We had a substitute teacher for my 4th-grade class on Jan. 20, 1961. I remember the teacher saying to us kids ... “Today, I am going to play something on the radio that you may not fully understand but I think you may remember.”
Then a speech began ... that I do not fully remember, except the now famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” That part of the speech from the newly inaugurated president, JFK, I understood ... and still remember.
Today’s massive, almost obscene, number of PACs, corporations and lobbyist money is literally pouring into the campaigns of most candidates with very clear expectations from the funders what the newly elected government can do for them.
Is our government still “by and for the people,” as Abe Lincoln once stated, if groups with great sums of money are buying elections through massive advertising that is often infused with misleading and blatantly false information?
Elizabeth Warren is one candidate (among a minority) running for president who has pledged not to accept any donation from lobbyists or PACs. She recently made a commitment that she will extend her current grassroots fundraising pledge through the general election. She also pledges not to give wealthy donors special access nor court billionaires to run a super-PAC for her.
Since Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that ruled corporate spending is “free speech,” the floodgates of money have taken government from the people, taken it from the everyday American voices, and placed the levers of government into the hands of those that can “pay to play.”
Getting massive money out of politics is critical if the voices of everyday citizens, voices of the working class, voices of the repressed, and voices of the minorities are to be heard. Elizabeth Warren has pledged, if elected, to work with Congress to regulate election spending and to end this era of massive dark money.
I am endorsing Elizabeth Warren due to this pledge, along with her commitment to fight corruption in government. I hope other candidates will also take this pledge.
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