The only time equal allocation might make sense is in the final election. Primary candidates are often of wildly different potential of electability. If you simply allocate resources equally to anyone that wants to run in a primary, you open all kinds of potential for gaming and graft. For example a well known candidate could just get a bunch of folks to run against an opponent and water down the funds available.

My approach gives real upstarts a chance-and give a real cross section of voters real chances for face to face access just like the 1% get now.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I say that we should withhold the more expensive communications access for those who have qualified in the primary or secondary elections. If each primary candidate gets equal space on a central website, equal space in dedicated newspaper forums, equal time in mandatory public town hall debates, and other similarly inexpensive methods of communication, then everyone can voice and hear all the ideas during the primary -- even the nutty ones -- and voice and hear them equally. Candidates in later election stages could be given again equal access to greater pots of equal resources until a winner is chosen, fairly, on the strength of their ideas alone.

The soul of the problem we're talking about, in my opinion, is inequality. The fix has to be some form of instituting real equality. Today, I acknowledge that the idea of all private money out of politics may sound radical to some, but I submit that we have been conditioned to believe so. In fact, equality is not at all radical -- it's the only reasonable thing, and everything else leads to one or more class divides in the political strucures. This isn't about a person's social or financial standing. This is about their right to be heard equally by their government, along with every other American citizen.

[-] 1 points by randallburns (211) from Washougal, WA 3 years ago

There is still a lot private money in primary elections. The question is do we want equality of access-and funding- among voters-or to fund candidates irrespective of how much support they have.

The "equal space" idea works fine VERY early in a campaign cycle-but even gettting to town halls and such can involve money in many races. Lots of local races can involve $10-20K in financing-which is more loose change than most folks have.

Under my system: the litmus test is can the candidate appeal to a cross section of voters each of whom have an equal amount of money to disburse. Sure, some voters will think more strategically than others-but we'll be able to track all money past that point in a campaign pretty easily.

The big loose cannon would be soft money-money devoted to issues, not candidates.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

To me, allowing greater resources to the ideas of one candidate over another is a decision that should not be made anywhere other than in the polling booth. All these antiquated ways of looking at campaigns are just that: antiquated. And they play into the hands of those with deep pockets, even if only by creating the impression that more resources in one person's hands than in another's during an election is a reasonable, normal and appropriate thing. I disagree strongly: it should become illegal, and violators should be disqualified from the election, at minimum.

I also hear a lot of arguments that campaigns are necessarily pretty expensive, so we have to make sure that candidates have access to a lot of money in a publicly-financed system. I disagree completely with this entire line of reasoning. How much money does it take to hold a debate on the public airways and on the internet? It should be totally free to the candidate, I expect, and minimally expensive to the people. How much does it cost to provide free transportation to candidates within a particular district in equal, government-funded vehicles, or food and lodging while they are traveling? How much does it cost to provide candidates with equal space in newspapers and on a central campaign website? The people can easily pay for these simple things via our tax dollars. The actual resources needed for the people to examine the candidates or proposals and then make a decision are really quite inexpensive. Hiding the facts, issues and puppet strings behind a lot of fancy razzle-dazzle, by contrast, quickly becomes exorbitant.

I mean, look at what we're doing right here. This kind of information exchange doesn't cost that much, right? We're exchanging information and deciding our positions on issues that affect us right now. How much did any of us pay to get access to the information that others are posting here? How much did we pay to provide our take on the issues to one another? Why should information exchange during a political campaign be any different?

Long story short, what I'm craving is a free marketplace of ideas, and unimpeded access to the information I need in order to make informed decisions. Unequal money means to me that I ain't gonna get either one, and I find that concept really frustrating. We give away our rights to hear all the ideas equally and decide for ourselves which we like best, hand them over to one or more small groups that are going to make decisions for us and dole out money as they see fit, and when all we get in return is oligarchy, we take to the streets, only to demand change that isn't change??

Unequal resources is the hallmark of the old system. Leave it behind, I say: it has failed us completely.

[-] 1 points by randallburns (211) from Washougal, WA 3 years ago

Leaving established interests in place is also a hallmark of the old system. The problem with handling this via the voting both:

Often times we will be voting for candidates we have no access to-and just don't know very well. If we allocated funds via a cross section of the voters, each of whom had autonomy over a block of funds, then we'd have ordinary folks with real access to candidates. They could meet with them face to face-and really look them in the eye.

