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Forum Post: This coming Saturday, January 19, people across the country will rally to get Money Out / Voters In

Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 14, 2013, 3:57 p.m. EST by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN
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From - Public Citizen.

Things are worse than we had reason to expect.

And they are on course to get far worse still.

I’m talking about the political landscape in this country since the U.S. Supreme Court’s horrendous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling — which will be three years old one week from today.

But there’s this: The American people are in an uproar, and they are demanding fundamental reform.

We’ve made more progress to win a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United than was fathomable when we launched the campaign on that fateful day in January 2010, the day the court issued its disastrous decision.

The movement for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United — which has won 11 state resolutions calling for an amendment (with more around the corner), 350 city and town resolutions, support from 100+ members of Congress, and the endorsement of President Obama — is on the cusp of a breakthrough to an even higher plane.

This coming Saturday, January 19, people across the country will rally to get Money Out / Voters In — a marrying of the call for a constitutional amendment and money-and-politics reform with a demand for full voter enfranchisement and an end to voter suppression tactics.

The stakes could not be higher.

If our democracy doesn’t function, if Big Money can tighten even further its grip on our politics, it’s very tough to see winning on issues from preserving Social Security and Medicare to preventing catastrophic climate change, from implementing a fair tax system to defending consumer protections, and much more.

More than a few commentators misread the results of the 2012 election to conclude that concerns over spending by corporations and the super-wealthy were overblown.

In fact, if you look at what happened in 2012 and before that in 2010 — the two elections cycles since Citizens United — and what we can reasonably predict will occur going forward, you can’t help being deeply worried.

  1. Big Money dominates elections. The price tag for the 2012 House, Senate and presidential races is estimated at a record $6 billion, by far the most expensive election our nation has ever seen. As noted by The New York Times, “In virtually every respect, the growth of unlimited fundraising and the move of outside groups to the mainstream of politics have magnified the already outsize role of money in political campaigns.”

  2. Big Money matters more than ever. No serious person thinks money alone determines elections, but nor should anyone think it doesn’t matter. Two election cycles into the post-Citizens United era, we’re just beginning to see how much it matters.

  3. In the 2010 midterm elections, 75 congressional seats switched from Democrat to Republican or vice versa. Outside groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s Crossroads operations, spent more on the eventual winner in 4 out of 5 of those races. That’s not coincidence.

  4. The Democrats — led by a president with unprecedented fundraising capacity — spent almost as much in 2012 as did the GOP and its outside backers (such as Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers). While Democrats prevailed in many Senate races and the presidency, we may never again see a presidential candidate from either party who can match Barack Obama’s base of small donors, so future candidates will be that much more beholden to outside spending in 2016 and beyond.

  5. In a runaway election for the Democratic Party, outside funding from corporations and the very rich played a key role in keeping the U.S. House of Representatives in Republican control. Example: Republican David Rouzer defeated North Carolina Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre. As reported by Politico, “Mike McIntyre’s first congressional race in 1996 cost $450,000. Then came the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.” Nearly $9 million was spent on the race with Rouzer, “who, on his own, would lack the resources to compete vigorously across the sprawling district,” clearly benefiting from the outside cash.

  6. Outside money kept the presidential race artificially close. “If groups like Crossroads were not active, this race could’ve been over a long time ago,” said Karl Rove on election night. Sure Rove was self-justifying — but he was also right.

  7. Outside spending was vital to the Republican presidential primary. Donations from individual millionaires and billionaires animated the campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, which otherwise would have collapsed earlier. And Mitt Romney’s super PAC, Restore Our Future, gave him the power to ultimately crush his primary opponents with negative ads.

  8. The claim than super PACs are independent is a ruse. Public Citizen discovered that nearly 60 percent of super PACs active in the 2012 election cycle were devoted to supporting or defeating a single candidate. Many are founded, funded or managed by friends and political allies — or even family — of the candidate they support.

  9. Records are being shattered. Citizens United enabled an array of outside groups to raise and spend money like never before. A Public Citizen report found that outside spending in top Senate races was 12 times greater in 2012 than in 2006.

