Occupy the Constitution: Get Money Out of Politics, Part 1

Dear Occupy and all the members of the 99%:

As you know and daily experience, our government’s priorities and policies are shaped by the 1% via corporate lobbyists, PACs, and direct campaign contributions. If you have any doubt, listen to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff break it down for 60 Minutes or read former staffer-turned-lobbyist Jimmy Williams explain his crisis of conscience. I realize you don’t really need those links, you know the money in our political system is corrupting it, but still it’s enlightening to hear how it works from former masters of the system.

You also know that our Supreme Court has made reform from within our current system impossible, even if members of Congress could soar above their narrow self-interest and pass transformative legislation. The infamous Citizens United decision really wasn’t all that dramatic, given the Court’s earlier definition of spending money to affect elections as political speech, the most protected form of speech under our Constitution.

As the Supreme Court opinions I discuss in part 2 lay out, history is repeating itself: the 1% are using their stranglehold on wealth to control our election outcomes and thus our policies. But like all bad dynamics allowed to continue to build destructive momentum, the corruption of our politics is worse this time. What was once criminal has been totally legitimized. Legislation, thanks to the Supreme Court, can’t put the 1%’s overreach in check. Now the only way to reverse the flow of power from massively wealthy corporations and individuals to the 99% is a constitutional amendment.

Check out the rest here…