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To Topple US 'Oligarchy,' Sanders Calls for Publicly Financed Elections


#1

To Topple US 'Oligarchy,' Sanders Calls for Publicly Financed Elections

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has been vocal on the campaign trail about the scourge of big money in politics, said on Sunday he would push legislation in Congress to provide public funding of elections.

"We're going to introduce legislation which will allow people to run for office without having to beg money from the wealthy and the powerful," Sanders told a crowd of about 300 people at a town meeting in Rollinsford, New Hampshire.


#3

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” (Upton Sinclair)

I think the M$M will keep Sanders' (and Carter's and our) message deep in the weeds...


#4

speaking of platitudes, Bernie knows that this is a nonstarter, even if legislation could ever make it through. There isn't a treasury big enough to finance elections for the public interest that private billionaires couldn't trump. Worse, the private media companies would likely just be d*cks and raise ad rates just to devalue the public contribution. It's hugely in their interest to retain this system, as they profit enormously from it.

On;y one way to do this, and it's nearly impossible given the rule rigging these days: have to amend the constitution to obliterate the SCOTUS claim that spending is absolute, protected speech.


#5

Email from a friend included this:

As I think you know, our company operates in a lot of countries. One of our investment compliance activities is training in the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a part of which says you can’t bribe politicians. Our other-country counterparts just laugh and ask us about campaign finance in the US. Basically, Congress has said “US companies have to limit their bribes to politicians to domestic politicians.” It is sort of an anti-trade position—you cannot export bribes, but you are free to use them here.


#6

#7

Regardless of Bernie's "failures" on some issues (pointed-out endlessly), like foreign policy, one must respect his commitment to change the many corruptions of our republic, financial/banking sector, and politics he speaks-out on - that in itself is very important and only a very few are, notably Elizabeth - informing and energizing the public - who else is? Not Hill. Of course Bernie (IF he becomes the Dem candidate and IF he wins the WH) cannot act alone, he needs a Congress not in thrall to the Oligarchy (big-money) and huge public support to effect any change to corruptions of our politics he commits to. All the nay-sayers (and nutters) who break Bernie down would better spend their energies supporting his candidacy & informing the public WHY things must be radically changed. Perhaps many of the things his critics point-out as failures will be addressed if and when he wins the WH.......He is a hell of a lot more rational than most of the others (and all the Repubs). When the time comes to make a choice we are much better-off with Bernie speaking-out!


#8

Bernie has made 2 astute decisions in the last week: his support for a public funding option of all Congressional elections is one and the other was his remarks on immigration. People are now understanding their wages, housing, credit rating and healthcare, whether they're a service worker, carpenter or a software engineer, are being undercut by the very people who claim the libertarian, free market and small gov't platform. While " pigging out " at the trough of the MIC, PIC and Security State; there's no money for the roads, schools, health clinics, food and environmental regulations and energy alternatives which keep people from dieing prematurely at the hands of the corrupted state. A state which demands tax compliance under potential legal duress but offers no redress of grievances without " legalized bribery and pay to play " , as President Carter pointed out, too. The DINOS cannot escape their all to obvious duplicity, here, as Republicans make complete fools of themselves, genuflecting in front of the Oligarchs. Thanks Bernie and President Carter. " No taxation without representation. " It worked before and can, again.


#9

Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other


#10

We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon


#11

MSM corporations' revenues (especially big city daily newspapers) are highly dependent on campaign ads and will eternally fight tooth and nail to INCREASE, not decrease PAC funding of campaigns.

Ever since the internet dried up advertising revenue for newspapers, campaign ads are about the only revenue source keeping them from going out of business.


#12

Recall that ever since the Clintons and others formed the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) in 1985 and focused the Party's mission on getting more corporate money than the GOP, the Party has increasingly distanced itself from pre-DLC players like Jimmy Carter, to the point that Carter was not even invited to speak at the 2008 Democratic Party Convention.

During and subsequent to the 2008 Convention Obama has never alluded to the existence of Carter, while frequently praising Ronny Raygun, even comparing himself to Ronny.


#14

Nearly 60 donors give one-third of all 2016 campaign cash


#15

Would you really want to run a privately funded campaign, ala Bloomberg, against a publicly funded and party supported candidate? It's akin to walking around in a deer outfit in Michigan in the late fall. Good luck outside the old Confederacy, too, which isn't even really a part of the U.S., anymore. Bloomberg's attempt at inserting himself into state and national elections via the primary system was blown out of the water here in Oregon. California and Washington will soon enough revisit this backdoor 3rd way trickery also, I'm thinking.


#16

This is a fine article. To which I would add that reform of inequality is impossible without abandonment of the empire. And there is no doubt no one knows this better than Senator Sanders. He already has enough power mobilized against him (and us) and is choosing to emphasize income inequality, the wacky trade deals and racist attacks on the poor where he knows he is right in the mainstream. The mainstream of what the people want, not the mainstream the punditocracy would like the people to want.
We should support Sanders; I shall work for him. But never vote for other Democrats reflexively. In fact if this party rejects him I will work in my precinct for Jill Stein.


#17

I consider political campaign donations as gratuity for past and future service and should be highly taxable and counted as personal income or salary.


#18

Yes, well, as long as we're fantasizing: How about 6 week election campaigns - as in Great Britain? How about voting day is a holiday or a weekend, as in other real democracies? How about no paid TV ads, the most expensive item in a campaign? AND the whole campaign is publicly financed! But who is gonna vote for these changes - almost all of congress has sold out to their campaign donors and lobbyists. Bernie knows all this quite well, so his rhetoric will attract the naive who still believe we live in some sort of a democracy. I myself have watched bills for campaign finance reform languish in congress repeated over the last 40 years. Oh well.


#19

Actually, he has spoken out. He has integrated the Black Lives Matter issue into more recent speeches.


#21

YES!!!!!
No Campaign , or 'Other', 'Political Contributions' (purchase Contracts) , AT ALL.
NONE!.
No after-office Perks (Jobs and/or non cash Transfers), either.
TERM LIMITS! and....
'Average', Reasonably Comparable, wages for our 'Representatives'. Same, for Supreme 'Justices'.
NO LIFETIME 'JOB CONTRACTS'
RESTORE PUBLIC REPRESENTATION to its meanful status as OUR Representatives


#23

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#24

Thank you for the link to the excellent Patrick Walker article in CounterPunch. I found the below paragraph particularly well-argued and well-written:

"Hedges, St. Clair, and Frank, in short, castigate Bernie for his Faustian bargain with Democrats, while never raising the serious question of whether, for Bernie personally, any better bargain was available. And frankly, I think their bias against Democrats (a bias Democrats substantially merit) has blinded them to the sheer impotence and futility Bernie would have embraced by running as an independent or for a third party. If there’s now so much excitement over Bernie, it’s precisely because Bernie, by running as a Democrat, gains instant ballot, debate, and media access he wouldn’t otherwise have achieved; his election, while perhaps unlikely, certainly seems possible. And, while corporate mainstream media has certainly not been Bernie-friendly, it has been forced to cover him as part and parcel of typical “horse race” politics: the highly profitable creation of drama around a primary race. Contrast that with the deadly silence—or the “freak show” ridicule—with which mainstream media would have treated a Sanders Green or independent campaign. The best he could have hoped for was to be “Ralph Nader on steroids,” and as Bernie astutely realized, Democrats’ resentment of him as a spoiler—and clampdown on his publicly valuable Senate career—would have been equally “steroidal.”"