  10. Outside spending is overtaking the political parties. In two dozen close House races, outside groups spent almost as much as the parties.

  11. The candidates themselves may not be able to keep up. As reported by Public Citizen, outside spending exceeded candidate spending in four of the 10 most expensive Senate races.

  12. Outside spending shifts control from modestly accountable candidates and parties to unaccountable Dark Money entities and super PACs backed by corporations and the hyper-rich.

  13. Outside money is mostly Dark Money. Nearly half of all spending by unrestricted outside groups to influence 2012’s top Senate races was spent by groups not required to disclose their donors. Almost none of the corporate money pouring into outside groups was disclosed.

  14. Outside spending will continue to soar. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson spent more than $100 million on the 2012 election, double what he spent in 2008. He says he’s ready to “double” his donations. “I’ll spend that much and more. Let’s cut any ambiguity.”

  15. Money has a permanent chilling effect on office holders. Candidates backed by corporations and the wealthy are likely to carry the water for those benefactors. Even candidates who win despite running against Big Business know that the same entities will try to defeat them next time. Politicians know that they cannot afford to sidestep, much less actively challenge, corporate interests when it could mean being targeted by those with infinitely deep pockets. So much for “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

  16. Outside groups will become increasingly effective. Expect to see the side that lost mimic the tactics of the side that won or develop new ways to spend their money. We may have hit the saturation point with TV ads, but outside groups are studying the Obama campaign’s voter management and mobilization strategy, and looking to emulate it going forward.

  17. Campaign funders get to frame the issues. Politicians fearful of the fossil fuel industry barely uttered the words “climate change” this year. And wealthy donors have an outsized say in the issues their candidates highlight.

  18. In the ever-escalating money arms race, politicians will be forced to raise even more cash to retain their seats. This means they will have even less time to govern amid all the kowtowing to the mega-rich required to build their campaign war chests. Constant fundraising keeps politicians even from talking to real people. Up until election week, Barack Obama had attended 221 fundraisers but only 101 campaign rallies. And, as The New York Times reported, “for long stretches of the summer and fall, Mr. Romney was so busy with fundraisers that he often did no more than one public event a day.”

  19. Donation limits are becoming meaningless. Got money? Form a super PAC and you can spend as much as you want to get your favored candidate elected. There are barely any meaningful rules left in our campaign spending system.

  20. Big Money inundates us with negative attack ads. Real debate is displaced by misleading, personal attacks. A Public Citizen report found that more than 85 percent of unregulated independent expenditures made by the 15 biggest outside groups in the 2012 election cycle financed negative messages — no surprise to any TV viewer in a swing state.

  21. Beware the convergence of super PACs and lobbying. Trade associations and lobby groups like the National Association of Realtors and the American Bankers Association have set up super PACs. And super PACs are starting issue advertising campaigns. “Super PACs become lobbying force,” reads a recent USA Today headline. “I could see super PACs set up by industry sectors, or even by coalitions interested in a particular issue,” Rich Gold, a D.C. lawyer-lobbyist, told Roll Call. Moreover, the Dark Money groups funneling secret money into elections must lobby and engage in “public education” if they are to preserve their tax status and ability to funnel Dark Money. This means that those throwing around millions of dollars in election campaigns will directly be asking elected officials to support or oppose this or that measure. Saying no will come with obvious consequences.

  22. Even the lobbying industry says Dark Money threatens democracy. As the outside groups start engaging in policy fights, and lobby groups start super PACs, here’s the reaction from Howard Marlowe, outgoing president of the American League of Lobbyists, as quoted in USA Today: “We already have a perception that our government is for sale. This is not a good development to have more political money thrown into the policymaking process.”

