|Corporations don’t have a vote.
But when Chevron dumped $2.5 million into a super PAC devoted solely to running negative ads against environmentally-friendly congressional candidates, it exercised the kind of influence over our political system that few voters could ever dream of having.For Chevron, it was a business investment, an investment in congressional hard-liners who refuse to cut corporate welfare subsidies and ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence that suggests we are heading towards catastrophic climate change. Members who side with Chevron and Big Oil on such issues demonstrate by their actions that they would rather prop up the companies’ short-sighted, record-breaking profits than leave their grandchildren a livable planet.Chevron must be held accountable.
Demand that Chevron keep its corporate profits out of We the People’s politics.
Why is Greenpeace involved? Because this sort of corporate meddling in elections is toxic to our democracy, and impedes our ability to pass any kind of comprehensive environmental legislation— including legislation to tackle climate change.
Despite the Supreme Court’s abominable Citizens United ruling, Chevron’s political spending seems to have violated the law because Chevron is a federal contractor. Chevron has received government contracts worth more than $44 million since 2000. The Citizens United ruling didn’t eliminate the laws against bribery in federal contracting, which prohibit contractors like Chevron from directly or indirectly supporting candidates for elected office. Allowing Chevron to get away with this apparent violation would create a self-perpetuating cycle of corruption, in which corporations spend their money to elect candidates, who then reward the corporations with government contracts and other favors, which in turn generate more revenue to be spent on still more candidates— actively destroying our environment in the process.
Help Greenpeace & Public Citizen break the cycle and tell Chevron to keep its corrupting cash out of our democracy.
Thanks for all you do, Your friends at Greenpeace
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
Marco Rubio wants to have it both ways on immigration reform.
Chinese Army linked to large-scale hacking campaign.
Missouri Republican wants to make it a crime to even propose gun violence prevention measures.
No, rich people don’t flee higher taxes en masse.
GOP “makeover” hits a snag: Republicans refuse to actually change.
The flood of corporate and special interest money pouring into our elections is corrupting American democracy to the breaking point, but we have a powerful opportunity to begin to take our democracy back if we act in the next 48 hours.
Since the Supreme Court’s radical 2010 Citizens United ruling gutted most legal limits on what billionaires and corporations can spend on influencing our elections, so-called “SuperPACs” have raised more than $300 million from a tiny group of super wealthy donors. With this money, Big Oil can block efforts to fight climate change, Wall Street can block fair taxation and defense lobbyists can rev up the war machine — even when the public is opposed. The threat to good government is existential — yet the candidates are barely talking about it. We can change that by making sure big money in politics and the need for a Constitutional Amendment to fix the problem is a central topic in the first presidential debate.
PBS’s Jim Lehrer will moderate the debate — and his staff told Avaaz that if we petition for him to ask a question on this issue, they’ll present it to him this Friday, along with how many people signed. So let’s build a massive call — sign below and share with everyone you know:
Just one man, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has already vowed to spend more than $100 million dollars supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Adelson is a savvy investor — a new analysis shows he stands to win back more than $2 billion in tax breaks if Romney ends up in the White House. But the problem affects both parties. The system is broken and most Americans know it: in poll after poll, a supermajority of Americans of all political persuasions say they want common sense limits put on what the super-rich can spend on our elections.
Centuries ago, America’s founders designed a way for us to put this genie back in the bottle, a way for us to amend what’s broken: by reversing the Supreme Court decisions that created this mess with a Constitutional Amendment. Some argue that an amendment is too hard to achieve, but organizing for an Amendment is a powerful tool in itself which forces candidates to stake out a position on this issue for voters to judge and can serve as leverage for other reforms like transparency and public financing, which are also needed. That’s why calls for an Amendment are gaining steam – several versions have already been introduced in Congress and President Obama recently offered support for the idea.
Jim Lehrer is no dummy: he knows that few issues are more worthy of debate than big money and corruption in government. But the campaigns will be pushing for softball questions, so it’s our job to remind Lehrer that the purpose of these debates is to force candidates to address the issues that matter to us, on the record and unscripted. Sign now and forward this to others:
Around the world Avaaz members have come together by the millions to challenge government corruption and pay to play politics. With our fragile democracy in the US now at risk of being taken over completely by the 1%, it’s time to fight back. That’s why we’re launching Elections not Auctions, an Avaaz project to stem the flow of unlimited money into our democracy. They have the money, but we have the power.
With hope and determination and fighting spirit,
Ian, Joseph, Morgan, Dalia, David and the entire Avaaz team
Poll: Americans largely in favor of campaign spending limitations (LA Times / AP)
Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romney (Rolling Stone)
Obama Grows More Reliant on Big-Money Contributors (NYT)
Jim Lehrer to moderate DU presidential debate Oct. 3 (The Denver Post)
Obama, on Reddit, proposed overturning Citizens United (LA Times)
National Survey: Super PACs, Corruption, and Democracy (Brennan Center)
How One Mega-Donor Could Save $2.3 Billion Under Romney’s Tax Plan (Think Progress)
I know it may seem like politicians only roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty when they are throwing mud at each other.
