Category: Politics

Civic Duty

I just can’t get over how blatant the republican politicians around the country are being about how much they don’t care about their constituents – including those that voted for them.

There’s of course those in the federal government trying to ram things through as fast as they can before people notice what they’re doing. But there are also problems at the state and local levels.

One main example is South Dakota – one of the most corrupt states in the country. On election day, voters passed the South Dakota Anti-Corruption Act. The purpose was to stop the bribery going on in their government. Within days of the new legislative session starting, the South Dakota GOP used emergency powers to repeal the new anti-corruption law. I read through some of the finer points of it and the only problem with the law was that it made it difficult for politicians to accept bribes.

The GOP government in Iowa is acting the same way – proving again and again that the voters are irrelevant. A couple recent items are 1) their net reduction in funding of public schools (again) and 2) their work to remove workers rights on collective bargaining.

At a recent hearing on the collective bargaining bill, a police officer stated, “Half of law enforcement folks I work with are Republicans. And we voted for Republicans because of conservative values. But we didn’t vote for Republicans to get stabbed in the back while we’re trying to dodge cars and bullets.”

I don’t personally have a horse in the race on the collective bargaining issue, but I do care about education, a lot. Education is one area where this country (and Iowa) has been slipping recently. I feel for those in the public education system in Iowa since these two issues combined must feel like a personal attack. Teaching is hard enough. People say, “we could always use more good teachers.” Are these legislative choices going to help or hurt the education of our children?

Iowans have been showing up in large numbers at hearings at the capitol, and at a legislative forum in Ankeny, IA. It doesn’t seem to be doing any good, however. They’re being pretty brash about saying they won’t make changes no matter what their constituents think.

A reason for the GOP’s actions? Money. Plain and simple.

At the Ankeny forum, Iowa state representative Kevin Koester indicated one sure fire way to fight back, saying that he’s “on the ballot every other year, and that’s one way you hold me accountable.”

In this last election cycle, a way higher percentage of registered republicans went and voted compared to other groups. So if you don’t like what’s going on with our government, get your ass to the polls next time!

 

 

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Anti-Corruption Mayday PAC

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If you would like our country to work for the people again, please read…

 

There are a lot of problems in this country and many improvements could be made – if there wasn’t so much corruption in government. Any issue that affects the majority of citizens (Republicans, Democrats, and otherwise) is ignored while the richest 0.1% pay the politicians to do their bidding and legislate loopholes to make them more money. A new study shows that the US government is no longer a democratic republic, but an oligarchy representing only the super wealthy. The issue of money in US politics must be dealt with before any “real” issues will get any attention from our legislators.

Here’s an idea I had… If I had a $Billion dollars, I’d bribe 51% of our legislators into passing anti-corruption laws. Think of it as fighting fire with fire, or as paying the ransom.

Now, it appears Lawrence Lessig, a very well known and respected anti-corruption activist, attorney, professor, and author, is planning to do something quite similar – except his idea is a bit more thought-through. :)

He’s creating a Mayday SuperPAC that “normal” US citizens can belong/contribute to. The sole goal of the SuperPAC is to achieve fundamental reform of the corrupting influence of money in politics. “We’re going to kickstart a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.”

I’ve been following Lessig’s work on this issue for years and I’m pretty hopeful about this effort. Watch the video at MayOne.us where he explains it all.

The PAC’s goal for 2014 is modest – in order to learn what we can achieve: “In 2014, we want to make fundamental reform the issue in 5 congressional races. From that, we’ll have a better sense of what victory in 2016 will take. And we’ll put Congress on notice that in 2016, we’ll be back.”

This moon shot won’t be easy or cheap. But it is totally worth it.

They’re taking pledges “kickstarter-style” – so that if they don’t hit their fundraising goal, you’ll get your money back.

Please contribute and spread the word.

 

On the Pledge page, you can choose to put your money toward “Whatever Helps”, “Republicans Only”, or “Democrats Only”. I chose “Whatever Helps” when I made my pledge (and I recommend you do too).