There's a link between Big Money and gun violence. Clean Elections board member Jim Herrick has some advice on how to break that connection....
Another massacre, more anguish, heartbreak and destroyed lives. Frustration follows when Congress does nothing.
Out of my frustration, I wrote a letter to the editor of our major newspaper. With so many letters, it is unlikely it will be published. But I want to share some of those thoughts with those who follow and support MnCCE in the context of our struggle with Big Money in politics.
Many blame the NRA for this tragedy. And while they are guilty of a great evil, the NRA is only a symptom of the larger problem. Eight years ago our Supreme Court handed down a decision that transferred enormous power to corporations and the very wealthy that allows them to legally buy influence with our politicians to suit their objectives. (Citizens United vs. FEC.) So instead of limiting gun sales, Congress promotes them. Instead of supporting a shrinking middle class, Congress transfers more wealth to the wealthy and corporations through tax reform. Instead of addressing an opioid crisis and absurdly high drug prices, Congress supports Big Pharma. Pick most any industry – healthcare, oil and gas, Wall Street, and the examples pile up. This is the corporate agenda…not the People’s agenda.
There are two bills before the Minnesota Legislature (SF 1082 and HF 2139) to join nineteen other state legislatures to amend the Constitution to reverse Citizens United and release the stranglehold big money from the privileged few has on our political system. We will need at last thirty states to get the attention of Congress. Fortunately, progress is slowly being made toward that goal.
The bills identified here cannot currently get a hearing in Minnesota. Perhaps it is because the committee chairs have an obvious conflict of interest. They are very pleased with all the new money pouring into their campaigns. Yet polls by CBS have consistently shown better than 80% of voters from all major political parties recognize there is too much money buying influence. There is something you can do. I urge you, and all Minnesotans to call your representatives and support these bills. Until we reverse Citizens United, we will continue to live under a Constitution that is 'We the Corporations…' not 'We the People…'”
James D. Herrick
Minnesota Citizens for Clean Elections