Dear friends across the US,
Billionaires and corporate special interests are flooding our election with campaign cash designed to capture our government for the 1%. But we can fight back with a Constitutional Amendment to fix it. Sign in the next 48 hours to ask moderator Jim Lehrer to make this a focus of the first presidential debate, and let's see who's with us and who's against us.
The flood of corporate and special interest money pouring into our elections is corrupting American democracy to the breaking point,
but we have a powerful opportunity to begin to take our democracy back if we act in the next 48 hours.
Since the Supreme Court’s radical 2010 Citizens United
ruling gutted most legal limits on what billionaires and corporations can spend on influencing our elections, so-called “SuperPACs” have raised more than $300 million from a tiny group of super wealthy donors. With this money, Big Oil can block efforts to fight climate change, Wall Street can block fair taxation and defense lobbyists can rev up the war machine -- even when the public is opposed. The threat to good government is existential -- yet the candidates are barely talking about it. We can change that by making sure big money in politics and the need for a Constitutional Amendment to fix the problem is a central topic in the first presidential debate.
PBS’s Jim Lehrer will moderate the debate -- and his staff told Avaaz that if we petition for him to ask a question on this issue, they'll present it to him this Friday
, along with how many people signed. So let's build a massive call -- sign below and share with everyone you know:
Just one man, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has already vowed to spend more than $100 million dollars supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy.
Adelson is a savvy investor -- a new analysis shows he stands to win back more than $2 billion in tax breaks if Romney ends up in the White House. But the problem affects both parties. The system is broken and most Americans know it: in poll after poll, a supermajority of Americans of all political persuasions say they want common sense limits put on what the super-rich can spend on our elections.
Centuries ago, America’s founders designed a way for us to put this genie back in the bottle, a way for us to amend what’s broken: by reversing the Supreme Court decisions that created this mess with a Constitutional Amendment.
Some argue that an amendment is too hard to achieve, but organizing for an Amendment is a powerful tool in itself which forces candidates to stake out a position on this issue for voters to judge and can serve as leverage for other reforms like transparency and public financing, which are also needed. That’s why calls for an Amendment are gaining steam - several versions have already been introduced in Congress and President Obama recently offered support for the idea.
Jim Lehrer is no dummy: he knows that few issues are more worthy of debate than big money and corruption in government. But the campaigns will be pushing for softball questions, so it’s our job to remind Lehrer that the purpose of these debates is to force candidates to address the issues that matter to us, on the record and unscripted. Sign now and forward this to others:
Around the world Avaaz members have come together by the millions to challenge government corruption and pay to play politics. With our fragile democracy in the US now at risk of being taken over completely by the 1%, it’s time to fight back. That’s why we’re launching Elections not Auctions, an Avaaz project to stem the flow of unlimited money into our democracy. They have the money, but we have the power.
With hope and determination and fighting spirit,
Ian, Joseph, Morgan, Dalia, David and the entire Avaaz team
Poll: Americans largely in favor of campaign spending limitations (LA Times / AP)
Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romney (Rolling Stone)
Obama Grows More Reliant on Big-Money Contributors (NYT)
Jim Lehrer to moderate DU presidential debate Oct. 3 (The Denver Post)
Obama, on Reddit, proposed overturning Citizens United (LA Times)
National Survey: Super PACs, Corruption, and Democracy (Brennan Center)
How One Mega-Donor Could Save $2.3 Billion Under Romney’s Tax Plan (Think Progress)
Avaaz.org is a 16-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 19 countries on 6 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
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