There is only so much you can tell about someone from a web page or youtube video. A candidate can provide real access to only a limited number of people. Ultimately those people should for the collection of candidates be representative of the general public.

If you take 20 people from random from the voter roles, they aren't going to be that different the public at large-but the difference is they'll have the time and resources to make a thoughtful decision and they will know their voice will count for a lot.

This is an example were this was tried: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Assembly_on_Electoral_Reform_(British_Columbia)

In this case, I'd just give each personal serving this duty a specific amount of funds to allocate among candiates.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I think that both unequal resources and established interests are anathema to a true democratic process. I strongly disagree with the premise of your second paragraph. It imagines just the system we have today, which is about advertising, not information. I imagine a system, devoid of all those advertising dollars, that does provide the information needed for the voters to make informed choices. Today's system doesn't want us informed, that's why we "need" parties and other groups to make most of our decisions for us. Tomorrow's system should provide a stream of uncluttered information to the public so that we can have real democracy. I don't want anyone making decisions for me any more!! This is the information age, right?? Give me the information, and let me decide for myself!!

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Interesting stuff, and I like several of your other posts. One concern: is there a way for individuals to vote on the concepts being delineated?

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 3 years ago

Working on that; what you see there is essentially a draft of what we want to do. We want to clean it up, get it organized a bit better, and tighten up the language before we presented it to OWS as a whole. Given the pace at which this movement is going, we'll try to have some sort of v2.0 out for the GA to look at and vote on provision by provision as soon as we can. In the meantime, would it be possible for you to either comment here or PM me on how you'd vote on each of the current provisions and why, so that we can get some early feedback?

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 3 years ago

1 -- >> End corporate personage. Ban corporate contributions in politics and institute complete transparency for individual contributions.

IN ADDITION:

In Congress, ban the filibuster and secret voting - institute complete transparency.

For large banks and investment firms, remove all traditional banking out of Wall Street and if the FDIC doesn't have the ability to handle a complete take over in the event of a failure (insolvency) then the bank or firm should be broken up before hand in an orderly fashion.

DISMANTLE the Media Empires and limit the size and reach that any single media conglomerate is allowed to have.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

If we take all the private money out of the system, then none of the persons in this country, not even stupidly-legalistic "corporate persons" will be able to buy our government. We need to stand up and say to ourselves and the world that our government is not for sale, period. Down with private funds in elections, and up with democracy!

Elections are a public good, just like an army or a navy. Do we think that the US Army should be even a little bit sponsored by any person or corporation in this country, or do we think that the country should provide that as a unified whole? And do we think that elections that decide what the army does should be handled any differently?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

I have a team of volunteers that campaign for me

I pay them under the table

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Good point. Perhaps you'd like to propose a line for our draft amendment that provides for violators to face a penalty of some kind -- what do you think it should be?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

I'd rather have a system where I would be writing as few penalties as possible

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

So? Propose what you'd like to propose?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

that people use their names when they vote

that voting system be made transparent by making all that information public

that the actions of the government be made comprehensible and transparent

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Excellent ideas. I suggest that you post this in a reply to the original post so that others can vote it up or down with the rest of the mini-proposals. I'll vote for it.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

was that vote without a name

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

yep, but I also posted to the reply to express my agreement by name. :-)

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

done but people are afraid to vote publicly

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

not me, just voted :-)

[-] 1 points by OAAAO (16) from Santa Ana, CA 3 years ago

We should eliminate representational government in it's current form, which is pre-information age. We don't need congressmen anymore, everyone can vote on every issue. Then you could set it up so that if you miss a vote it defaults to someone of your choosing, and you would have the option to change who that is whenever you want.

Under this system we could have an occupy wall street candidate who gets our votes if we don't use them.

That my friends is a great idea!

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Interesting, but this is more than an amendment, it's really a re-writing of the entire Constitution - there's like a whole Article dedicated to describing Congress and it's role in the tripartite checks & balances system we have now.

Maybe you'd like to suggest that decisions on whether or not to declare war or some other big issue should be handled by referendum instead? That would be the kind of incremental change appropriate to an amendment, my 2 cents...

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Every citizen of voting age participating in any election is guaranteed an equal, counted vote. No results may be made public or certified until all votes cast have been counted.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Open voting rights in each and every election to all qualified voters in any given electoral district, regardless of party affiliation. (So, no more party restrictions in primaries.)

