Lawmaker’s Creed : Maximize the efficiency of the economic engine that drives the economy while simultaneously maximizing the satisfaction of the constituents.
Triple Threat to our Democracy Dark money supplies fertile ground for sinister intentions. It allows special interests to grow more powerful. Their interests are allowed to dominate our elected government.
Congress is elected by the people but the interest of the people becomes secondary to the objectives of special interests. Power and reelection potential is controlled. Follow the dark money. The people have no oversight over a perpetually tainted Congress.
Supreme Court nominees are approved by Congress. The Citizens United decision unleashed an avalanche of dark money. That allowed more tainted members of Congress. And now these tainted members are approving more court nominees who are, of course, also tainted. It’s a dark money admiration society. The people have no oversight over a perpetually tainted Supreme Court.
The threats are not new but the fertility of the ground has increased in recent years.
“Money’s dominance over politics is a top problem our nation faces. It prevents us from tackling anything else. We have reached a stunning point: Either we are a country that makes decisions based on the common good, or one where the size of your wallet determines the worth of your ideas. Either we uphold the values of a representative democracy or we allow greed and wealth to destroy the great American experiment in self-governance.”
— Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY)
“Our nation is facing a crisis of liberty if we do not control campaign expenditures. We must prove that elective office is not for sale. We must convince the public that elected officials are what James Madison intended us to be, agents of the sovereign people, not the hired hands of rich givers…”
— Former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)
“We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
Our Founding Fathers gave us guidance as to how and why changes should be made.
It (Article V) guards equally against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It moreover equally enables the General and the State Governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other — from James Madison Federalist 43.
If in the opinion of the People the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield. – from George Washington’s farewell address
Washington’s key phrase is that, the issues should be ‘corrected in the way which the Constitution designates’. The Constitution designates Article V as a path for correction.
A mechanism to reduce all three parts of the triple threat is needed. This is necessarily a new Constitutional amendment.
Amendments can be initiated by Congress or by the States. Congress is biased by dark money and those that receive the benefits will not vote to reduce their own benefits. The other available mechanism is an amendment initiated by the States.
We seek an improved balance of power. Article I grants all legislative power to Congress and Article III grants all judicial power to the Supreme Court. As Washington stated, if we, the people, believe that the distribution of Constitutional power is wrong, then we should amend the Constitution.
Adoption of R-60 would improve the balance of power.