Letter - Sign initiative on campaign finance amendment

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“We the people” don’t count for much

Please sign the nonpartisan Initiative 1329, in which Washington state, with 16 other states and eight more this November, calls for a constitutional amendment to bring some semblance of sanity back to campaign finance laws.

The Supreme Court majority (5-4) just decided in McCutheon v FEC that rich individuals “free speech” rights were hurt by a limit of $123,000 in contributions to candidates in an election cycle.

According to Justice Breyer, who wrote the dissent, wealthy individuals can now spend up to $3.6 million, or 29 times as much money as before on federal candidates. Others cite much higher figures.

The limit is still $2,600 per candidate but donors can now give to all Senate and House candidates they favor who are up for re-election and have lots of money left over to give to political parties and political committees.

Thanks to Citizens United v FEC, corporations and unions (about 10-1 ratio in available funds) can continue to reach into their treasuries and spend unlimited amounts for (usually really nasty) political ads.

Anyone with even a mediocre lawyer can set up a dummy corporations and funnel huge amounts into “social welfare groups” and super PACs and can easily get around disclosure. It’s widely believed that foreign governments and corporations funnel money into these groups.

The Supreme Court majority has repeatedly voted for plutocracy (government by the wealthy). If things continue in this fashion the influence of your vote will become increasingly diminished to the point it is all but meaningless.

The danger, as Justice Breyer noted, “Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard.”

We had the first billion-plus-dollar election in 2012 under Citizens United. As a number of commentators have noted, McCutheon will open the floodgates all the more.

Please sign the I-1329 petition.

Norm Osterman

Walla Walla

Comments

chicoli 6 months, 1 week ago

The Supreme Court, and the conservative establishment, has always voted for "plutocracy" (government by the wealthy) and such loaded government is OK with them; as opposed to voting for government by the people and for the people!

The general public must be heard! Please sign Initiative 1329!

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namvet60 6 months, 1 week ago

Corporations and Unions are of the Conservative establishment? Really - I did not realize that. Possibly you make a joke?

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