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A new chance against Citizens United

Government by the People
Catherine Hill

Are you as tired as I am of Citizens’ United, the gift that keeps on taking? Almost every time I get online, I get word of some disaster or government action plainly not in the interest of ordinary citizens.

Running for Federal office has been tremendously expensive most of my lifetime – with the notable exceptions of a few grassroots campaigns. The Citizens’ United decision that Money Is Speech effectively put 99% of America out of the running. Corporate money buys the candidate, and s/he continues to get money as long as s/he follows the corporate line.

This doesn’t matter so much with social issues. To a corporation, women’s health care access, marriage equality, LGBT concerns, and even hemp legislation matter only as they affect the corporate bottom line. They can play it either way; it isn’t really their fight.

Where it does matter is issues that affect all of us. The 1% can make sure they don’t live anywhere likely to have coal ash spills, chemical spills, or explosions. Their job is to fight regulation by the government – the only instrument that can step in and save the 99%

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative John Sarbanes have recently introduced a new Government by the People Act to counteract Citizens United. This bill provides for public funding of Federal elections by small-money donors. Public funds will turn a $25 donation into $175 – a small overview of how this works. The idea is to make our federal representatives listen to US, not corporations.

Democracy for America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the Sierra Club, and the NAACP are among the more than 40 labor and good government organizations that have endorsed this effort.

Okay, maybe you don’t like some of these organizations – but aren’t you tired of being owned? How many corporations dump into YOUR drinking water?

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