There are few people in Washington like Jon — a truly authentic individual without a shred of pretense in him. He’s a third generation dirt farmer and, to this day, harvests the crops on his family farm each season. He has an indelible presence and a boisterous laugh that can — often — be heard echoing through the halls of the Capitol.
Jon Tester is a good friend and a great senator, and right now he needs our help as he fights for his re-election.
We saw last month how passionate he is about trying to overturn Citizens United, a decision that Jon once described as a “kick in the teeth to our democracy.”
Since Jon arrived in the Senate, he’s done a tremendous job working to lift the curtain of special interest influence in Washington.
It’s no wonder the same special interest groups are pouring millions of dollars into the race to stop him. Jon will need the help of people like you to combat the attacks from these extreme groups.
Jon is someone who will continue to roll up his sleeves, eager to help move our country forward.
We can’t let the obstructionism in Washington prevail. The other side has gone to war against women and stood in the way of our efforts to get America back to work.
With Jon on our side, we can continue our work to put people over politics.
|Because you have been a friend of progressive campaigns, we have included you in a mailing list of supporters who may be interested in receiving occasional updates from Friends of Bernie Sanders. We hope you find these messages interesting and informative. If you do not want to continue to receive these messages, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. Thanks.
Thank you very much for the political and financial support you have given my campaign for re-election to the United States Senate from Vermont. It is very much appreciated.
See Bernie discuss wealth and income and its impact on our democracy on MSNBC.
Economically, the United States today has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth and that inequality is worse today in America than at any time since the late 1920s. Today, the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America — 150 million people. Today, one family, the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame, with $89 billion, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America. Today, the top one percent own 40 percent of all wealth, while the bottom 60 percent owns less than two percent. Incredibly, the bottom 40 percent of all Americans own just three-tenths of one percent of the wealth of the country.
|E-mails actually cost money. If you don’t want to hear from us, we’re happy not to send them. No hard feelings.If you do like to hear from us, but you’re sure that you don’t want to contribute today, that’s OK, too – just click this button, and you’ll stay on our list:|
|If you want to stay with us, but not contribute, then all we ask is that you just click on that button – that’s not asking so much, is it? But if you think that you might want to contribute, or at least hear what we have to say today, then read on:People have asked why we are doing a “Fight Corporate Smears” Moneybomb this week.
The answer is that we have to. There is no alternative.
Right in front of our eyes, the right wing in America is strip-mining the political landscape, polluting it with wave after wave of hateful propaganda and lies. First the radio, then the newspapers, and now TV are virtually all right-wing, virtually all the time. And that’s just the “news” coverage; the paid ads are even worse.
In 2010, I was the target of more than $5 million in “sewer money” smears. A few weeks before the election, the newspaper Politico calculated that almost 20% of all of the “independent expenditures” in House races in the entire country had been spent against me. And no cavalry came to my rescue – certainly not the imaginary “liberal media.”
All of the big money is on one side – the side of Big Money. After the 2010 election, the Center for Media and Democracy reported that spending by outside groups had risen by “at least 500 percent.” Pro-Republican groups had outspent pro-Democratic groups by 7 to 1. Public Citizen calculated that in the 53 House competitive districts where Karl Rove and his allies outspent Democratic groups, the Republicans won 51.
The right-wing has only one tool, and it needs only one tool – the slanderous attack ad. I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers dictate what voters see and hear in September and October of each election year, or the fact that it’s all lies, lies, lies. Completely unconstrained by reality.
And now it has started again. Already, the typical voter in Orlando has seen another one of those vicious, malicious anti-Grayson ads ten times during the month of May alone. Politifact and Factcheck.org both proclaimed the ads outrageous lies. The other side couldn’t care less.
So what are we going to do about it? Unlike the Republicans, I can’t auction off tax breaks, bailouts, subsidies, regulatory exemptions, government contracts and other goodies to the highest bidder. I can’t, and I won’t.
We have to find some other way to fight back. And that involves you.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision unleashed the dogs of this one-sided war. I was in the courtroom during the decision. That night, on national TV, I said, “If we do nothing, you can kiss this country goodbye.”
When I said “we,” I meant you.
OK, so now we will offer you the same choices:
|Or do nothing, and you will not hear from us again.You decide your future. And everyone else’s too.