[-] 1 points by pityu (6) 3 years ago

Here is one suggestion for a demand that could go a long way in cutting corporate political influence:

Demand:

All persons, natural or corporate citizens of voting age should have the right for one political voice, but no person, natural or legal, should exercise excessive spending to unduly influence political or legal decisions!

Specifics of proposal:

Only a natural person with voting right, a citizen, should hold political office. All persons, natural or legal (such as a citizen or a corporation) of age 18 years or older should have equal vote in political affairs.

No natural or legal person with voting right should be limited in its political speech, and in its right to vote, but all natural or legal persons should be limited in their financial contribution to holders or candidates of elected political or legal or law enforcement office.

Specifically:

Each politically active natural person, each citizen with voting rights, should personally represent his or her political interests without financial contribution to others or otherwise should be limited to make financial contributions to holders or candidates of elected political or legal law enforcement office or interest groups supporting holders or candidates of political or legal law enforcement office no more than 10% of the citizenry’s average yearly income. Any contribution beyond that should be made public and be taxed at the 500% rate and such taxes be payed by the individual into funds designated to alleviate outstanding public debt.

Each non-natural legal person with voting right should be required to designate a single natural person as its sole political representative for the representation of its political interests and any such political representative can contribute on its clients’ behalf no more than 10% of the citizenry’s average yearly income to holders or candidates of elected political or legal office or interest groups supporting holders or candidates of political or legal office. Any contribution beyond that should be made public and be taxed at the 500% rate and the tax be payed by the designated individual political representative into funds designated to alleviate outstanding public debt.

Any holders or candidates for elected political or legal or law enforcement office, or any legal persons declared as political interest groups supporting holders or candidates for elected political or legal or law enforcement office, could receive tax free unlimited fully disclosed monetary contributions observing the requirements above. Non-disclosed contributions should be returned to the donor. Violation of these rules should constitute the violation of public interest, should constitute a felony, resulting in criminal procedures against the natural person at fault or dissolution of the legal person at fault, and any funds given in violations of these requirements should be taxed at the 500% rate and the tax be payed by the person or its political representative into funds designated to alleviate outstanding public debt.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Hey, I agree with some of your ideas, but there's too much going on in this one post. Can you repost some of the single-sentence ideas near the top as new replies to the original thread? Bite-sizes are much preferred. That way, this forum can act like a menu, allowing participants to upvote the specific ideas they agree with and downvote the ones they disagree with.

[-] 1 points by pityu (6) 3 years ago

The post above is coherent material, cutting and re-posting bits and pieces of it would cloud the idea. The idea being that except for holding a political office, citizens and corporate entities should be treated as equal political actors, having the same rights and limitations in exerting political influence as opposed to the de facto legal environment in which corporate entities can garner unlimited influence using their financial resources. This would dramatically reduce their direct political influence and level the playing field.

Such an idea is clear, harder to attack politically then the "corporations are evil, should be banned" type of rethoric, and more acceptable at the constitutional amendment level, I would argue.

Please repost it if you would like to see at the top again but I would not cut it up to pieces.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Sure, I agree with you. The original intention of the post was to attempt to crowd-source an OWS Constitutional Amendment by voting up or down individual ideas. This was the only reason I suggested breaking out some of the points. It is possible, for instance for a person to agree with your suggestion of a 500% penalty, but not with your call for "or otherwise should be limited to make financial contributions to holders or candidates of elected political or legal law enforcement office or interest groups supporting holders or candidates of political or legal law enforcement office no more than 10% of the citizenry’s average yearly income." The idea was to let the people vote up or down on these and other individual concepts. Maybe the top 5 or 10 concepts could then form the basis of a second discussion about actual amendment language.

Anyhow, this forum post didn't turn out that way, but I still think we may be able to learn a lot about people's ideas from this discussion, and perhaps take a second swipe at a draft crowd-sourced amendment.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 3 years ago

Well, first and foremost, I'd like a check for ten million dollars.

[-] 0 points by tesn1 (212) 3 years ago

There are many misguided efforts, and it seems that the OWS movement has become a platform for just about any concern. A movement needs to focus and be very clear on what it seeks to accomplish.

I have spent nearly 4 years researching and educating myself on the law and rules that make up the basis on how business is financed and how the rules affect business and the individuals who own them and work for them.

First let me say that this problem is not liberal or conservative, democrat or republican but it is a common problem we all share. One key point must be stressed we are all affected by the issue at hand.

