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Forum Post: Things we can do.

Posted 2 months ago on June 5, 2014, 5:30 p.m. EST by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Because some or all of these groups may not be truly what they are representing themselves to be, I am not going to link to any of them. What I will do is make a list of efforts that are currently underway.

There is a group that is advocating the following:

A 1% sales tax on stocks bonds and securities. With 5 Quadrillion dollars moving through wall street every year, that would almost cancel the national deficit.

Federalizing the Federal reserve.

Imposing a Tariff on all imports.

Another group is advocating this:

Stop politicians from taking bribes Prohibit members of Congress from soliciting and receiving contributions from any industry or entity they regulate, including those industries’ lobbyists. Prohibit all fundraising during Congressional working hours.

Limit super PAC contributions and “coordination” Require SuperPACs to abide by the same contribution limits as other political committees. Toughen rules regarding SuperPACs’ and other groups’ coordination with political campaigns and political parties.

Prevent job offers as bribes Close the “revolving door” where elected representatives and senior staff sell off their legislative power for high-paying jobs. Stop them from negotiating jobs while in office and, once they leave, bar them from all lobbying activity for 5 years.

Call all people who lobby, lobbyists Significantly expand the definition of and register all lobbyists to prevent influencers from skirting the rules.

Limit lobbyist donations Limit the amount that lobbyists and their clients can contribute to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees to $500 per year and limit lobbyist fundraising for political campaigns. Federal contractors are already banned from contributing to campaigns: extend that ban to lobbyists, high-level executives, government relations employees, and PACs of federal government contractors.

End secret money Mandate full transparency of all political money. Require any organization that spends $10,000 or more on advertisements to elect or defeat federal candidates to file a disclosure report online with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours. List each of the donors who gave $10,000 or more to the organization to run such ads. This includes all PACs, 501c nonprofits, or other groups that engage in electioneering.

Empower all voters with a tax rebate Build up the influence of voters by creating a biennial $100 Tax Rebate that they can use to make qualified contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees. Flood elections with small-donor contributions that will offset the huge spenders. Candidates and political groups will only be eligible for these funds if they agree to a set of contribution limits: they will only accept money from small donors (giving $500 or less a year), other groups abiding by the limits, and the Tax Rebates themselves.

Disclose “bundling” Require federal candidates to disclose the names of individuals who “bundle” contributions for the member of Congress or candidate, regardless of whether such individuals are registered lobbyists.

Arkansas has an amendment on the ballot this year that limits lobbyist gifts among other things.

All of these are worthy causes, and if we find the originators to be somewhat suspect, then why can't we start ballot initiatives of our own that do the same things. These are consensus issues that more Americans agree on than disagree.



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[-] 8 points by gsw (2687) 2 months ago

The purchase of the republic......by /charles-hugh-smith

The massive consolidation of wealth, combined with the removal of any limits on money in campaigns, has allowed for the purchase of our government......

The first is the increased concentration of corporate and private wealth. Both of which are quickly yelled down in the media as anti-free market and class war hysteria.

The second is the use of this wealth to capture all three branches of government in order to ensure the continued extraction of capital from the many and to the few.The rich might have climbed the ladder because they earned it, but they have then purchased government to pull up the ladder behind them.

The consequence of the first two components is a democracy in name only that represents the very few.


[-] 2 points by gsw (2687) 2 months ago

Very good historical and contemporary sources.

Thank you much

Edit I also appreciate this other study I believe had been linked by you somewhere else http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/23757-this-just-in-us-ruled-by-the-rich

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

The rich might have climbed the ladder because they earned it, but they have then purchased government to pull up the ladder behind them.

they own the property

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1228) 2 months ago

Who sold it to them?

We did.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

Indeed, corporations have been endowed with existence. They have been placed on an equal footing with real people, and given an equal voice. This has to end. Will they be given the right to vote next?

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2392) 2 months ago

That in and of itself is a bill and sounds perfect to me. (With a bit of elaboration - you are in business) now...

[-] -1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

It actually is a bill, or at least the second part of it. I'll post the link a bit later if you like, I have a tomato field that needs tending right now. The bill is called the American Anti-corruption act.

[-] 3 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 2 months ago

Why dont we just work towards outlawing lobbying completely?

[-] 0 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

I agree, but a solution must not only be desirable, but also achievable. I am afraid that right now we might not have enough push to outlaw it completely. If we can start to pull the money out of politics, then each success will make the next success easier. Money still has all the influence, lets move in a positive direction.

[-] 2 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 2 months ago

Ending lobbying is more about remedying representative democracy than about getting money in or out of the system. Politicians should listen to their constituents, not only first but exclusively.

Congressmen should not be allowed to listen to people outside of their districts.

[-] -1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

I agree completely with getting politicians to listen to their constituents exclusively. I do think that lobbyists are a part of the money problem though. They often give gifts, or offer employment opportunities to congressmen. Perhaps it's not the same as getting the money out, but it is about getting corruption out.

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 2 months ago

It's a step in the right direction, but it's far from the ultimate goal.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

I agree, remember that we did not get here overnight. The rich worked their way in, gaining power a little at a time. For us to retake that power will require either a violent revolution, or a slow erosion. Each piece of power that we retake, is more power that we can use and less that they can use.

[-] -3 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 2 months ago

I'd say the rich have the least power they've ever had; but that's semantics. And I am definitely not in favor of a violent revolution. Not because I am against violence, but because that would be extremely ineffective.

[-] 2 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago


Here is the link to the group promoting the anti-corruption act. Signing the petition is a symbolic measure though. This is not a real (as in get a measure on the ballot) petition. We can promote this on a state by state basis, check the laws in your state, it may not be too late to get a measure started there. Arkansas has one, other states may as well. I know, this is a small step, but it is a start. For crying out loud, GET OFF YOUR ASSES AND START DOING MORE THAN TALKING!!!!!!!


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

Prevent job offers as bribes

how will the republicans and democrats get people to vote for them ?

unemployed work for the dude with the money

the dude has all the money

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 2 months ago

I like that movie.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

I'm surprised that this isn't getting more comments. It seems like we are ready to talk about anything except getting money out of politics.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5854) 2 months ago

Well, I guess you already you know that I'm not surprised. It's not that people aren't willing to talk about it. It's that people aren't willing to do more than talk about it.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

Some of us are, HJR 1009, a proposed amendment to the Arkansas constitution was passed by both houses, with much help from the citizens of Arkansas. It does extend term limits, as it opponents claim, however it prohibits corporate donations to Arkansas candidates as well as forbidding them from accepting gifts from lobbyist. I am not a big fan of extending term limits, however it was a compromise to get the bill passed and on the ballot. The bills opponents, guess who, are outright lying about the bills purpose, mentioning only the extended term limits. We need help getting this passed, but will we get it? Only time will tell.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

So -1 points for getting off my ass and doing something? Really. I guess I'd have 5 points if I were talking about some unattainable Utopian ideal. There are those of us who are doing, and those who are talking. Those who are doing realize that the end goal is not attainable in a single step. Many of those who are talking have been doing so since 1968 with exactly zero results to show for it. Keep talking, and I keep doing, we'll see who gets something done first.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1228) 2 months ago

Pretty much sums it up right there.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (108) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

Working on a state level is still possible. I can and often do talk directly to my legislators. It isn't because I am special, it's just because they are far more accessible on the state level. We tried several times to get a resolution like this passed by citizens petition, but the AG squashed that. Our legislators were able to help us get it on the ballot.