Monday, September 8, 2014

Please forgive me for this political agenda on my gardening blog

I hope you will take the time to read this essay I've written. It describes the systematic failure of our political system.

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1972 required candidates to disclose sources of campaign contributions and campaign expenditures. It also limited spending on media advertisements. But that portion of the law was ruled unconstitutional — and that actually opened the door for the Citizen's United decision. This was a step forward for equality and transparency of our elected officials. But the very powerful very rich were still in pursuit of more control and contrived a treacherous plan to deceive us by suing in two important cases.

In 2010 the US Supreme Court ruled on the Citizen's United vs Federal Election Commission and gave corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools. It's important to note that the Citizen's United decision was about spending, not about contributions. This did not affect contributions. For that they created what is know as "independent-expenditure only committees" such as which represent spending by individuals, groups, political committees, corporations or unions expressly advocating the election or defeat of clearly identified federal candidates.

In 2010 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also issued its ruling in the v. FEC which removed contribution limits as applied to SpeechNow. Previously the courts had ruled that limits set by the Federal Election Campaign Act applied to this group called SpeechNow. It is still illegal for companies and labor unions to give money directly to candidates for federal office, but together with the Supreme Court’s earlier Citizen's United decision allowing unlimited corporate expenditures, the SpeechNow ruling was just what the ultra wealth needed to create a government controlled by "Political Action Committees" (Super PAC) where most of the funding comes from just a few rich individuals.

The Supreme Court kept limits on disclosure in place, and super PACs are required to report regularly on who their donors are. The same can’t be said for “social welfare” groups and some other nonprofits, like business leagues leaving another loop hole for the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers to create a nonprofit called the “Association for American Innovation” that will act as a hub for funneling undisclosed spending towards the Kochs’ political projects.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is another "Business League" which allows corporations and wealthy individuals to use congressmen as lobbyist and collaborate on bills, often presenting industry-backed legislation as a grass-roots organization. It brings Republican state legislators and big corporations together to frame right wing legislative agendas in the form of 'model bills'.

In November we will have an opportunity to vote on reversing the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling for Citizen's United. Please vote.

As you know I am an advocate of the superPac. It's time we used their trickery and corrupt laws against them and put an end to "Political Action Committees" (superPAC) . Jim Rubens is the only Republican running for Senate that supports Campaign Reform, but there must be others who would like to get back to running the country rather than spending 70% of their resources on being re-elected. If we persist we can make this happen. Please contribute to

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