Yesterday, I announced my plan for how I think government should work.
I think corporations have way too much influence in our political process, lobbyists have way too much access, and politicians have way too many perks.
No sooner did I announce my plan than the press declared it "dead on arrival":
CHICAGO--Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias Tuesday proposed ethics reforms so sweeping as to appear dead-on-arrival in Washington, D.C.
He wants a total ban on corporations and lobbyists donating to candidates and a lifetime ban on senators or congressmen ever becoming lobbyists.
For the pundits and politicians who don't want to change the status quo, my plan is "dead on arrival." But for me, and for millions of others who are tired of the same, disgusting, pay-to-play politics on both sides of the aisle, the notion of clean, good government is still very much alive.
I don't believe in half-measures that will get me good press in this tight race. I think if you're doing to fight for something, you better bring your best weapons to the table. That's what I did with my plan.
I want to do the following:
- No contributions from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists
- Public financing of elections
- A lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists
- Increasing lobbyist disclosure requirements
- Prohibiting congressional pay raises until the budget is balanced
- Reforming the earmark process
- Require executives to stand by their campaign ads just like candidates do
- Post all final legislation online at least 72 hours before a vote
Ambitious? Sure. Hard to implement in DC, where you can't turn a corner without bumping into a lobbyist? Yes.
But I'd rather fight to give life to a "dead" idea than live in a society where the very idea of good, clean government is dead and buried.
It's why I've actually put actions behind my words, and why -- in this top-tier race -- I refuse to take a dime of corporate PAC or federal lobbyist money. I won't take their money and I won't vote their way.
If you have a few minutes, head on over to my site and check out my plan. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to we can bring others on board below.