Petition for Private Money Out Of Politics – by James Leas

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PETITION

PRIVATE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS NOW

 

We, the undersigned registered voters of the town of ____________________ [State], petition the select board to add the following resolution to the warning for town meeting, March 6, 2012.

 

“Recognizing that the US Constitution provides Congress with the power to limit and regulate the jurisdiction of the federal courts, shall the voters of our town request that the Vermont legislature call on Congress to use this constitutional power to remove court jurisdiction over financing election campaigns so Congress can freely pass legislation to remove private interest money from elections, establish public funding, and prevent wealthy private interests–the top 1%–from controlling our government, corrupting politicians and our political system, and preventing government of, by, and for the people.”

 

Background:

  1. Since 1976, Supreme Court decisions have overturned laws restricting private interest spending on election campaigns enabling the 1% to take more and more control over our federal government.
  2. Private interests contribute money in election campaigns to empower and enrich themselves and to dis-empower the 99%. Federal officials wasted enormous sums of taxpayer’s money on government contracts, subsidies, bailouts, wars, and tax cuts for the rich that give the 1% a huge return on their campaign contribution investment while the government uses resulting deficits to justify cuts in needed spending on education, health care, environment, safety, and infrastructure.
  3. The US Constitution provides Congress with all the power it needs to prevent the US Supreme Court from enabling the 1% to buy elections. No constitutional amendment is needed. The US constitution states: “The Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make” (Article III, Section 2). Separately, Congress also establishes and controls all “inferior courts” (Article III, Section 1).
  4. In addition, as early as 1803, and for the next 173 years, the Supreme Court declined jurisdiction over what it called “political questions.” Regulating funding for elections is a quintessential “political question.” But recent 5-4 Supreme Court decisions overturned this long established precedent because the Court majority wanted to empower the 1%.
  5. Congress thus has both constitutional authority and Supreme Court precedent to reestablish the bar on Court jurisdiction and remove private interest money from elections. It should use that power.

 

Print Name Clearly                Signature                                Address

 

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