Help make elections fair – not just a money game
As a supporter of the Occupy movement, I was considering ways we can all get involved and actually make a difference.
There is a move afoot to amend the constitution to ban donations to candidates running for federal office.
This is, of course, in response to the Supreme Court decision giving corporations unlimited influence on elections through unlimited money as speech.
Consider the fact that 94 percent of the time, the candidate with the most money, wins. This fact alone should be enough to alarm us.
The actions of our elected representatives are clearly influenced by who is funding them and not the needs or wishes of the voters.
The deciding Supreme Court vote for the Citizens United case was made by Clarence Thomas, who just that same year, had failed to report that his wife was paid $1.6 million for work with a D.C. think tank whose main project that year was a favorable decision in this very case.
This is clearly a major breach of ethics. I am tired of waiting for Congress to investigate. Let’s take the pressure of all of this money off their hands.
A candidate for Senate has to raise $10,000 a week just to run for re-election, the system is designed to make our Federal representatives accountable to the group with the most money or they will not get that money.
Please get involved and sign the petition on the Get the Money Out! website and together with the groundswell of dissatisfaction of the 99 percent of us, we may just get something important done without them.
And be suspicious of any public official who argues against this plan.
Our kids deserve consistent proper nutrition at school and at home
I was happy to read your recent article about Farms to Schools and Taste of Washington day.
It is great that we are encouraging children to eat healthy. Unfortunately taxpayers and the Federal Government are doing the opposite through what we pay agribusiness to produce, according to a recent report, “ Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food,” put out by U.S. PIRG.
Over the last 15 years, nearly $17 billion dollars of our tax money went to producers and manufacturers in the business of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, and soy oils, but just $262 million went to subsidize apples, the only significant fresh fruit or vegetable to receive federal subsidies.
If these agricultural subsidies were given directly to consumers to buy food, each American taxpayer would get $7.36 to buy junk food and 11 cents to purchase apples each year.
Using national averages, that’s 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of a Red Delicious apple.
It’s time that we in Washington put our money where our mouths are. We need to tell Sen. Patty Murray and the rest of our congressional delegates to cut these wasteful subsidies for unhealthy foods.
American citizens are too big to fail
Who am I? I am one of the 99 percent.
I am not an activist. Yes, there are issues and causes that are important to me, but I have not been riled enough to be as outspoken about my feelings as I am now.
Why? The answer is simple: I cannot watch my family and friends struggle with our current and future economic re their concerns, and although they are as diverse as the numerous people I talked to, one idea was clear among all: our government is failing us all.
Our elected officials no longer represent us and our needs. Instead the sway of corporate money steers fiscal policy and government regulation.
One example of this is how the financial industry is fighting to overturn or soften the Dodd-Frank financial reform act that was passed to stem the irresponsibility and recklessness on Wall Street that put us all in this mess.
I have family members who have been caught up in the sub-prime, predatory lending fiasco. I have friends who have lost their homes in foreclosure.
I have a daughter who has graduated from UW and can’t find meaningful work. And, I have a son that needs to go out of state to attend college because fewer and fewer Washington residents are being accepted into our own schools.
We all have our own stories and I encourage you to share them. We are too big to fail. We are the 99 percent and we don’t just occupy Wall Street, or Seattle. We occupy Main Street.