In the year 2000, polls showed that 85% of Americans wanted campaign finance reform. Since then our "Supreme Court" has ruled that corporations are people and money is their speech. Today I'm guessing that 94% would strongly prefer a reform that scraps what we have now in favor of: a U.S. citizen can donate no more that $2000 to a Presidential campaign, $1500 to a U.S. senator's campaign and no more than $1000 to a U.S. congressional campaign. If we could persuade just 2/3 of those people to take a moment, go to a yet to be created web-site and register their demand for this, that would be 150 million Americans all leaning in the same direction. AND if they were to donate an average of $50 to make this happen, that would be $ 7.5 Billion to be spent to defeat the 10 worst in Congress. We could have some fun debating and polling first worst, second worst and so on. If 6 of the 10 on our list were defeated, there would be shock-waves.

Campaign finance law underlies all other issues because it determines where power lies; with WEALTH or "the people". By limiting ourselves with this reform, we would also be limiting our "corporate selves" as well. So Monsanto, Exon, you may donate no more than $2000, $1500, $1000....Certainly, corporate person-hood should be revisited, but this would knock more than 99% of the stuffing out of it. If this reform were voted on in Congress tomorrow, we could only count on 15%- the progressive caucus, but I'm guessing at least 30% would be sympathetic. They could be tired of grovelling for donations every waking moment. These would likely abstain, waiting to see which this was going; maybe secretly hoping to join us, but lacking the courage to anger their financial backers at this time. This reform only needs 51 senators and a majority in the House, 218 or more, IF our president would sign it. Putting the 15% with the sympathetic abstainers we have about 255 members of Congress. The very minimum needed is 269. Probably only 25 of "our" Congress people would need to see the light of democracy or be replaced. In about two general election cycles (4 years) we could have this. That would be a major power shift. That would be a Revolution; a bloodless Revolution. The 1% could never control the rest without the campaign law we have now. It's their Achilles Heel and we take it away. It would then be possible to accomplish the deep cleansing and healing of the many painful and screaming injustices we face. While a student at Cal in the sixties, I learned from the Caesar Chavez people that what kills a boycott or a movement- any time you're trying to coalesce large numbers is when 7 months after you get started, only 4-5% of the population has heard of you. The powers that be can just let that wither on the vine. This reform needs proper detonation. My best case scenario is : Bernie Sanders authors or co-authors a bill in the Senate calling for just this campaign finance reform. In the same week, a similar bill is introduced in the House. It's the same week as our web-site goes up. (It needs a name - perhaps "we are here"). A few days before the site goes up, we give the heads-up to Move-On and 500 other excellent information networks, so they all have a link to "we are here", where it explains what we are all doing together and why. Also we have contacted George Soros, Jeff Scull, Oprah and maybe 100 possible progressive heavy donors. If a week or so after our site goes up there were 12 million signed on and $1 billion in the fund, it would be a wild-fire they couldn't put out. It becomes news on it's own as it swells. I had hoped this would be wind in Bernie's sails, for this would truly be the Bern, Occupy and 99% movements blended, on-line - visible, chattering, vibrant. But , if it's Hillary, it's even more important - keeping her from back-sliding toward Goldman-Sachs and all. Hillary is smart; she is savvy. She could read the writing on the wall and decide to be responsive to us. Maybe Bernie needs a rest. He has done so much. He has shown us who we are and who we are is nice. So this is an opportunity for Hillary to lead the most amazing Populist movement ever (with us breathing down her neck). Her legacy could be up there with Abe Lincoln. So Thom - TAG you're it. You have access to people who could easily move this forward; I do not. I ask that you, in a quiet time, let this roll around in your mind and heart. The Hopi Elders say:" We are the ones we've been waiting for". I pass this to you, and maybe my part is over. Make copies of this and pass them around if you like. Improve it. Those Revolution Messaging people would be perfect for this. Instead of the U.S. being the leading perpetrator of suffering in the world, we could lead the way toward world peace, freedom, justice and all that we grew up believing we stood for. I believe at least 70% of the world population will benefit if we do this. I look forward to witnessing a contagious JOY spread over this dear planet.

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Tom Dorricott's picture
Tom Dorricott 1 year 37 weeks ago
#1

bill hodge: Sounds like a great idea. There would also have to be alot of other safeguards. Before corporations were people, and they were limited in how much they gave, they engaged in a process of "collective giving/reimbursement". ( My term, i don't know how else to describe it). A railroad corporation had 30 of their managers "voluntarily" give $ 1,000 each checks to a local representative. All the checks were "collected" and put into a sack, clearly labeled with the Railroad and the amount. Shortly afterwards, these same managers were given $ 1,000 "bonuses" for achieving some mysterious milestone. Result-$ 30,000 given by railroad to representative, essentially by a managerial "pass thru".

Also, our media conglomerates would no doubt fight toothe and nail to keep donations at astronomical levels, as these fuel significant ad revenues. Somehow the pot would have to be sweetened for them.

Its a daunting task, but one that is necessary for our democracy to wean itself from pay-to-play.

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