fresh voices from the front lines of change







Last week around 200 people marched across Washington in 100-degree heat to the offices of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and pinned an arrest warrant on the door. This matters. It is one more in an ongoing series of actions that say that people are paying attention and are not going to just go away.

Meanwhile, today the Supreme Court doubled down on its Citizens’ United decision opening up our elections to unlimited corporate money. While the original Supreme Court decision claimed that allowing corporate money to dominate elections would not bring about either corruption or even the appearance of corruption, Montana’s law was a direct response to actual, proven corporate corruption. The conservative-movement majority on the Supreme Court apparently felt that proven corruption does not have the appearance of corruption.

Last Wednesday, June 20, marchers taped an indictment to the door of the offices of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. They had taken the 45-minute walk from the Take Back The American Dream Conference through downtown D.C.

Here is a slideshow of my photos:

Crossroads GPS is one more organization that takes in hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires and their giant corporations to run nasty, negative political ads and do other things to influence our politics. However, it is set up as a “social welfare” organization—501(c)(4)—which means that even though its sole purpose is to promote and oppose candidates for office, it does not have to disclose its donors!

Friday Terrance Heath posted The People’s Indictment of Karl Rove, writing about the indictment,

Detailing an attempt to subvert and sell our democracy, the indictment was also mic check’d from the street by hundreds of protesters in 100 degree DC heat. The protest was organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, OurDC and others who took to the street.

The text of the indictment follows:

The following actions establish probable cause that crimes against our democracy did in fact occur.

COUNT I: Collusion with secretive groups and state legislatures to keep people from exercising their right to vote;

COUNT II: Conspiracy with billionaires to elect politicians who will do their bidding at the expense of the health and security of the 99 percent;

COUNT III: Engaging in fraudulent use of nonprofit status in order to shield their political activities from public scrutiny;

COUNT IV: Laundering political cash through supposed social welfare groups to deny Americans the knowledge of who is trying to buy their elections;

COUNT V: Silencing the voices of everyday voters by flooding our elections with corporate money from the 1 percent.

You are hereby commanded to cease and desist from these actions that undermine our democracy and the American dream. Failure to comply may result in citizens’ arrest.

Organized by Campaign for America’s Future, Rebuild the Dream, People for the American Way, Public Campaign, The Other 98%, Health Care for America Now, Common Cause, Alliance for Justice, Public Citizen, SEIU and others.

Meanwhile today the Supreme Court handed down a decision that struck down Montana’s ban on corporate political money. Here is a response from the Progressive Caucus: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Slam Roberts Court Decision on Montana Campaign Finance Law,

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement today after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Montana’s hundred-year-old campaign finance law in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock:

“Today the Supreme Court went against the will of 75 percent of the American people to overturn an effective 100-year-old state precedent that had protected Montana elections from corporate money in politics. This ruling compounds the damage to our democracy already done by the Citizens United v. FEC decision, which has allowed millions of untraceable dollars to overwhelm our federal, state, and local elections.

“The precedent set by that decision and reaffirmed today allows outside groups to trump popular state and federal laws that keep elections in the hands of the people. Montana’s campaign finance law kept campaigning costs low for candidates and ensured that voters had the most powerful voice in politics. The average Senate race in Montana costs only $17,000.

“We’ve seen this same story all over the country, and we know what happens next. Wealthy donors, corporations and special interests will now have unchecked influence over Montana’s political process. Citizens United is rapidly eroding the foundation of our democracy. The decision announced today is a squandered opportunity to repair that damage.

“Public opinion continues to favor overturning Citizens United. What happens next in Montana will provide a powerful example of how political conversation changes when corporations are allowed to sway campaigns. The Congressional Progressive Caucus will continue to fight for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and put democracy back in the hands of the American people.”

Senator Bernie Sanders Statement On Supreme Court Ruling In Montana Campaign Funding Case

WASHINGTON, June 25 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Montana Supreme Court ruling that allowed limits on campaign contributions:

“I am extremely disappointed but not surprised that the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Montana court ruling that would have allowed limits on campaign contributions.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s absurd 5-4 ruling two years ago in Citizens United was a major blow to American democratic traditions. Sadly, despite all of the evidence that Americans see every day, the court continues to believe that its decision makes sense.

“In recent weeks, multi-billionaires such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson have made it clear that, as a result of the Citizens United decision, they intend to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy this election for candidates who support the super-wealthy. This is not democracy. This is plutocracy. And that is why we must overturn Citizens United if we are serious about maintaining the foundations of American democracy.

“I intend to work as hard as I can for a constitutional amendment to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision.

“In his famous speech at Gettysburg during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln talked about America as a country ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Today, as a result of the Supreme Court’s refusal to reconsider its decision in Citizens United, we are rapidly moving toward a nation of the super-rich, by the super-rich and for the super-rich. That is not what America is supposed to be about. This Supreme Court decision must be overturned.”

To see Sanders’ proposed constitutional amendment, click here.

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