Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More against Congress and against DeMarco and Palmer

I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and not to The New York Times, and I am not generally biased in favor of views espoused in the latter paper. It serves my purpose to call to your attention this July 3rd op/ed piece from the Times, in which the current Congress is described as "the most despised Congress in the modern era, if not ever."

What about you?  Do you despise the current Congress?

I do.

In the past five months, I have also called Congress "dysfunctional," "failed," "kaput," "incapacitated" and "sucky."

I also gave a diagnosis for why I think our Congress is kaput.

I tried as hard as I could to get the other six candidates in the Republican primary to address seriously Congress' failed condition, but they refused for four months.

Now we have DeMarco and Palmer as the runoff candidates, and they continue in their silence on this matter.

Only you can decide what kind of candidates DeMarco and Palmer are for you.

This entry follows up on my June 7th entry Analyzing the run off issues #2, in which I discuss that there are those on both the Left and on the Right who think that something is fundamentally wrong with Congress and with the governance of our country in Washington DC.

Yesterday, I received two further emails representing both the Left and the Right. I append those emails below.

On the Right, the first email is from the Alabama state director of the Convention of States Project. The Alabama House of Representatives has been an early actor in the Project, by passing a bill for the calling of a convention.

On the Left, the second email regards Congressman Peter Fazio of Oregon, and his staking out campaign positions regarding The Government By the People Act and constitutional amendments related to the Citizens United case.

DeMarco and Palmer refuse to talk to you about whether there is something fundamentally wrong with Congress and with the governance of our country in Washington DC.

They won't even talk to you about what your own Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill about.

If you, like me, think there is something fundamentally wrong with Congress and with  the governance of our country in Washington DC, you should agree that DeMarco and Palmer are useless in contributing to the taking of action to try to improve the situation.

Only you can determine what you think about this.  I hope you will take the time to reach a view about this and about how well DeMarco or Palmer would serve you in Congress.

On the Right

From: Convention of States Action Center <no-reply@conventionofstates.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 10:07 PM
Subject: New Message in Convention of States Action Center
To: rdshattuck@gmail.com

New Message

You have received a new message from Joseph Read at Convention of States Action Center.
All Volunteers,
Article V Convention of States National Petition Drive.  (Alabama is competing against the other states).  Please take a moment to sign the petition--then inform others about Article V and get them to sign up.
Article V Convention of States National Petition Drive. 
Below is 3 minute informational video to share with others

COS Alabama VideoConvention of States - Alabama
J. Bryan Read
Alabama State Director
Convention of Stateswww.ConventionOfStates.com 
To reply to this message, visit action.conventionofstates.com and login.

On the Left
From: Rick Staggenborg <staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 7:39 PM
Subject: DeFazio makes constitutional change a campaign issue
To: Rick Staggenborg <staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com>

Congressman Peter DeFazio has gone beyond cosponsoring amendments to abolish corporate personhood and regulate money in elections. In this email, he makes this a campaign issue.

That makes two congressional candidates in Oregon who have done so at this point, including Aelea Christofferson. I hope others are encouraging candidates in their area to do the same.


In solidarity for peace and justice,

Rick Staggenborg, MD
Board President, Take Back America for the PeopleFounder, Soldiers For Peace International

Coos Bay, OR

From: or04ima@mail.house.gov
To: staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com
Subject: Fighting Big Money Influence
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 17:12:18 -0400

A Message From Congressman Peter DeFazio 
Click here to open this e-mail in its own browser windowClick here to open a plain text version of this email

Dear Friends,
I have spent my entire career fighting for the middle class, small businesses, and those struggling to make ends meet. But, recent Supreme Court rulings like McCutcheon and Citizens United have provided the wealthy with far greater leverage in who our government serves. These court decisions opened the floodgates to unrestricted special interest campaign donations, granting unprecedented power to the wealthiest donors in American elections. I wanted to let you know what I’m doing in Congress to remove the corrosive influence of special interest money in our elections and to help level the playing field so that ordinary Americans like yourself have an equal chance to have your views heard and responded to at election time.
In the four years since Citizens United, we’ve seen a surge in campaign spending from special interest groups. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, total spending from outside groups in the 2012 election cycle tripled 2008′s total and topped $1 billion for the first time ever. The undue influence that free-spending corporations and the wealthy elite now have is putting elected officials in a headlock that’s preventing Congress from passing effective public policy that will improve our economy and benefit all Americans.

The deck is stacked against everyday Americans and it’s time for a new dealer. This is why I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 20, the Government by the People Act, which balances special interest influence by giving ordinary Americans a bigger voice. This bill would empower people who don’t have unlimited funds to spend on campaign contributions by giving them a tax credit for small political donations. Oregon already offers a tax credit for small dollar donations, and Congress would be smart to follow our lead.

I am also a co-sponsor of three separate proposed Constitutional Amendments to overturn the judicial over-reach of Citizens UnitedFirst, H.J. Res 20 would grant Congress the power to regulate contributions and independent expenditures in federal elections. The other two Constitutional Amendments - H.J. Res 21 and H.J. Res 34 – undo the flawed notion that corporations have the same constitutional rights of free speech as people. The perverse concept that corporations are people is an egregious interpretation of our Constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of speech and is insulting to our Founding Fathers. 

Even prior to McCutcheon and Citizens United, I have advocated for reform of our broken campaign system. I am a long-time cosponsor of H.R. 1404, The Fair Elections Now Act. This legislation would provide matching public funds to candidates. This would allow candidates to run viable campaigns based on small dollar donations and avoid taking cash from corporate lobbyists and other special interests.
The amount of money spent on elections is corrupting the political system, forcing candidates and office holders to spend more and more time raising money, deterring candidates without personal fortunes from attempting to run, and leaving the impression that campaigns are bought and sold. Unfortunately, we have a few short-sighted Supreme Court Justices who legislate from the bench, passing down a string of misguided rulings that have overturned one hundred years of campaign law.

I’m tired of big money politics.  You can be sure that I will continue to support reforms that will put everyday Americans back in charge of their government.

Peter DeFazio 

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