P.S. We’re serious about this. Please click on one button, or the other. Either way, we’re happy to have your support.
just another rant …
What worried me before the mid-term elections was the possibility that people who have no experience, civility, common sense or clarity may get on the floor of Congress and really ruin what used to be a great country if they “take back their country.” I guess you can plug in whatever that means for you though it sounds like an awful way to live if you are a minority on any level. Now, 3 yrs. later maybe people have experienced and now understand that elections have consequences. The grim reality is that a vote for Republicans is a vote against your own best interest people. If you live under a Republican controlled state, you have to ask yourself what have Republicans really done for you lately especially if have family friends co-workers who are Teachers, Cops, Emts, Firefighters. Honestly, i don’t get it. The Republican mission remains unchanged and is as clear as the nose on your face yet folks say oh what you hearing right now is about winning the primary, you cannot be telling me Republicans can or intend to do a 360 or 180 if they win. The mission of Republicans in congress has been to seek out and privatize public service jobs or destroy them while dismantling the Affordable health care Act by any means necessary. Unfortunately, the “thing” (Women) they have chosen to use as a Political football reared its ugly head again opting to attach nasty amendments like the XL pipeline that might be environmentally unsafe or that are clearing misogynistic to bills that would help ALL Americans not a select few. In 2010, Republican Governors told their constituents their focus was on JObs Jobs Jobs though as time passed it was clear the mission included eliminating unions, defunding education and every social service program available while eliminating Working Families at the same time. This was not just a rude awakening it was a slap, which brought out that sleeping giant gained speed and culminated into millions of folks fighting back. This is the 21st Century and the Party of No wants to roll back the clock, stir blue collar workers into a froth with instantiated anger that they, their wives and neighbors will march into that voting booth and vote based on everything other than who really is qualified to be President of the United States . The results from the midterm elections should have been a warning shot; they will affect our children, our lives, and our future for years to come. Now, unless you live under a rock the choice we make in 2012, the voices heard with our votes will change everything. Think of the possibilities, if voters put the Democratic Party back in charge. There will still be differences of opinion but changing out the extreme and partisan Party for a Congress that might be willing to work together for the greater good, rids America of Citizens United, makes sure that equality in all its forms finally reigns and that income inequality gap starts to fall away. The choice is an obvious one to me as this group of Republican lawmakers on the local State and Federal level decidedly agreed to take an extreme hard right. The Political Party of no made the unseemly choice to sign a pledge to stick by Grover Norquist that hurts all Americans, support Paul Ryan’s budget that will change Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security as we know it and gave Speaker Boehner and McConnell power that has in my opinion been abused and misused far more than their constituents understand or accept. Mr. McConnell whose famous statement, that his job his only goal was and still is to make President Obama a one term President will go down in history, and not in a good way.
Voting is a Right NOT a Privilege ….
below is just one of many stories of brave people who took a stand for us, Annie took a stand for my right to vote … NOW, we all have to Stand Up ! We will NOT let them turn back the Voting Clock !
Annie Lee Cooper
-The Selma Times-Journal reports:Annie Lee Cooper, a civil rights hero, died Wednesday afternoon at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. She was 100 years old.
Cooper became known worldwide in 1965 for a confrontation with Sheriff James G. Clark.
Historian David J. Garrow tells the story in his book, “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” which was released in the 1970s by Yale University Press.
According to Garrow’s documented version, Cooper had stood in line for hours outside the Dallas County Courthouse to register to vote. Clark ordered the 224-pound, 54-year-old African-American woman to go home. Cooper clamed he poked her in the back of the neck with either a billy club or a cattle prod. Cooper turned and delivered a right hook to the sheriff’s jaw. He dropped to the ground. – Read the whole story –> Annie Lee Cooper, civil rights legend, dies | The Selma Times?Journal
in other News …
1pmet-Cspan2 TSA Administrator Speaks on Counterterrorism
3pmET-Cspan3 FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz Defends FY2013 Budget
Interview with President Obama on Israel and Iran
You’re busy, so I’ll be quick.
Our grassroots movement to repeal Citizens United is gaining steam. Progressives from across the country are coming together in a fight to bring transparency back to our elections and give our democracy back to the people.
And they’re counting on our momentum to slow down. But we have to show them that we’re not going to stop until we’ve repealed Citizens United once and for all.
Thank you very much.
We know that Karl Rove and his special interest friends are going to lie about me and my record in this campaign. And we know they’re going to spend a ton of money doing it.
Now, I’m not afraid to stand on my progressive values – and I’m always proud to defend my record of standing up for Ohio’s working families. What I do worry about is this: Will we be able to respond?
After all, telling the truth is free – but rapid response in a campaign costs money. And the worst-case scenario for this campaign is that the truth will be on our side – but that, because of Citizens United, the numbers will be on the side of the other guys…and the money won’t be there when we need to fight back.
There’s nothing worse than having to sit by, unable to right a wrong. When one of my colleagues says that cutting taxes on the wealthiest one percent will reduce the deficit, I want to tell him why he’s wrong. When I see an Ohio homeowner struggling to avoid foreclosure, I want to help.
And when I see an ad on Ohio’s airwaves lying about me, I want to set the record straight – online and offline, on the doors and on the phones.
But if we don’t hit our goals – like the $120,000 one we’re up against right now – we might be unable to do that. That’s Karl Rove’s game plan: Wear us down and drown us out.
There’s going to come a day – maybe soon – when I ask Sarah whether we have enough resources to respond to something ugly Karl Rove put on our airwaves. And when I do, her answer will depend on whether supporters like you have done the hard work it takes to meet goals like this one.
Thank you for helping us be ready,