All those misguided independents who voted for Scott Brown expecting him to take on the banks and insurance companies frighten me. They view government as the problem, when it’s corporate cash that is the main reason government doesn’t work for the common man anymore.
“Sending a message” by voting in yet another Republican is part of why we have 5-4 Supreme Court decisions like the one today that allows corporations to spend as much as they want on attack ads against candidates they want to defeat. The new negative ads arms race looming will leave only teetotaling virgins and corporate shills willing to run for office.
The only good news is that today’s decision might finally persuade the Tea Partyers to join us lefties in trying to wring corporate cash from elections by passing stronger campaign finance reform. A group called Change Congress is advocating for FENA – the bi-partisan Fair Elections Now Act offered again this year by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Walter Jones (R-NC). The act proposes:
Congressional candidates who raise a threshold number of small-dollar donations would qualify for a chunk of fundingâ€”several hundred thousand dollars for House, millions for many Senate races. If they accept this funding, they canâ€™t raise big-dollar donations. But they can raise contributions up to $100, which would be matched four to one by a central fund. Reduced fees for TV airtime is also an element of this bill. This would create an incentive for politicians to opt into this system and run people-powered campaigns.
If enacted, I would certainly consider another run for Congress (but don’t hold that against FENA).
Take a moment to listen to author and advocate Lawrence Lessig below. Then visit the Change Congress site and sign their petition that says you are on strike and will withhold all campaign donations until meaningful election reform is passed.