Anti-corruption act promises to scrub Washington of corporate influence.
The Anti-Corruption Act proposed by Represent.us is a grassroots movement aimed at curtailing the influence of corporate lobbyists and special interests who buy and sell our representatives in Washington.
Even if our politicians are beholden to the donor class – that does not mean we the people are powerless nor does it mean we can’t fight back.
The American Anti-Corruption act will accomplish the following:
STOP POLITICIANS FROM TAKING BRIBESProhibit politicians from soliciting and receiving exorbitant contributions from the special interests they regulate, and prevent them from fundraising during working hours.
Politicians get extraordinary amounts of money from the special interests who lobby them, becoming dependent on lobbyists for the money necessary to win reelection. As a result, politicians are forced to create laws favorable to special interests in order to secure donations – even when those laws hurt their constituents.2
MAKE SUPER PACS PLAY BY FAIR RULESRequire super PACs to follow the same contribution limits as other political committees, and toughen the rules preventing coordination between super PACs and political campaigns.
Citizens United and subsequent Supreme Court cases ruled that super PACs have the right to raise and spend unlimited money influencing elections, so long as they do not coordinate with official candidate campaigns. But since Citizens United, we’ve seen tremendous coordination between campaigns and their super PACs, making a mockery of the “independence” that the courts thought would exist. Super PACs have become extensions of political campaigns, allowing mega-donors to exert undue influence on election outcomes.3
PREVENT JOB OFFERS AS BRIBESClose the “revolving door,” in which elected representatives and senior staff sell off their legislative power for high-paying lobbying jobs. Stop them from negotiating jobs while in office, and once they leave, bar them from all lobbying activity for several years.
Today, politicians and their staff routinely move straight from public office to lucrative private lobbying jobs, where they get paid to influence their former colleagues. This corrupts policymaking in two ways. First, politicians and their staff anticipate high-paying jobs with lobbying firms and routinely do legislative favors to their future employers. Second, once out of office, they enjoy undue political access and influence. The biggest spenders hire these influencers and win policy as a result – even if it harms the public.4
CALL ALL PEOPLE WHO LOBBY, “LOBBYISTS”Prevent special interest influencers from skirting the rules by strengthening the definition of lobbying and officially registering all lobbyists.
Definitions of who is and is not a lobbyist are weak and outdated. The result: politicians and their staff end up working as so-called “historical advisors” to skirt the law, receiving big money to influence policy without needing to disclose their activities. Lawmakers are not held accountable, since the public has an incomplete picture of the lobbyists trying to sway policy decisions.5
LIMIT LOBBYIST DONATIONSLimit the amount of money that lobbyists and their clients can contribute directly to political candidates, parties, and committees, and prevent lobbyists from soliciting money for political campaigns. Ban government contractors and their high-level executives, government relations employees, lobbyists, and PACs from making political contributions.
Lobbyists can often donate thousands of dollars to political candidates and then “bundle” their contributions with other lobbyists and special interests seeking to influence government. This adds up to serious money and political favors in return.6
END SECRET MONEYMandate full transparency of all political money. Require any organization that spends significant funds on advertisements aimed at electing or defeating a candidate to file a timely online report disclosing its major donors.
Elections are being flooded with secret money funneled through “501c” organizations that are not required to disclose the names of donors. 501c’s either spend money directly to influence elections or make unlimited contributions to super PACs. This allows secret political donors to flood elections with money and influence their outcomes.7
GIVE VOTERS MORE VOICEOffset the power of big spenders with “Democracy Credits” that voters can use to make contributions to qualified political candidates, parties, and committees. Candidates and political groups will only be eligible for these credits if they agree to a set of contribution limits: they will only accept money from small donors, other groups abiding by the limits, and the Democracy Credits themselves.
Running a political campaign is expensive, but less than one quarter of one percent of Americans gave $200 or more in the last election cycle. That makes politicians dependent upon – and therefore responsive to – a tiny fraction of special-interest donors. We need to give voters more of a voice by changing how elections are funded, so that politicians become dependent on everyday Americans.8
DISCLOSE “BUNDLING”Require candidates to disclose the names of individuals who “bundle” contributions for them, regardless of whether those individuals are registered lobbyists.
Political candidates rely on well-connected individuals to solicit big contributions from their friends and colleagues. These so-called “bundlers” are valuable fundraisers, which means politicians have an incentive to keep them happy by working political favors.9
ENFORCE THE RULESStrengthen anti-corruption enforcement mechanisms, provide prosecutors with the additional tools necessary to combat corruption, and put a ban on lobbyists who fail to properly register and disclose their activities.
Agencies routinely fail to enforce the anti-corruption rules that already exist, because their leaders are appointed by the very politicians they are supposed to regulate. The result is an elections system where even lax rules can be skirted or broken with impunity. Source
Following this 5/12 report from the Daily Caller on Hillary Clinton taking millions from rich gulf states in the Middle East and hundreds of other similar stories, it has become more important than ever to unite regardless of race, color, creed, political affiliation or cultural background in order to take this country back from the power-brokers who have hijacked it.
As it stands, our representatives are nothing more than puppets who circumvent the democratic process by doing the bidding of donors who hand them their marching orders. Consequently, our political system has devolved into a corportocracy where influence and power are top commodities while the will of the people is routinely ignored.
The good news is – we can put an end to this ugly form of crony capitalism and reform our political system which is marred with dirty money and conflicts of interest.
For more information on the American anti-corruption act, visit the Represent.us webpage – support the cause by sharing this article with friends/family.