Now, let’s look at the laws. If you look at the fall of the exchange in 1929, its cause and the reaction by the government you will find most of the problem. In 1929 only ~10% of all businesses were public and the remainder was private. ~2% of the population were involved in trading stocks and most of the individuals we very heavily leveraged (They bought on credit).

Next the market dropped, individuals lost their ability to pay off their margin accounts and wiped out the capital overnight in the banking system, Couple that with the hysteria of the people running on the banks to get there gold out and you have a recipe for disaster.

For most they were not initially affected by the falls of the exchange in 1929 but when banks failed they felt it. Businesses lost credit to operate, accounts were wiped out and small private business failed. No fault of their own but the fault of the overzealous banks. Individuals found there savings wiped out alongside the private businesses and the world plunged into the abyss.

The reaction to this was FDR. and the 1933 securities act and the 1934 securities and exchange act. What these two pieces of legislation did was strip the ability of the small private business (who did not cause the market collapse) to raise capital in a traditional form, Bonds. Direct investment was for many years the mainstay of the entrepreneur. It put the restrictions on who could invest (Qualified institutional investor) and how the investments could be sold. It stripped the ability of the individual to invest and make the high returns they became accustomed to and placed all of it into the hands of the very few 1%.

Today if you are a business owner there is a glass ceiling of about $3 million dollars where a business could potentially get debt to expand, retool, or modernize. The Wall Street and Banks prefer an Equity offering. How often do small business owners sell the majority share of the company they own under a public offering or private sale (sale to high net worth’s) to raise the capital they need. The horror stories of this arrangement are very clear. They give up control, get voted out of the company and the new share holders shut them down move the product manufacture to China to maximize the return to the High Net Worth investor (new owner).

The laws perpetuate the problem. Now remove the Glass-Steagall Act and it becomes a high net worth orgy.

Focus, access the laws, and fix the system that perpetuates the behavior.

FIX THE LAWS

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

This is being taken up in the 99% declaration, I believe, which is linked at the top of the thread. This specific forum is for discussion on an electoral reform Constitutional Amendment. Please offer any comments you may have on that subject here, and please do post these Glass-Steagall comments to one of the other forums, or create your own poll on that question so that the people in this forum can voice their views on the subject. Just doesn't fit right here, but I do like what you're saying.

[-] 0 points by Architect (5) 3 years ago
  1. Invest in Every American: $500,000 real estate, this would actually create a shortage of homes and demand for construction again which would create jobs, no loans, no credit , no banks. #2. $380,000 investment to each American to start a small business with the guidance of professionals or for investment’s guided by advisors. #3.20 years pre paid health insurance which equates to roughly $500 a month. Total for this absolute way to fix our economy and create jobs would only cost $310 million(our population $1 million invested into each person)pennies considering corporate bail out’s and stimulus. 158 Billion from Bush right before he left office-787 billion in the Stimulus from Obama and another purposed 400 billion for the Jobs bill. The people do not see any of the$ benefits because corruption intervenes and organizations, companies, utility, oil, fake training, non profit and corporations grabbed the money before it reached the American public. That would save our government more than 360 billion , and if we would have acted on this before the stimulus and Bush bail outs were put into place we would have saved over a trillion dollars. The 3 top solutions listed above need to get out to all the protester's with clear language and understanding of what has already been spent. what is purposed to be spent, and how this solution is simple and very inexpensive where every American will benefit. Please, Please ,Please get this out to Protester's everywhere. There is no clear cut demand/solution which is a sure fix coming across to politicians/media only anger towards banks...We need to overcome that and have these solutions to negotiate, overcome and fix America!!
[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I like some of these ideas, but they are not relevant to what we're working on in this discussion. Maybe consider posting them in a new forum post? Also if you have ideas on the Election Reform Amendment, we'd love to hear them here, and feel free to vote on the concepts under discussion.

Also, keep the 99% Declaration Working Group in mind for your comments above: https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/please-join-this-working-group-and-let-your-voice-be-heard)

[-] 0 points by BenjaminFranklin (45) from Honey Brook, PA 3 years ago
[-] 0 points by MichaelMoosman (48) from Murray, UT 3 years ago

Based on survey results, 90% of OWS supporters, want laws to prohibit contributions to political candidates.

