Campaign reform: Seize the moment: Big money corrupts politics in New York
BY BILL BRADLEY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS MAY 22, 2013
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Politics is often described as the art of the possible.
However, these days our political system seems utterly incapable of meeting our most vexing challenges, much less operating
in a way in which the possible has any hope of becoming reality. We live in an age of hyperpartisanship and corrosive distrust
of our most basic institutions.
Fortunately, there are reforms — pragmatic ones, well within
our reach — that can reconnect voters to their elected officials and improve our democracy.
a former U.S. senator who witnessed firsthand the outsize influence that big donors and connected special interests have in
Washington, I applaud these efforts to create a more positive future for our politics. Everyday New Yorkers deserve to be
heard in Albany.
Special-interest money has played such a pervasive role in politics for so long,
we often think we’re powerless to change it. Candidates are so desperate for cash, they ask moneyed interests for support
— then, inevitably, do their bidding once in office.
And even if they don’t do their
bidding, it’s more than reasonable for the public to suspect that the men and women they elect have been profoundly
compromised by the process.
Changing the calculus — by providing a taxpayer-funded match to
every legitimate small donation — would provide an alternative to the money chase that occupies countless hours of fund-raising
and dialing for dollars for challengers and incumbents alike.
Supporters of reform are pointing
the way toward a positive alternative that puts voters in the driver’s seat of democracy by upending the reliance of
candidates on large donations and special interests, creating instead an approach based upon small donations from constituents
matched with public funds.
Three states — Connecticut, Arizona and Maine — offer candidates
for public office the opportunity to compete in roughly the same way. The result, more often than not, is that qualified people
from all walks of life are able to serve, and the relationship between money and politics is greatly reduced. All voters have
the opportunity to be in control of their government, not just the connected few.
former U.S. senator from New Jersey, is co-chairman of Americans for Campaign Reform and a member of NY LEAD, a statewide
campaign finance reform advocacy coalition.
Website WethePeopleNow.org review by Joe Oddo
Refusing to quit working on ending poverty and providing jobs for all, retired Navy Captain
Ron Fisher has poured his heart and soul into a Strategic Plan for a Peaceful, Prosperous and Just World. His optimistic objective
is to Provide both Jobs at Living Wages and Affordable Necessities of Life for All and ensure the homeless, hungry and sick have adequate, decent, warm
shelter, nutritious food and healthcare immediately.
His 30 years in the Navy has turned him from a dedicated military leader giving and following
orders like a robot, to an activist with a passion for ending all wars deeming any war “illegal”. Check out his
exhaustive research and writing published online at www.wethepeoplenow.org for any and all to collaborate with him. He has drafted an extensive plan for ending wars, nuclear stockpiling, occupations,
and arms proliferation – and that’s just for starters.
Part of the Strategic
Plan intends to get money out of politics and how to reorganize congress by function, which will restore the noble desire to serve. Members can focus on the reason they were elected rather than on constant
fundraising which has become a drain on productive legislating.
Ron knows it will take a critical mass to generate the political will to make the changes
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Although we can and must be optimistic about the
future, we must realize that our country is experiencing massive ethical, unemployment, poverty, diplomatic, political, constitutional,
health care/cost, climate change and other crises. Many of our public and private sector officials are not telling us the
truth, have articulated no real solutions to these crises and show little if any empathy for their fellow human beings.
We the People are where the momentum and demand for change will come from. We will generate a political will
regardless of what our bribed congress member does. We will begin the education process. We will organize in all 40,000 zip
codes and 435 congressional districts across the land. We will clean up elections to ensure honest and accountable public servants come on board.
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