Many people look on successful candidates as being bought and paid for by whomever gave the most money.
To make representative government work the way the framers designed it, elected officials must owe their allegiance to the people,
not to the wealth of groups who speak only for selfish fringes of the whole community.
The public does not have any doubt about the power of money.
Every poll taken shows that the vast majority of Americans believe campaign spending is a very serious problem and that those who contribute large sums of money have too much influence over the government.
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.
A Conservative Voice for Reform from Battles Past
I support a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.
Corporations are state-created entities that are immortal —
they live forever
—granting them rights due to citizens greatly diminishes the rights of ordinary citizens [flesh and blood persons].
It was wrong-headed. I think it was probably
the worst decision of the Supreme Court in my lifetime.”
–U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch (Oct. 24, 2011, at Needham Public Library)
(Congressman Lynch is Needham’s Representative in US House of Representatives)
Needham Town Meeting will have the chance in May to share its views on the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision…
Selectmen voted 3-2 in favor of supporting the article on the May 7 Annual Town Meeting warrant, with selectmen Dan Matthews and Matt Borrelli on the opposing side.
The article, which was placed on the warrant by a citizen’s petition, calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would essentially reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling by clarifying that the First Amendment is not meant to protect the freedom of speech of for-profit corporations.
The Needham Board of Selectmen voted three to two on Tuesday night in favor of supporting a warrant article that calls for a challenge to the 2010 US Supreme Court ruling opening up unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.
The decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, led to the growth of Super Political Action Committees, which have poured vast amounts of money into the presidential campaign this year.
After a brief debate over whether a warrant article with national implications was appropriate for a local town meeting, chair Jerry Wasserman, and selectmen Moe Handel and John Builian voted in favor of supporting the Citizens United article. Selectmen Daniel Matthews and Matthew Borrelli voted against it.
“We can have an influence here on an important issue that affects all of us very personally,” said Wasserman. Continue reading
Earlier this month, a federal court declared a Worcester regulation limiting tobacco ads (enacted for community health reasons) unconstitutional, on the grounds that corporate free speech has been expanded to include advertising.
“Tobacco companies have a constitutional right to communicate with adult consumers through retail advertising and this court appropriately recognized that,” said Murray Garnick, a senior vice president at Altria Client Services, a subsidiary of Philip Morris’ parent company. “We will continue to vigorously defend this right when it is challenged.”
—Boston Globe, May 2012
BBC was in the neighborhood this week, and visited the Wellesley RTS, where they talked to candidates for the Congressional seat represents Needham. Speaking to Joe Kennedy III (D) and Sean Bielat (R), BBC asks–Can money buy elections? And is that “fair”?
Dump-goer says, “There’s no ‘fairness’ in American politics.”
Another, to the statement, “That’s not fair,” answers: “That’s capitalism.”
BBC’s Owen Bennet Jones, on the massive spending in the last MA-04 race (over $6 million) says, “That’s bonkers.”
Start at 2:00 mark: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00qrxj2