These poll results, along with others, can be found after taking the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JWPJM3N

[-] 0 points by MichaelMoosman (48) from Murray, UT 3 years ago

Here are some things we can agree on based on survey results

Of supporters 80% strongly support laws to prohibit contributions to political candidates 76% strongly support laws to increasing the corporate tax rates 69% strongly support ending the Bush era tax cuts 96% strongly support eliminating corporate tax loopholes 60% strongly support the federal government breaking up large corporations 60% strongly oppose the bailouts of the banking industry 64% strongly support more corporate regulations 87% strongly support smarter corporate regulations 67% strongly support increasing the minimum wage

I only listed items that the supports "strongly" support. There are other stats I didn't include that can be found after taking the survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JWPJM3N

[-] 0 points by Tamber (3) 3 years ago

Why not have the general meeting work on language for a constitutional ammendment or a law for congress which would overturn Citizen's United.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Yes, I agree. I think that this may come up in the 99% Declaration Working Group discussions (link posted at bottom of original poll post above). I signed up to participate in that group via email earlier today, but haven't heard anything back just yet. Take a look there, and by all means volunteer. In the meantime, I think we can get a jump on discussing out the individual components of a draft amendment right here. Not a finish, just a good start. :-)

The concern about a federal law to overturn the Citizens United decision is that it would probably be challenged up before the 9 justices who gave us that ruling in the first place. I think we need to settle this constitutionally, once and for all time.

[-] 0 points by Salman (0) 3 years ago

a interest free country, a interest free economy.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Good input, but how is it related to the specific question of getting money out of politics we're focusing on in this section? Please explain more?

[-] 0 points by jeivers (278) 3 years ago
  1. End corporate personage and ban corporate contributions in politics.
  2. Breakup any firm that is “too large” for the FDIC to take over in case of insolvency.
  3. Reinstitute the Glass–Steagall Act and completely separate investment banking (securities) and commercial banking (deposits).
[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Why not ban all private money in politics? Would we really achieve our aims if corporations were forbidden from buying seats in our governmental institutions but the individual owners of those corporations could still do so?

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 3 years ago

The individual is a person corporations are not lets start with corporations and move on from there once we win that fight!

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Nah, let's fix this thing right the first time instead. If you don't think it's a good idea to have individual citizens treated 100% equally by the political system regardless of financial means, or if you don't think that pure public funding of elections can achieve that goal, then by all means tell us why you think so.

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 3 years ago

All for public funding and free television time - I mean we own the airwaves not corporations. I just think as far as a complete ban on money in politics it's constitutionally plausible to end "Corporate Personage" and corporate money in politics than to ban all private money.

Plus it is the Wall Street Financial Corporate Criminal Class that I am most angry at -- > I want to start where the blame lies!!!

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I think the blame lies with we, the people, for not demanding free and fair elections long before now. We can get the corporations dealt with, but the overarching issue is electoral process equality - both for the candidates as well as for the voters. Amending the Constitution changes the rules, so whatever they were before Amendment 28, they would be forever different after.

[-] 0 points by zaylyn (3) 3 years ago

You can sign a petition for a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform at:

http://www.getmoneyout.com/

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Yes, many of us have seen the amendment proposed by a Washington DC lobbyist and a Harvard Law professor. With due respect to both parties, and also to you, we'd like to draft our own amendment language, right here, by popular vote on the individual concepts.

If other forum participants haven't seen the suggested language over there yet, then by all means, do go take a look. Speaking strictly from my personal point of view, both of those cats have been living inside the current system way too long. Limiting the scope of an amendment to federal offices only and leaving statehouses and governors mansions for sale?? Putting an actual dollar amount into the Constitution for the first time, even though specific financial amounts don't belong there because it's a place for ideas and broad principles?? Deciding what to ask in the way of redress of grievances in our governing document based upon what corporate-sponsored polling in the past has indicated?? No way to all the above, I say.

Suggest that you invite them to come here and vote their ideas in bite-sized pieces so that all the people can vote on the specific ideas that they support and we can get a crowd-sourced amendment that truly reflects the spirit of the new movement. Things are changing!! That all said, suggestions of all kinds, including on how to arrange the voting system better, are very, very welcome.

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

Just bumping this thread back up.

[-] 0 points by zaylyn (3) 3 years ago

You can sign at petition for a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform at: http://www.getmoneyout.com/

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

If other forum participants haven't seen the suggested language over there yet, then by all means, do go take a look. Speaking strictly from my personal point of view, both of those cats have been living inside the current system way too long. Limiting the scope of an amendment to federal offices only and leaving statehouses and governors mansions for sale?? Putting an actual dollar amount into the Constitution for the first time, even though specific financial amounts don't belong there because it's a place for ideas and broad principles?? Deciding what to ask in the way of redress of grievances in our governing document based upon what corporate-sponsored polling in the past has indicated?? No way to all the above, I say.

