Please read the discussion. Then please also read these blog entries: (i) For BCA small business members; (ii) Small business and money in politics; (iii) More on Congress failing small business; and (iv) Letter to Birmingham Business Journal.
Then ask yourself how well you think the Business Council of Alabama, the Birmingham Business Alliance, and other local chambers of commerce in Alabama are speaking on this topic for you.
Our democratic system of government can only succeed when elections are open and fair, all citizens can fully participate, and special interests are not allowed to corrupt the system or exert undue influence.
All economic activity exists within a marketplace that is itself defined by laws enacted through the democratic process. If the institutions of democracy are not healthy, the structures of our markets cannot be healthy and our economy will suffer. We see this in other nations where concentration of power leads to pervasive corruption and self-dealing across the economy. This stifles innovation, inhibits entrepreneurship, and causes extremes of wealth and poverty that destabilize society.
The greatest menace to election integrity in America today is how easily unlimited money, cloaked in secrecy, is brought into that system. Unlimited, secret money buys votes in elections, influences votes by legislators once they are elected, and disables the regulatory process by dangling irresistible job offers and consulting contracts in front of officials charged with regulating vital economic activity.
ASBC is committed to building the institutions of a sustainable economy, which depend on policies that foster responsive, open, and democratic government. We work to reverse the undue influence of money in our governing institutions. To achieve these goals we must:
- Staunch the torrent of money into politics unleashed by the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions.
- Create more transparency to reveal who is pouring money into politics and where that money is going.
- Prevent corporations from seeking business or favorable judgments from the parts of government in which they are investing
- Actively promote voter registration on a non-partisan basis, through the workplace and other venues.
- Prohibit undemocratic rules and voter registration practices that restrict Americans’ rights to participate freely and fully in elections.
- Block the regulatory revolving door that makes it easy to corrupt and co-opt officials who hold important regulatory positions.