  23. Citizens United reinforces oligarchy. As an industry, Wall Street has more money to throw around than any. Finance moguls topped the donation charts for Mitt Romney and represented almost a third of the top outside individual spenders. Although they largely bet on losers in 2012, they still have more power than they would if they had not spent anything. If you doubt the point, consider the prominent and shameful role of Wall Street executives in calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

  24. Outside spending is buying state governments. In contrast to the 2012 presidential election, state efforts by big-spending conservative groups “were strikingly successful,” reports The New York Times. “While Mr. Obama was winning onetime red states like Virginia and swing states like Michigan and Ohio, Republicans made large gains in state offices in many of the same battlegrounds.” Now Republicans have “one-party control in almost half the state capitals in the country.” Hence the incomprehensible specter of Michigan becoming a right-to-work state.

Whatever your reaction to the 2012 election, the trendlines for the functioning of our democracy are all going in the wrong direction.

Except, as I said above, one absolutely vital one: The movement to restore our democracy is zooming skyward.

We need even more people outraged, more people organized, more people writing letters to the editor, more people holding demonstrations, more people lobbying for state and local resolutions to overturn Citizens United, more people urging the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies to take action, more initiatives in more states for public financing of elections, more encouragement for President Obama to press for an amendment and other reform measures, and more people demanding their members of Congress support an amendment.

Together, we’re going to make all those things happen.

Not by magic, but by hard work.

And to do that work, we need your financial support to pay organizers, communications specialists, researchers and lobbyists.

Please chip in $5 or whatever you can, right now.

Let’s mark the third anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision in a generation by building the citizen power required to overturn it.

thumbnail photograph of Public Citizen president Robert WeissmanOnward, Robert Weissman's signature Robert Weissman President, Public Citizen


SEE ALSO :

In compliment : From People for the American Way.

Also - TWEETED In compliment.

On-going Efforts of Occupy | NationofChange http://www.nationofchange.org/going-efforts-occupy-1358007353 via @nationofchange FOOD4THOUGHT/ACTION - STAND-UP USA

Excellent - TWEETED :

Bill Moyers Essay: The ‘Crony Capitalist Blowout’ | NationofChange http://www.nationofchange.org/bill-moyers-essay-crony-capitalist-blowout-1358002477 via @nationofchange PEOPLE STAND-UP SPEAK-OUT

Great interview with Grayson - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA7e3prLDzo

29 Comments

29 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20531) from South Burlington, VT 7 months ago

Let’s mark the third anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision in a generation by building the citizen power required to overturn it.

I think we need to harvest the emails, document the connections, and illustrate precisely how and why conservatives

  • have engaged in Judicial Activism!!

The fukers been blaming the left for that since at least Clinton, when in fact such allegations are simply a cover for their own bullshit!!

[-] 2 points by TheStarvingCrusader (25) from Killingly, CT 1 year ago

Citizens United is one of the darkest rulings to ever come out of the Supreme Court. I believe its intent was to allow big money determine who gets elected. The reality may be that all that money can not get politicians elected. I say this based on the Freakonomics boys. The crunched the numbers and said there was no evidence that this could happen. I did not agree, but last election atleast show that they may be right. The really bad news is all that money definatly will purchase access to the power of the elected. The big money still writes our tax code, our regulation, our trade agreements and our laws. I call it neo-fascism. If this continues this country will continue to be a crumbling empire. We must stand together, liberals and conservatives to witness the birth of a representative democracy as part of a republic. Yes I believe we can stand together, If we can stop being a label long enough to be good Americans. As long as the power of govt is for sale to the highest bidder, we will never see a balanced economy. A free market can not survive a plutocracy as govt uses its power to serve the big money. The govt becomes a weapon to shape the society, or the market to the best interests of the wealthy. Anyone who referes to America as anything close to a free market economy, does not understand free market capitalism. Never did Adam Smith say leave it alone, unless you are working on behalf of the rich and powerful. In fact Adam warned us against allowing those that prosper most having an inordinate say in the use of govt power, be they noble or be they merchant class. An elite class with no loyalty or love for their country that has the power to control the govt, has the power to destroy the nation. We will not be the first great society to perish in the "Age of Aquisition" (Sakar reference). We will just be the latest.

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

I though that was "gun appreciation day".