[-] 0 points by zaylyn (3) 3 years ago

You can sign at petition for a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform at: http://www.getmoneyout.com/

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

If other forum participants haven't seen the suggested language over there yet, then by all means, do go take a look. Speaking strictly from my personal point of view, both of those cats have been living inside the current system way too long. Limiting the scope of an amendment to federal offices only and leaving statehouses and governors mansions for sale?? Putting an actual dollar amount into the Constitution for the first time, even though specific financial amounts don't belong there because it's a place for ideas and broad principles?? Deciding what to ask in the way of redress of grievances in our governing document based upon what corporate-sponsored polling in the past has indicated?? No way to all the above, I say.

[-] 0 points by zaylyn (3) 3 years ago

You can sign a petition for the constitutional amendment below at:

http://www.getmoneyout.com/

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

If other forum participants haven't seen the suggested language over there yet, then by all means, do go take a look. Speaking strictly from my personal point of view, both of those cats have been living inside the current system way too long. Limiting the scope of an amendment to federal offices only and leaving statehouses and governors mansions for sale?? Putting an actual dollar amount into the Constitution for the first time, even though specific financial amounts don't belong there because it's a place for ideas and broad principles?? Deciding what to ask in the way of redress of grievances in our governing document based upon what corporate-sponsored polling in the past has indicated?? No way to all the above, I say.

[-] 0 points by zaylyn (3) 3 years ago

You can sign a petition for the constitutional amendment below at:

http://www.getmoneyout.com/

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Yes, many of us have seen the amendment proposed by a Washington DC lobbyist and a Harvard Law professor. With due respect to both parties, and also to you, we'd like to draft our own amendment language, right here, by popular vote on the individual concepts.

If other forum participants haven't seen the suggested language over there yet, then by all means, do go take a look. Speaking strictly from my personal point of view, both of those cats have been living inside the current system way too long. Limiting the scope of an amendment to federal offices only and leaving statehouses and governors mansions for sale?? Putting an actual dollar amount into the Constitution for the first time, even though specific financial amounts don't belong there because it's a place for ideas and broad principles?? Deciding what to ask in the way of redress of grievances in our governing document based upon what corporate-sponsored polling in the past has indicated?? No way to all the above, I say.

Suggest that you invite them to come here and vote their ideas in bite-sized pieces so that all the people can vote on the specific ideas that they support and we can get a crowd-sourced amendment that truly reflects the spirit of the new movement. Things are changing!! That all said, suggestions of all kinds, including on how to arrange the voting system better, are very, very welcome.

[-] 0 points by OneNativeSon (8) 3 years ago

Public financing sounds nice but will just become another way to let funding get out of control. When the "costs" rise the public will have to foot the bill. Remember how many thousands of candidates there are.

Private Donations are the way to go.. @ $1 dollar per person/per candidtate/ per year. Any homeless living in their cars or worse can then have a "scotus voice" and stake just as loud and valid as Bill Gates's, either Koch brother, or George Soros's. Every banker way up there has the same voice and stake as each protester on the street. Absolutely no-ones "scotus voice" could ever again become louder than anyone else's.

Politics is central to our nation so... any person seeking to circumvent donation limit faces mandatory prison time in standard population facilities. felony. any politician seeking to circumvent limitation faces mandatory prison time in standard population facilities. felony. Lobbying would be fine... as long as lobbyists operate under the same rules... 1 single and sole dollar per each lobbyist per each politician per each year - with any meal, drink, gift, etc considered by fair market value as a donation. Dollar value menu...? Meet "inside the beltway". "Inside the beltway"...? Meet the dollar value menu.

Yea.. fat chance. I know.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

It only costs billions to run elections because we're treating them like advertising campaigns for consumer products. If instead we treat them as a sacred public trust, the purpose of which is to disseminate information to, and receive instructions from, the electorate using public facilities that we, the people, already own, the costs will drop quite dramatically. And the representation of 100% of the people will rise just as dramatically.

If private money in politics is the problem, then removing the private money is the solution. To my knowledge, putting a dollar amount in the Constitution has never been done before, and I don't think it should be done: the Constitution is for broad principles and general direction.

