Ok, online petitions do almost nothing and the ones I have seen are being run by some private group, not an official petition through the usa.gov website. Yet everyday my Facebook Wall is cluttered with assorted surveys and petitions and quite often they are about citizens united and corporate greed and bribery in politics. Personally, I believe online petitions – especially on social media channels like Facebook – are useless. But somebody pays an awful lot of money every time you see one show up on your wall.
However, this – that there is now so much money wasted in elections that you can be inundated with up to 5 to 8 surveys or online petitions a week just on Facebook all paid for by somebody – THIS is definitely one of those things that we all should be paying attention to. There is literally so much money being wasted in buying politicians that it is getting to the level of being obscene.
Just a few days ago, my brother, well unofficial brother, got another one of those oversized expensive to mail full color postcards and it had a 3d image so as you turned the postcard the canidate the group didn’t like had his hands switching from right pointing left and right.
This is just plain wrong, and it got so much worse after Citizens United.
Thoughts on Campaign Reform:
A union represents a group of human beings.
AARP is a group of human beings over the age of 50.
1. Both types of groups should be required to present for a vote to their entire membership any political activity that they intend to take part in. Oh, wait. Unions already do this.
2. Any of these groups must be required to make these votes be held in the same exact manner and required ways that the UN requires of Elections in other countries, with fraud investigators standing by. Oh suck it up, unions, if you hadn’t let Jimmy Hoffa do it he did, you wouldn’t be facing the music now.
3. Any of these groups that are comprised of actual humans must make the result of such a vote public. Not page 7 of the local newspaper public, but top third of your web page, Twitter, Facebook public.
4. I would say that such groups of humans must have a two-thirds majority before they can spend a single penny on donating to political campaigns or to putting out a single “issue” advertisement.
OK, so Unions and human based groups are covered.
The white elephant in the room:
Dear Francis, you may indeed be the Caesar of a city state called Vatican City, however it has come to our attention that you are frequently interfering in our elections in the United States.
We don’t let Queen of England (who is head of a much larger country and the Anglican Church) donate money to political parties, political candidates, or to run issue advertisements during our elections. You don’t get to either.
In fact, we have this concept in the Constitution called separation of church and state. This will be enforced with a media blackout on any religion or religious group doing any kind of advertising other than announcements for services for 1 year prior to any national election, and 6 months prior to any state or local election.
OK, second big chunk of non human money out of politics. Plus we don’t have to put up with the incessant sound bites of whatever Francis is rumored to have said from Venezuela or wherever. Seriously, he represents 40 different Catholic denominations out of thousands. He’s one bishop out of thousands in the Catholic Church.
Corporations are not human beings. They are a distinct non-human legal entity.
They do not have the right to vote , they are not citizens , and they have no business getting involved in bribing politicians or contributing to super PACs or other election related groups.
The only soul a Corporation has is the restrictions, regulations and permissions that are granted to it by state and federal government. Because the state and federal government is in effect the soul for every corporation in the United States, it is actually supposed to be the other way around.
1. Corporations do not donate to political parties, political candidates, or do any kind of issue advertising.
2. Corporations do pay a special tax to be put into the common Financial pool, and distributed to each candidate equally, monthly.
I am willing to bet that the candidate for library trustee of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire will appreciate getting a check every month for $10 to help pay for some signs. So will every other candidate running for office.
OK, Trump will return his (don’t need it) and Bernie will to (not from a human), but this will allow hundreds of unfilled local positions to get filled, if only by people like the kind that do 8 page surveys to earn coupons. Which might not be a bad thing, considering those types of people are pretty thrifty, something every local government wants on at least a few elected boards.
Citizens United was the worst decision of the Supreme Court, and even though it was more than warranted, no investigation was ever done as to what kinds of investments and share and stockholders positions any of the justices who said yes to this had in any large corporation that was going to benefit from that ruling.
Quite simply as a point of law, any Supreme Court justice who owned stock, or had a money market account or 401k that owned stock in any large corporation (like Walmart, Target, Mobil Oil, Bank of America and so on) would have been required to recuse themselves in any other kind of court. Since one of the prime beneficiaries of Citizens United was banks, and presumably each of the justices has a checkbook somewhere, there wasn’t a single one that didn’t have the ability to gain from voting in favor.
So a constitutional amendment that only human beings can contribute to political campaigns or to issue advertising during an election cycle is certainly warranted. But constitutional amendments take a long time, so in the meantime how about a simple US law that states Corporations are not people, and are therefore barred from any political activity?
So how do we stop problems by humans?
I hesitate to say that we should require anybody who donates to a political activity to prove they are human by supplying DNA because we have too many government agencies already trying to get a hand on our DNA.
We can’t go back to using fingerprints because that would be discriminatory against people who are amputees bilaterally.
Well, actually we could go with fingerprints, because even someone who has lost all their limbs still have a unique pattern on their stump, as no two amputations heal exactly the same.
The point is with so many electronic donations today you never really know who actually put that money in at all. Anyone can buy a prepaid Visa card at the local convenience store, and then use it to make a contribution, listing whatever name is they want. Anyone with lots of money can form a shadow corporation buried under so much red tape you never find out who put the money in.
So no, as an ordinary tax payer, I don’t have the perfect answer – but I do know that we have got to find a way in this country to get big corporations out of politics.
I also know that we have to get better at collecting and recording who is donating what and where they are donating it to.
To me, the simplest solution is that all political donations would have to first go into a central recording program and financial holding account.
Then that recording program would be able to match up that Joe Smith of Topeka Kansas had donated $10,000 to 18 different candidate campaigns and 1 Union. If Joe Smith of Topeka Kansas had filed a tax return last year that he only earned $8,400 it would be a pretty simple matter to send and IRS agent knocking on his door to see where the 10 grand came from. Gas money would sit right there in that central holding account until after it was verified that he won megabucks and decided to put the entire amount of winnings after he paid his taxes into a bunch of political campaigns. Its America, so it would be his right to do that.
More likely, we would find all kinds of people who had no good explanation at all of how they suddenly came up with an extra $250,000 to donate to a politician just weeks before the election.
Thinking about here in New Hampshire, we might have gotten Frank Guinta caught dead to rights about a year earlier than we did. We also might have had a much better evidence trail, so we might have actually been able to put him in jail for what he did – instead of just giving him a slap on the wrist.
With such a system voters could go ahead and type in a name like Dick Cheney and instantly get a report of every single penny he had put in and where it all went. It wouldn’t be very difficult to go ahead and ask for a report that listed not just Dick Cheney but his spouse, kids, and any trust accounts or corporate checking accounts he was a signer for.
Now considering how much money Dick has put into a whole lot of super PACs along with other nefarious deeds, he wouldn’t like it very much.
So what? Its the same exact system that is used the track every single penny that I receive and where it goes for the welfare department.
If I can live with it so can he.
So there’s your thoughts from just one little taxpayer on some of the ways we could straighten out this obscene mess with all this money being wasted in politics and elections.
God save us from 3D glossy postcards.
Brenda The Writer