In the wake of last night’s big election wins for people concerned about money in politics, I hope you will tune intoNew Hampshire’s only statewide call-in radio shownext Tuesday (November 10) from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. where I will be a guest. Also, I will address last night’s election results tomorrow at the Georgia Tea Party meeting in the business office of one of the largest churches in Georgia.
Last night’s election results against the undue influence of big money literally stretched for 2,727 miles – with reform measures passing from Maine to Washington State and California – and voters in Kentucky and Ohio rejected big money selections at the ballot box. For all those who had given up, these elections all showed we are entering a new era in which voters are willing to reject big money that seeks to convince politicians to pick winners and losers and run up the national debt to help certain transactional donors.
We certainly have not come out in support of all aspects of every proposed measure – nor do we endorse any political candidates – but these case studies are important evidence exposing the growing support for disclosure so that voters know who is funding political efforts so that they have the option to vote against any effort they believe is unduly influenced by large donors not focused on the people who should be represented – American Citizens.
1. From Maine to the West Coast, efforts to reform money in politics won at the ballot box. I believe Josh Silver of Represent US summed up the three referenda results when he wrote today:
Yesterday, voters approved new laws to fix our corrupt political system in Maine, Seattle, and San Francisco. The victories were decisive, and offer clear proof that the American people will approve sweeping reforms to beat back the undue influence of money in politics.Honest Elections Seattlepassed a sweeping municipal law modeled after the American Anti-Corruption Act … The Seattle Times has anexcellent articleabout this historic first …Mainers for Accountable Electionspassed a law that increases transparency and enforcement, drastically increases penalties on special interests who break the law, and revitalizes Maine_s landmark Clean Elections Act. Local storyhere…And our _Represent San Francisco_ chapter worked closely with _SF Friends of Ethics_ to pass an important new law to rein in the power of lobbyists and increase transparency. Local storyhere.The American people have had enough. And last night_s results provide yet more evidence that they will vote for bold,
2. In Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s former primary opponent Matt Bevin upset the big money in both the GOP primary (see account here) and then last night in the general election for a come-from-behind win that made him only the second Republican Governor of Kentucky in 48 years. Even after winning the GOP primary against establishment candidates with better ties to big money, Bevin barely received any support from the establishment as he joined Mike Huckabee in backing the county clerk that refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses and he and his Lt. Governor candidateJenean Hampton, whoNational Review noted is the first African American elected to statewide office ever in the state_s history, were both written off as tea party activists without ties to established big money groups. Regardless of your party affiliation or ideology, citizens want to select their own candidates regardless of who big donors want.
3. In Ohio, the effort to legalize marijuana lost by a 65% to 35% margin,as reported by CNN. Whatever your views on legalizing marijuana, this vote was an example of the “transactional” giving that puts a few large donors ahead of the interest of American citizens. There are companies running business models on how much money they can make by legalizing marijuana in a state based partly on how many people they calculate will become ADDICTS (about 9% of users will become addicts and 20% become dependentaccording to this report). This is yet another example of why we want to offset big donors with a tax credit to encourage millions of small donors – for example parents worried about their teenagers getting addicted to drugs. The interests of thousands of parents should offset a handful of large donors seeking to benefit their special interest or business.
Thank you all for your interest in these issues. Multiple media outlets in both Oklahoma and Missouri covered my visit there last week, and after my speech to the Georgia Tea Party tomorrow on the need for conservative solutions to money in politics and the price we all pay if we condone corruption, I am the speaker for a Massachusetts tea party event December 3. In addition, I have meetings scheduled in Chicago November 17-18, Milwaukee November 19 and New York on December 8. Please call or email back if you would like to attend any of these events, and please help by going towww.takeback.organd contributing today to help us take advantage of a generous match from one donor that will, in essence, double your contribution.