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

There's no wording at all regarding the dollar amounds of donations in the Constitution. Private money is not necessarily the problem. The growth industry wrapped around it is. By severely limiting the funding available the industry dies. The scotus ruled that dollars equal free speech. I find that repugnant. By this reasoning a multibillionaire has the voice to overpower many many many average citizens. There's no way an average citizens "voice" can compete. However.. IF each person can contribute no more than the next then they both have exactly equal political voices. Public financing will NOT reduce costs in the long run. Any organism given free access to sustenance grows and multiplies and only stops when that sustenance is gone. There are other intrinsic issues to. Who shall we fund with public funds, anyone? Only those from established parties? Serious candidate or insane; should they both be given the same matching funds? With individual donations all those choices are moot. Each person can give to each candidate - whatever level of seriousness, lunacy, party, independence, etc - whom he/she feels most deserves their support.

[-] 2 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

"However.. IF each person can contribute no more than the next then they both have exactly equal political voices."

This is the BIG IF that has caused all the trouble. Someone will always have less money than someone else, and others will always have more than someone else. But why should how much money a person has in their pocket have anything to do with how the political system treats them?? Money should never be relevant in whether we achieve political equality if we want our democracy to be ruled by 100% of the people. 100% of the people have a mind with thoughts to express. 100% of the people pay taxes (or they damn well should). BUT LESS THAN 100% of the people would choose to voluntarily support one or more political candidates, or the electoral system generally, especially if they are struggling to survive. The only way to ensure that 100% of the ideas are heard is to make the standard for hearing them devoid of any financial measure at all -- anything less injects inequality into the political system, which is what this movement is about, at least in part.

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

Okay.. getting money out of politics is one thing... public financing is another. You don't need financing if money isn't involved. Public financing costs money.

One dollar per person/per candidate/ per cycle is completely doable for even the poorest of persons in this country. If they think James has a great platform for the indigent a dollar can sure be gotten to. If no one running kicks your motor over then you don't have to support them with a single thin dime.

I don't want to support some flat earth regressives just because "100% of the ideas should be heard" and my tax dollars support him/her. If fairness without sense is a goal then my support drops. I want my dollar to go to someone who believes in science not a candidate that wants to put creationism in biology class. I want my dollar to go to the candidate that supports a woman's choice... not to the one who wants women and doctors jailed for not following his religious dictates.

A public finance system... ESPECIALLY one that intends a "every idea is valid, every candidate needs be heard" paradigm will force every single citizen to support people, ideas, and platforms that they patently do not want to support.

You are an OWS protester? Do you want to support further deregulation of Wall Street? Does that CEO looking down at you right now want to support more regulation? No. Money is not the problem... the disparite effect of unlimited donations IS the problem. When that banker and you have an equal one dollar loud voice.. neither one has to support the other's cause and no-one but the most popular opinion or platform will get the most money. It's very much a democratic form of campaign financing in and of itself. We each get one vote per candidate... we each can give $1 per candidate.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

A dollar per person may or may not be doable. And it may or may not happen, person by person. But why is it necessary in order for ideas to be heard? If we accept the premise that money is speech, or that private money must be present in any exchange of public ideas, we are accepting the existing system and all the corruption and inequality it entails.

Plus, a dollar per person sounds like it could be better and more simply covered by mandatory taxes, rather than voluntary contributions to the system or an individual. Maybe we should we stop buying other things collectively, like the army and navy, unless individual citizens are willing to volunteer to contribute a dollar each? I say no: some things, a nation just has to provide collectively in order to function properly. I submit that, in a true democracy, free and fair elections are necessarily one of those things. And when elections are about ideas and not stupid branding/advertising, when they utilize the resources that the public already owns at cost, they'll be way less expensive and much better functioning than they are now.

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

groan

You're the one who want's to make campaign finance a publicly funded enterprise so to ridicule my idea with the false equivalency that an already publicly funded enterprise, military budgets, should then follow the same principle of personal choice I propound is without tangible merit.

It seems your position is that to argue by such means "wins" a conversation.

Pointless argument with someone already totally convinced of their superior position and ultimate correctness is a one way ticket to a long bus-ride nowhere...

Not buying

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

Personal choice happens in the election booth. Corruption happens in the pocketbook.

Explain to me, OneNativeSon, why we should use two different systems for the following goals: equipping and fielding an army, which is an essential public good, and equipping and fielding elections that decide how that army gets used, which is also an essential public good?

