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Forum Post: Step 1: Campaign Finance Reform

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 13, 2011, 5:52 p.m. EST by Fraqtive42 (87) from Herndon, VA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

We need less politicians looking for money, and more looking for the common good of our people. Politicians only have one ideology, and it's the same for nearly all of them: greed. Campaigning should be publicly funded, so the financially disadvantaged can run for office.

Of course, Bernie Sanders' "Saving American Democracy Act" will not get passed until politicians care about something other than money.

How many of you guys agree that campaign finance reform should be one of the first steps?

"The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door." ~ Ralph Nader



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[-] 2 points by LSN45 (535) 10 years ago

I do! You hit it on the head! It is the FIRST STEP upon which all other reforms hinge. Other reforms will not mean much if the same system of bribery by corporations and special are still in place the day after they are are put into law. Do we need to fix the FED? Yes! Do we need better financial regulations? Yes! The list goes on and on! But in order for any of these to be fixed and STAY FIXED we have to end the ability of the rich and powerful to influence our political process or, on day 2, all they will do is create new loop-holes or bring back the same bad policies under different names. Getting the money out, ending corporate person hood, real campaign finance reform - for all intensive purposes are synonyms for ending the ability of corporations and special interests to slant our political process in their favor. We need to end the current system of deck stacking and loaded dice! Spread the word - this needs to be THE main goal of the protests!!!

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

We have to do it

Bernie's may be best but -
We must not
DEMAND that we WANT THEM.to give to US
We must

Because of the Supreme Court's decision,
we cannot accomplish anything significant, without FIRST -
Overturning Citizens United !!!
Ending Corporate Personhood !!!

83% of Americans already agree on it
as stated in the ABC/Washington Post poll


In the the PFAW Poll -

85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today.
77% think Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount corporations can spend on elections.
74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate spending in elections.


Our only immediate goal should be to pass a constitutional amendment to counter Supreme Court decision Citizens United (2010) , that enables unlimited amounts of anonymous money to flood into our political system.
“Corporations and organizations are not a persons &
have no personhood rights”

We don’t have to explain or persuade people to accept our position – we only have to persuade them to ACT based on their own position. Pursuing this goal will prove to the world that we, at OWS, are a serious realistic Movement, with serious realistic goals. Achieving this goal will make virtually every other goal – jobs, taxes, infrastructure, Medicare – much easier to achieve –
by disarming our greatest enemy – GREED.

THE SUCCESS STORY OF THE AMENDING PROCESS The Prohibition movement started as a disjointed effort by conservative teetotalers who thought the consumption of alcohol was immoral. They ransacked saloons and garnered press coverage here and there for a few years. Then they began to gain support from the liberals because many considered alcohol partially responsible for spousal and child abuse, among other social ills. This odd alliance, after many years of failing to influence change consistently across jurisdictions, decided to concentrate on one issue nationally—a constitutional amendment. They pressured all politicians on every level to sign a pledge to support the amendment. Any who did not, they defeated easily at the ballot box since they controlled a huge number of liberal, and conservative and independent swing votes in every election. By being a single-issue constituency attacking from all sides of the political spectrum, they very quickly amassed enough votes (2/3) to pass the amendment in Congress. And, within just 17 months, they were successful in getting ¾ of the state legislatures to ratify the constitutional amendment into law. (Others were ratified even faster: Eight —took less than a year. The 26th, granting 18-year-olds the right to vote, took just three months and eight days.)

If they could tie the left and right into a success -
WHY CAN'T WE ??????????


I feel that we should stay with this simple text to overturn CU:
”corporations are not people”
for four simple reasons and one – not so simple:
83% of Americans have already opposed CU in the ABC/Washington post poll and the above
We don’t have to work to convince people on the validity of our position.
Simple is almost always better.
This simple Amendment is REQUIRED to overturn CU.
And all other electoral reform can be passed through the normal legislative process. 5
OWS and these pages are chock full of ( mostly ) excellent ideas to improve our country.
All of them have strong advocates – and some have strong opposition.
None of them has been “pre-approved” by 83% of Americans !
Pursuing this goal – without additional specifics is exactly what Americans want.
What do we want? Look at that almost endless list of demands – goals - aims.
Tax the rich. End the Fed. Jobs for all, Medicare for all. So easy to state! Can you imagine how hard it would be to formulate a “sales pitch” for any of these to convince your Republican friends to vote for any of them?
83% of Americans have ALREADY “voted” against CU. And 76% of the Rs did too.
All we have to do ask Americans is to pressure their representatives – by letters - emails – petitions.

Wanna take your family on vacation?
Convince the 7 year old and the 10 year old to go to Mt Rushmore.
Then try to convince them to go to Disneyland.
Prioritizing this goal will introduce us to the world – not as a bunch of hippie radical anarchist socialist commie rabblerousers – but as a responsible, mature movement that is fighting for what America wants.

I feel that using the tactics of the NRA, the AARP an the TP – who all represent a minority – who have successfully used their voting power to achieve their minority goals - plus the Prohibition Amendment tactics – bringing all sides together - is a straight path for us to success that cannot fail to enable us to create and complete one task the MAJORITY.

Join the OWS Restore Democracy Working Group at
regular meetings 6-8PM @ 60 Wall St – The Attrium @ Wednesdays
Plan details with supporting documentation at:.... http://bit.ly/vK2pGI



Whereas --

The OWS Declaration of the Occupation of New York City states that
"a democratic government derives its just power from the people,
not from corporations."

and --

the ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 83% of the entire US population
opposes the Supreme Court Citizens United decision,
which affirmed that corporations are people.

and --

by supporting the overturning of corporate personhood,
OWS clearly aligns itself with the vast majority of the American people
who support ending the fundamentally flawed and anti-democratic concept
that corporations are people.

therefore --

We support a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

that is one major issue

holding fraudulent lenders / investment bankers accountable for their fraud is another

ultimately overturning the current economic theory of deregulation is another

but how you can claim that Sen. Sanders act will not get passed is something I don't understand - not that I think it will be easy, but we've had 4 constitutional amendments since 1961.

and - you can find

From the website:

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.

The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:

  • Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
  • Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
  • Corporations may not make campaign contributions.
  • Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.
[-] 1 points by Fraqtive42 (87) from Herndon, VA 10 years ago

Yes, but how can we pass an amendment to end corporate personhood if politicians are getting bribed by corporations? Since there exist a majority of Republicans in the House, how can we expect for it to pass through?

Oh, and thanks; I signed the petition.

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

there are two ways to pass an amendment to the Constitution.

One of them has never been tried. The process is a bit obscure, but I think it involves passage by 75% of the state legislatures.

I think it is entirely doable as long as there is overwhelming grassroots support, polls of the public indicate widespread support and that means all we have to do is get active and organized on the issue.

[-] 1 points by Fraqtive42 (87) from Herndon, VA 10 years ago

I guess that it might be possible, but unlikely at best.

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I think it all depends on our ability to organize support around the idea at the local level. If we can encourage people to support state level initiatives that result in passage at the state level of a measure that is the same, in 75% of the state legislatures, and then send it to DC, it automatically becomes part of the Constitution.

I think that's how it works anyway.

And support at the state level will naturally impact a congressional members thinking on the issue. If enough of their own constituents loudly and clearly support it they can hardly oppose it.