Guns and Fourth Branch of Government

It was the fourth branch of government that defeated the bill proposing universal background checks for anyone purchasing a gun. They accomplished this even though 90% of citizens were in favor of such legislation.

This fourth branch is in the shadows and it is not controlled by the voters. Instead, it is controlled by money coming from special interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, the President’s “Organize For Action”, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Citizens United, all labor union PACS and approximately 4,600 other political action committees.

In the case of PAC’s, they in theory represent a group of voters who are supporting the PAC. This creates a problem that: 1). Not every voter belongs to a PAC and 2) Not all PAC’s are created equal. The more money the PAC has, the more influence they have. Further, the more one contributes to a PAC, the more influence that person has over the PAC.

Making things worse, these organizations have control over the other three branches of our, tongue in cheek, government. Most of these PAC’S are controlled by a small group of individuals making the decisions. In addition to these Political Action Committees, our elected officials spend much of their time soliciting money from very wealthy individuals in the following industries: Wall Street, Banking, Entertainment, Energy, Home Building, Technology and others.

Politics is the only industry I am aware of that allows its employees to take a paid leave of absence from performing their duties to look for another job; their reelection. I am very pessimistic. If we do not end this corruption the country will continue in its slow decline.

Marginalization of Republicans

No place in the article appearing in the April 7, 2012 edition of the New York Times Obama Must Walk Fine Line as Congress Takes Up Agenda, does it mention that the Republicans are trying to craft legislation that is in the best interest of the country. Instead, it discusses the Republicans perceptions of what is in the best interest of the party and how this is blocking efforts to pass legislation. As long as voters believe this to be the case, the Republican party is doomed to fail.

The Republicans take this view because the voter has been marginalized by big money campaign contributions. Until we take back our government from big money we will continue to suffer and decline as a nation.

Ending Political Corruption

Elections controlled by the rich is not the way to run a country of the people, by the people and for the people. In politics money corrupts and significant money corrupts significantly. We know what to do; we don’t know how to do it. Here are some ideas.

  1. Reverse Citizens United with an amendment to the constitution.
  2. Allow a President to only be in office for one six year term.
  3. Prohibit a department head in the federal government from working for anyone in the industry which he/she is regulating for seven years after leaving government.
  4. Create a tax payer based method to finance election campaigns.
  5. Prohibit politicians from spending any tax-payer funded campaign dollars prior to six moths before the upcoming election. This is like giving them a paid leave of absence to find another job.  (We are not only spending too much money on campaigns, we are granting too much time to our elected officials on their re-election efforts.)

Our democracy is in the balance.

Organize For Action Belittles President

Organize For Action (OFA), a new non-profit “social welfare” group, has a stated objective of promoting what the countries agenda and objectives should be per Barack Obama. The new organization has no limits on who can donate and how much they can donate. The rationale used for forming such an organization is the “far right” has such organizations and this new non-profit helps level the playing field so the President can move forward with his agenda.

In politics money corrupts, significant money corrupts significantly. During one of his state of the union addresses the president called out the Supreme Court for the way they voted on the Citizens United case, which basically opened the door for unlimited and uncontrolled contributions to politicians, political parties and political agendas.
I believe that Barack Obama made a significant mistake in agreeing to the creation of Organize For Action. I doubt my disagreeing is going to change anyone’s mind. Therefore, I urge OFA to make as a high priority of theirs the promotion of a constitutional amendment that puts spending limits on campaign contributions.
We have gotten to a point where our elected officials spend more time campaigning for reelection than legislating and governing. Something is wrong with this equitation. Creating entities such as OFA compounds the problem.