(Photo By Flickr user 401(K) 2012)
By Pamela Sweetwood
I’ve done previous forums complaining about negative political campaigns, a common sentiment these days. Those in office and the general public complain that partisanship paralyzes our progress as a nation. The negativity is largely possible due to the disgusting levels of spending. Therefore, I would like to endorse a different kind of campaign which should have strong bipartisanship support.
80% of Americans support overturning Citizens United. I believe unlimited and invisible corporate, PAC and Super PAC involvement has been destructive to our democratic process. I fail to see any positive effect. Corporations are not people. Their recognition by the Supreme Court has had the unfortunate outcome of suppressing citizen involvement.
Some examples of the absurdity:
• The three biggest donors and their spouses have spent 35 million dollars in the 2012 elections.
• The Center for Responsible Politics estimates 6 Billion will be spent on the 2012 elections alone.
• Linda McMahon reportedly has spent 42.6 million on her senate campaign in Connecticut.
Other countries set limits on campaign spending to level the playing field and allow non-wealthy citizens to competitively seek office.
The infusion of money is putting our government for sale. Arguments can easily be made that the winners of tomorrow’s elections may not be the best candidates but instead are on the side of corporate power.
On an 82 degree day in St. Louis this month I stopped at Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream. Perhaps my next forum should be revisiting the weather, environment and natural disasters. On the counter were flyers to “Get the Dough Out” of political campaigns. I reviewed their website, referenced websites, and Senate committee testimony to learn more. It would take a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Our very own Dick Durbin chairs the committee that held hearings on this topic in July.
If these are your concerns, please review the website getthedoughout.org, to learn more. If you agree, you can sign in support of the movement.
Regardless of who you vote for, or if you vote, let’s return democracy to the people OR take our voice back rather than have it trampled by those wealthy and already powerful.
Regardless of who is elected, I hope this becomes their #1 goal in January. That would tell me we elected people interested in representing "the people."
This is Pamela Sweetwood for WJBCs forum.
Pamela Sweetwood was an ISU student, like many, who never left town. She works in higher education and has a history with many community non-profits organizations.
The opinions expressed within WJBC’s Forum are solely those of the Forum’s author, and are not necessarily those of WJBC or Cumlus Media, Inc.