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End Corporate Control of Congress

  • Severely Limit Congressional Campaign Spending- House $100,000, Senate $100,000 per House District.

  • Limit Contributions to Campaigns to $500 for Individuals and PACs!

  • Set Strict Rules of Ethics in Congress (More...)

  • Short Concise Laws -  No Hiding Places for Favors bought with Campaign Contributions

  • Laws governing the General Population should Apply Equally to Congress Members

  • Close the Revolving Door from Congress to Lobbyist for both Members and Staffers (10 year gap required)

  • Term Limits for Congress and the Supreme Court (6 yrs in 12 for the House, 12 yrs in 20 for Senate, 15 yr terms for Court)- Constitutional Amendment

  • Full Funding Disclosure for Corporate Political Ads pending Constitutional Amendment Limiting Corporate involvement in Politics

  • Implement eCongress - Move Congressmen to State Capitals, Lessening Lobbyist Influence and Improving Constituent Access    See Video

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? 

  1. By a new law, Congress can prohibit collusion between the candidate and third party groups funding or creating political ads in his or her race.  This is already the case for heretofore legal political groups running independent campaign ads.  Directly or indirectly approaching a Congressional candidate with corporate plans or proposals to run ads in his or her campaign should be construed as an attempt to bribe or blackmail a public official and should be a first degree felony with commensurate penalties.   Attempts by a candidate to solicit such corporate ad campaigns should have similar consequences for the candidate.

  2. By new law, ads run by corporate and other third party groups can be required to clearly state what corporations or individuals funded them.  This might be much like the disclaimers run with drug ads listing so many bad side effects that you wonder why anyone would take the drug. That is, the reaction might be wondering why one would believe anything paid for by a bunch of corporations.

  3. By new law, 72 hours or more prior to the running of TV Ads mentioning a political race, the candidates involved must be given a prescreening of the ad.  At the option of each candidate, the ad would air with a conspicuous notice of the web page where the candidate presents a rebuttal to the ad contents.

  4. A Constitutional amendment should be initiated to directly counter the Supreme Court decision declaring that a corporation has no right to contribute corporate funds to influence any election.

  5. Congress can pass new legislation which could be counter to the Jan 21, 2010 decision.  Such legislation would be in effect until contested in court.  If there is sufficient public outcry, we could possibly get a 5-4 reversal of the Jan 21, 2010 decision