Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two-month reform news review

Well, our last general election day was just over two months ago, and our new class of representatives look to make the most of their new-born mandates.  Government reform issues often have a tough time moving through legislation; perhaps, this is a good time, at the beginning of a new session, for our legislators to earn the trust of us, their constituents.

Below is a list of voters' concerns in the news for the last two months.  Visit your own representatives and tell them you look forward to seeing how well they perform in office.

Nov 19 We need a more vibrant democracy, through reforms such as Instant Runoff Voting, re-districting reform and Proportional Representation

Nov 22 We need secondary school civics classes to prepare young, first-time voters

Nov 22 We need Early Voting (in elections), a mostly positive recent development in some states

Dec 09 We need to reform the U.S. Senate filibuster rules to restore majority party rights

Dec 09 We need to open up our voter registration activities

Dec 10 We need to stop the "revolving door" of easy access to lucrative-salary jobs from the public sector, who then lobby their former peers

Dec 10 We need to stop partisan abuse of the judicial nomination process in the U.S. Senate

Dec 10 We need democratic reforms in many states to increase competition with third party and Independent candidacies

Dec 12 We need campaign finance reform, to enable everyone to have an equal voice during our election seasons

Dec 12 We need to open up the dialog between our elected officials and we, the people on critical national issues, such as our nation's finances

Dec 13 Due to financial corruption of our U.S. Senators' election campaigns, we need to repeal the constitutional amendment of mandating a popular vote for U.S. Senator; we should instead have state legislatures elect them

Dec 15 We need less Executive Branch government secrecy, especially if it is done only for political expediency

Dec 26 Our elected officials must stop fundraising with donors affected by near legislative votes

Dec 26 We need a more transparent government, so that we, the people, can see what is happening with our tax dollars

Dec 26 We need presidential candidates that are more humble and honest with the American people

Dec 28 More states need to reform their judicial races' campaign finance laws, in order to increase the candidates' trustworthiness with the people

Dec 29 Our states' Secretaries of State (highest election official) need to be elected by non-partisan means and need to refrain from supporting or attacking campaigns

Jan 14 We need to democratise our petition gathering regulations on the local and state levels

Jan 21 Citizens can exercise more of their constitutional right to petition government when they see major wrongs

Jan 21 Our nation's businesses must stand against the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that liberalized   campaign finance law


Friday, January 21, 2011

“Business for Democracy” Campaign Forms to Oppose Citizens United v. FEC Decision | Business Wire

"A group of American companies and business leaders have joined together to form a new campaign called “Business for Democracy” that opposes unlimited corporate spending in public elections. The campaign launches on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that lifted longstanding restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose candidates for public office. ..."
Well, it's about time I found a business-led counter to the Citizens United decision.  As the percentage of big-money lobbying companies is small in comparison to total businesses, I look forward to seeing a large list of BD supporters across the nation.


Senator Max Baucus Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United | People For the American Way Blog

"While Republicans in Washington are celebrating the anniversary of Citizens United by threatening to scrap the public finance system for elections and allow corporations to donate directly to candidates, Senator Max Baucus of Montana is standing up with the vast majority of Americans who want to see Congress curb the enormous political clout of corporations and overturn Citizens United. Senator Baucus said he will reintroduce a Constitutional Amendment that would give elected officials the right to regulate corporate contributions to political organizations and reverse the Court’s sweeping ruling ..."

Montana, home of U.S. Senator Baucus, learned their lesson almost a century ago when the copper kings used their corporate power to drown out the people and buy elections. Today, they have some of the toughest campaign finance laws in the land, and they work.   This Constitutional Amendment, based on the campaign finance abuses of the last election cycle, is not too early to reintroduce in Congress.


PFAW and Allies Deliver 750,000 Constitutional Amendment Petitions to Congress | People For the American Way Blog

"This morning, a group of allied organizations held a rally at the Capitol to mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. At the rally, People For the American Way and others delivered over 750,000 petitions calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United to members of Rep. Donna Edwards’ staff. Rep. Edwards introduced a constitutional amendment in the House last year, and has been a strong supporter of efforts to reverse the decision. ..." Includes photos of event
This is a great number of signatures, showing great individual (citizen) initiative.  Congratulations for speaking up for the people by petitioning the government.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Third Party and Independent Daily: MD: Police Assault Activist Gathering Signatures for Green Party

A Green Party operative gathering signatures at Ellicott City's Charles E. Miller branch library to keep the group on Maryland's 2012 election ballot was pepper-sprayed and arrested by Howard County police, who charged him with trespassing and resisting arrest.
Where's the democracy?  The U.S. Constitution grants us the right to petition our government, and it is a form of free speech.  What on Earth would lead a small Maryland city library to send in the police to pepper spray and charge the petitioning citizen for resisting arrest?  Who's the one really causing the problem?  Ellicott City, stop acting like a police state!