It has been an emotional rollercoaster for progressives across the board ever since Scott Walker’s billionaire backers successfully bought the state of Wisconsin. The blatant manner in which it has happened has acted as an alarm screeching red alert, as the Wi$con$in model to subvert democracy may be coming to a state near you.
Likewise, it is time for us to redouble our efforts to expose how big money is increasingly turning our elections into auctions. And in anticipation of this July 17th, we will have quite an opportunity to do so.
On 7/17 the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine pending constitutional proposals to remedy the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
“The devastating effects of the Court’s divisive decision in Citizens United are already being felt in states and communities across the country,” emphasizes Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT.). “Since the decision was handed down, Democrats in Congress have been working to protect the voices of millions of American voters.”
There are a number of constitutional amendment proposals that have been introduced, which will be explored and evaluated during the hearing. But this is so much bigger than just legislative wrangling and jargon. As grassroots activists we can help by honing in on the root of the issue, regarding how the voices of millions of American voters have been drowned out by the endless and unprecedentedly expensive SuperPac TV advertisements.
The 7/17 hearing provides us with an opportunity to shine a bright light on the exponentially corrupting influence of big money in our democratic system. And we are working on a campaign to help ordinary citizens be heard in conjunction with it, where we create and share videos online that tell our stories.
In this vein, a request -- can you help come up with questions we can ask that would help people speak from the heart about money in politics? Here are a few we are working on so far:
- What do you think about billionaires buying your politicians, and how will it affect you personally?How do these look so far, and do you have other ideas for questions that can inspire powerful and personal statements from ‘we the people’?
- What would you say to convince your representatives to support a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics?
- Do you think big money is corrupting our democracy, and should congress put a stop to it?
Please let us know, and thank you for all that you do!