For so long, I was brainwashed to believe that money meant speech. It does not mean speech, and never did. Money is money. Speech is speech. I just don't see any reason to allow private money to influence or purchase any of our public goods in any way, unless we want a reign of inequality, which is what necessarily happens in our pocketbooks. Equality, by contrast, happens in the heart, soul and mind, and these are the sources of speech. Speak to that point, and convince me there, and perhaps you will win me and the others listening here to your side.

[-] 0 points by Tobigtofail (4) from Alamosa, CO 3 years ago
  1. Only an American citizen can pay into a political campaign. (not a corporation after all it is "We the people")
  2. Make it political suicide for someone to accept money from any other source. This should be a cultural quality and dot a law.
  3. You can only give 25.00 to a political campaign.
  4. A law that makes any kind of political "action group" that campaigns for or against a candidate illegal.

But in the end if voters are uneducated about government our constitution and the real effects of socialism, communism or militarism they will continue to vote for some of the worst candidates available.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

If money is the root of all evil, I see no reason to leave any amount of private money in the system at all. Why create inequality in the minds of the representatives about who gave them money and who didn't? No candidate or anyone else should be permitted to spend any money on any election at all. We the people need to make available to candidates and their ideas a public means for them to be heard -- and heard equally.

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

i already have an actual running poll that goes to a spreadsheet. the data will be given to the nycga if i get a large enough sample.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&pli=1&formkey=dFlNNHJTRlZwMWs5ZjlhTWN0NlZReHc6MQ#gid=0

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

I think that it would work better if we could see all the ideas in your Google poll and vote on them individually, instead of just submitting them blindly. Can you rig up a Google poll to mirror what we're attempting to do right here?

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

i have said i will. i have a predetermined plan of action to stick to at the moment.

[-] -1 points by 53PercentDude (29) 3 years ago

1. END THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives power to Congress to “coin money and regulate the value thereof.” John F. Kennedy was the last President that attempted to restore this power back to where it belonged. The Federal Reserve is a private bank that is owned by powerful international banking families. The “Federal Reserve” is as “Federal” as is “Federal Express.”

2. END THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX AND THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.

Adopt a Federal value added tax (VAT) OR a flat tax that is fair to all.

A VAT would fairly tax all individuals and corporations based on consumption with unprepared food and medicines being exempted from taxation. Those who can afford to purchase a luxury yacht, a private jet, a mansion with an ocean view and lavish dining at an exquisite restaurant would pay a much higher amount in consumption taxes whereas those who can only afford a picture of a yacht, a round-trip airline ticket to go to visit grandma for Christmas, a studio apartment with a parking lot view and an occasional meal at McDonalds would pay much lower taxes for their consumption. It would take very few federal employees to administer this form of taxation.

A flat tax would tax all individuals and corporations at the same percentage of their income with no deductions and no exemptions, regardless of how the income is derived. A federal tax return, regardless of the amount of income should be no longer than one page and the corresponding regulations should be no longer than 25 to 30 pages.

Both forms of taxation would serve to eliminate lobbyists and corrupt politicians.

3. END ALL WARS AND ALL FOREIGN OCCUPATIONS THAT UTILIZE OUR MILITARY.

Our military should continue to be the best and most well equipped in the world but should be utilized to protect our borders from illegal invaders. Bring the troops home and see how quickly we can begin to reduce our federal debt.

4. IMPOSE SUBSTANTIAL TARRIFFS ON GOODS AND SERVICES THAT ARE PRODUCED BY U.S. CORPORATIONS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

The United States is still the biggest market in the world. U.S. Corporations that have manufacturing operations in China, Mexico, India and other countries so as to exploit lower labor costs should be required to pay high tariffs to sell their products in the United States. I have no doubt that most of those manufacturing jobs would move back to the United States if those high tariffs were to be imposed!

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

I don't know what a U.S. corporation is anymore! If they register in Singapore to avoid paying taxes, are they a U.S. corporation? I would impose a tax to the SELLER of all goods coming into the U.S., from a chip to a car.

[-] 1 points by psconway (106) from Brooklyn, NY 3 years ago

This belongs in the 99% Declaration Working Group discussion. This particular forum is for BITE-SIZED ideas for a Constitutional Amendment on getting money out of politics, please respect what we're trying to do in this discussion, thanks. See the declaration working group page here: https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/please-join-this-working-group-and-let-your-voice-be-heard)