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'North Star for Democracy Reform': 70+ Public Advocacy Groups Demand Passage of HR 1

'North Star for Democracy Reform': 70+ Public Advocacy Groups Demand Passage of HR 1

Julia Conley, staff writer

More than 70 pro-democracy groups are backing a sweeping anti-corruption, pro-voting rights bill as the legislation receives its first committee hearing in the Democratic-controlled House on Tuesday.

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Seems to be I read something, I think in Black Agenda Report, that said this is a Trojan Horse–that it would also increase the number of donations a party needs to get some federal funding, to ensure that the Green Party and other third parties would be even more effectively sidelined. Which means that the bill is getting a lot of support from Democrats because it helps them against Republicans–AND Green Party or socialist challengers. Given that the Democrats are almost as fervent supporters of corporate interests as the Repubs, this is not in our interest. I am not speaking up for this bill. As far as a Constitutional Amendment to take down Citizens United, first of all CU did NOT “open the floodgates to corporate cash” those gates were already open thanks to Buckley vs Valeo way back in '76. What CU did was rip the gateposts out of the ground to widen the flood. But the reality is that the SCOTUS has been steadily determined to protect the right of the rich to determine politics since at least '76. And secondly, do we want a Constitutional convention NOW? Don’t forget the Koch brothers et al are working to bring one about, because they know they control more votes than the 310 million or so of us whose interests would be harmed if they get the changes THEY want to the Constitution–which will not be striking down the right of the rich to control who runs and who gets the public ear.

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I certainly hope that this bill has a provision to get rid of all this electronic voting and tallying. When there was hand tallying in the precincts, with poll watchers overseeing the count, the result signed by the precinct poll workers under penalty of perjury, it took a few hours longer, to get a verifiable count, with a paper trail that could be used to verify the count, or deal with protests of the count, but we did have accurate tallies then, and a way to check them without some computer company deciding how the computer should run the count, with a result bought by the wealthy.
*This hand tally was followed, precinct to county, counties to state, state to federal and the paper trail was there, all the way.
;-})

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True. And from my perspective, it has gotten so bad that the North Star Democracy Reform may do some good, but we will never have any real reform until we bury the Republican Party. Noam Chomsky: " THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD".

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HR1 raises the ‘qualifying amount’ to get on a ballot from its current level of $5,000 in each of 20 states to $25,000 in 20 states. That would clear up the clutter on the ballot so only choice would be one of the duopoly … the intent is to completely erase third parties.

Maybe the worse part is the first provision of HR1 that sics the police security state and their contractors on you and I for being ‘under the influence of foreign powers’. Such as reading or referring to Black Agenda Report.

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Conley sez:
“… the For the People Act (H.R. 1) … is aimed at expanding voting rights and limiting the influence lobbyists and corporations have over lawmakers.”

Cool. I presume the speaker has cleared this with AIPAC, then.

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If the above comments are correct (I haven’t researched it yet) then this is not good.

What a good bill would do is federalize elections and their standards. It’s a lie that elections are state things: it has been a lie since the 14th and 15th Amendments. Congress is responsible for the right to vote:

AMENDMENT XIV
SECTION 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SECTION 5
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

AMENDMENT XV
SECTION 1
The right of citizens of the United States to VOTE shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
SECTION 2
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

A good bill also would make voter registration automatic, enrolling everyone when they get their Social Security number and automatic eligibility on their 18th birthday.

It would include mail in voting, which means not just a paper trail but paper ballots. This is a better idea than a National Holiday when in today’s deregulated economy the only people who get National Holidays off for sure are government employees. In fact National Holidays other than Christmas are excuses for more commerce with sales and thus more need to make workers work. When I ask my Millennial age son if he is getting a three day weekend over MLK Day or Presidents’ Day he just laughs at me.

Most important, it would require all primaries paid for by the states to be open primaries (I think the 14th and 15th Amendments require that if the government is holding a voting event using tax dollars- equal protection and all that) and it would make it so every minor party is also included with a ballot, enough of this exclusion garbage of high numbers of petitions each election. So you open your primary ballot at home a few weeks before the primary date and you have to pick which ballot you mail in: Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian, Reformed, SPA, etc., etc., etc.

It would nationalize qualification for presidential candidates, a reasonable number of names on a national petition and the minor party or independent candidate is on every ballot everywhere.

But most important, a real reform bill would have ranked choice in all General elections.

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But . . .  But . . .  HR1 clearly IS a ‘Power Grab’ — an attempt to grab back at least a modicum of the power that’s been stolen from ‘We, the People’ by ‘Them, the Korporations’ and their Fat-Cat owners.  As a product of the DamnocRatic Party it’s obviously a long way from perfect – but at least it’s a start.  Make the modifications suggested by LibWing, above – “most important, a real reform bill would have ranked choice [voting] in ALL General elections.” – and it would go a long way toward cleaning up the worst of the present system mess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attacked the bill in January, calling it a “power grab”—a label supporters of H.R. 1 have said speaks volumes about the GOP’s regard for the American people, whose voting rights would be expanded under the bill.

Whose hands is government to rest in other than “the people” … as in “government of the people”?

Politics is the shadow cast over our people’s government by Elites/Royalty who morphed into corporations.

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H.R. 1 will in effect, eliminate most all 3rd party’s chances, giving the voting electorate only the two most corrupt, corporate political parties to choose from.

If you’re in the 95 to 97% of voters that have allowed the Democrats and Republicans to run amok, I guess you will be in favor of this bill.

If you’re in the 3 to 5% of voters that are not responsible for supporting the endless wars, the corruption of our Constitution, the liars and thieves impersonating establishment politicians for the Duopoly, then you’re reaching your breaking point.

H. R. 1 includes many good things for the masses, the country.

Why did the Democrats find it necessary to hide the provisions that eliminate competition in the political realm?

It looks like they have conspired with the Republicans to quash any voices of reason.

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Let’s see: that’s $6.00 for each GP voter to divvy up in 2016. And adjusting for inflation by 2030 it will be $8.00. Just by giving up 2 granola bars and a single-serve yogurt per year, you should be OK. Bon Appetit!
Try $27.00 per month/yearly and you’d actually have about… oh that’s right, " free music for a free people ". Just like AM radio in the car.

As Tim Wu says, Congress prevents popular laws from being passed or getting serious consideration. Entire categories of public policy options are effectively off-limits because of the combined influence of industry groups and donor interests. The people can be wrong about things, but so too can experts, embedded industry groups and divisive political factions. Members of the public are not demonstrating ignorance when they claim that drug prices are too high, taxes could be fairer, privacy laws are too weak and monopolies are too coddled. If majorities sometimes want things — like bans on books, or crackdowns on minorities — that they should not be given, but this is does NOT describe our current situation. The invocation of constitutional principle has become an increasingly lame and embarrassing excuse. The framers of the Constitution, having experienced a popular revolution, were hardly recommending that the will of the majority be ignored. The Constitution sought to fine-tune majoritarian democracy, not to silence it. HR 1 is an important item to pass.