Tired of a congress that gets nothing done, or quietly passes legislation that benefits a wealthy few? Tired of having no candidates you can support? Disgusted that politicians can’t be elected without the financial blessings of corporations and the extremely wealthy? Increasingly overwhelmed by contentless, simplistic or misleading political ads? Its the death of democracy, and its not an accident. The causes are never covered on network news. What are they?
First, the FEC is the Federal Elections Committee, a government agency which attempts to keep elections fair and well-executed.
The FEC vs Citizen’s United decision: In 2010, the Roberts Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that corporations and unions had the same rights as people, that the money they spent on elections is speech, and could not be limited.
The FEC vs McCutcheon decision: In 2014, SCOTUS decided individual political donations could no longer be limited.
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501 (c) Nonprofits: “Dark money” groups which can collect money from wealthy donors, corporations and unions, spending it on political campaigns and ads. Donors are not made public, so no one knows who is calling the shots.
Is this a problem? In 2008, outside groups spent $338 million on campaigns. In 2010, 1 billion. 2014, $562 million, 2016 so far, $835 million.
How do we stop this; US Congress won’t do it. Vote for Washington State Initiative 735. If 38 states pass initiatives like this, it becomes US law. This is a non-partisan issue. Go to wamend.org for more info.