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

While progressives are protesting against the destruction of our planet and engaging in a national day of service to our communities, you conservatives will be celebrating guns.

http://www.clintonfoundation.org/resources/national-day-of-service.html?utm_campaign=DayofAction&utm_medium=email&utm_source=111313DayofAction

That is a great illustration of the difference between progressives & conservatives.

replace pro 1% conservatives (of both parties) w/ pro 99% progressives.

[-] -1 points by freakyfriday (179) 1 year ago

It is! Maybe we can march together :-)

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Thankfully you are mistaken. You can leave now.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well its not an issue that I would be celebrating so - who knew? - besides U. You can go now.

Maybe it will get a proper renaming after all of the anti-corpoRAT protests.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I hope this goes viral.

Good luck, America.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Cross your fingers it is the flu season here - maybe some good will come of it. {:-])

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Hey - Builder - G-Day. Thanks for the good wish. Viral would go a long ways to seeing the rise of sane thinking in this world - Hey? {:-])

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Change is the only constant.

When political donations became anonymous, then criminals became your masters.

In the vernacular of crime, America has been stitched up.

I truly hope we can see some positives on the horizon, DKA.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Truth = Change is the only constant. Good Bad Indifferent.

Yep - then they were allowed to operate freely behind the curtain.

Hopefully a temporary situation.

AMEN Brother. I think the actions this Saturday "could" be part of that.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

So QUIET Here today Saturday, January 19, people across the country will rally to get Money Out / Voters In - good sign - hopefully the rally's today are very well attended.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Kick off 1/19/2013 Right ; Rededicate to getting money out of government to ridding/vacating/removing corpoRAT personhood. Watch the attached program and get fired-up.

http://www.nationofchange.org/bill-moyers-essay-crony-capitalist-blowout-1358002477

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago
[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

For a good way to spend the day - if you are looking for something to do.

Read the post above.

[-] -1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

The Rs anti-voting campaign to decrease support for 99% candidates
The Rs anti-union campaign to decrease support for 99% candidates
The OWS shift to using voting to to increase support for 99% candidates

which is most important?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

The R's vote suppression efforts against dem voters I think are most important. That criminal effort continues and must be challenged.

[-] -1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Has anyone suggested an amendment requiring that you be able to vote for a candidate to participate in the election? Live in a district to give money or run ads or take money to run ads, district or state, that would put a lot of this right, also I think that would mean you were a real person not fake.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago
  1. requiring that you be able to vote for a candidate to participate in the election?
    I'm not sure how this could be practical. I'd rather devote energy to real voter registration
  2. Live in a district to give money or run ads or take money to run ads, district or state, that would put a lot of this right, also I think that would mean you were a real person not fake. I think only human beings should be able to give money to candidates they can vote for. [ no other contributions from any entity ]
    but this does require an amendment
[-] 0 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

2 is what I meant, the other thing is just not well said what I mean is give money or run your own ads, you would have to live in district, if that were true at all levels of government things would be much better, just my version of a pipe dream....

[-] -1 points by Coyote88 (-24) 1 year ago

Blah blah blah utopia... Pro-gunners will be celebrating the second amendment on that day. You just keep pushing all this pipe dream, Marxist nonsense.

[-] 1 points by peacehurricane (293) 1 year ago

You are a want to be pro gunner that wishes pipe dreams and a marxist too? And what is it you are doing here?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You can leave waste of Space & Time.

[-] -1 points by dflib (-11) 1 year ago

Translation...This Saturday, a half dozen asshole liberals will show up, chant for a half hour, then leave after the news camera leaves.

[-] 1 points by peacehurricane (293) 1 year ago

You need no translation for why not get the f- out if this is what you are good for.

[Removed]

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

So as your name suggests - You confirm - U R a waste of Space & Time.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

TWEETED

Saturday, January 19, people across the country will rally to get Money Out / Voters In http://occupywallst.org/forum/this-coming-saturday-january-19-people-across-the-/#.UPRyXfT2EYo.twitter … pls Share/Circulate