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End Corporate Control of Congress
Vast armies of corporate lobbyists infest Capitol Hill. It is estimated that there are 3000 on the health care issue alone. Members of Congress count on their contributions to fund their ever more expensive campaigns. In a recent interview, a corporate executive said that Congress members are often the aggressors extorting contributions from the lobbyists in exchange for future favors in legislation. Often, lobbyists write the legislation. Medicare Part D, the Republican drug provision which prohibits the government from negotiating prices with the drug company is an example of the corruption which permeates Congress - payoff jobs to Congress members and staff, giant profits for drug companies (See the details.)
It is reported that a typical member of Congress spends a very substantial amount of his or her time soliciting campaign contributions.
In a few words, we no longer have a Democracy. Rather, we live under a corporatocracy. The Supreme Court underlined that with their blatantly partisan January 21,2010 (5-4) decision to allow unlimited corporate funding of political campaigns promoting or opposing a candidate.
While it could already be said that elections are usually bought rather than won, the Supreme Court decision made a bad situation worse. Now, corporations can much more effectively blackmail members of Congress with the threat of defeating them at election with a massive influx of corporate money.
So what should we do?
Limit Congressional Campaign Expenditures to $100,000 for the House and $100,000 per House district for Senators.
Implement eCongress where members of Congress will spend 75% or more of their time in their home districts. Congressional votes, floor debates, committee deliberations will be conducted using an intranet (not the Internet) allowing Congressmen and Senators to stay in their home districts/states. Members of Congress will be more accessible to the voters and less controlled by the army of lobbyists in Washington. See Video
Set strict rules of ethics for Congress. See my ethics proposals for detail on the following>
Close the revolving door between Congressional and Lobbyist jobs. This should not be just for Congressmen but also for staffers. We need to design laws to make pro quid pro influence peddling such as that which occurred with Medicare D a felony for all involved. See details.
Term Limits for Congress and the Supreme Court - Constitutional Amendment
So what can we do in response to the 1/21/10 Citizens United Supreme Court decision?