Sunday, November 08, 2015

A brief review of the American Anti-Corruption Act

There is a quiet revolution rolling slowly across the country. It is starting small, with small cities and states that I like to think of as the low hanging fruit of reform.

This revolution concerns the implementation of at least 3 simple concepts:

I've been reviewing the Act, and it is breathtakingly thorough. It reads like a laundry list of everything that is wrong with American politics and provides a provision to fix it. I started to laugh when I got to the part about enforcement. Not because it was unrealistic, but because I just can't imagine how the current Congress would ever pass such a bill.

But anti-corruption acts are catching a few sparks. Maine, San Francisco and Seattle have all passed bills along these lines. That's how it starts. In a few years, this will be "common sense" politics. Ok, less than a generation, but still, it's happening. People are getting tired of living around an unresponsive government.

I love how this act is constructed with very specific amendments to the law. The act makes the term "lobbyist" much bigger and harder to escape. It closes the revolving door and cuts off coordination between SuperPACs and the candidates that benefit from them. It creates a tax rebate that can be used to make contributions to qualified candidates and organizations. It applies the same contribution limits on PACs to SuperPACs. It requires members of Congress to report how they spend their time when they entertain lobbyists and prohibits them from lobbying while Congress is in session. Wait. Congress gets a nanny? I'm in!

The best part? It has bigger teeth. With a wider reach, the restrictions will be harder to escape and the fear of jail provides additional incentive to comply. Members of Congress may find themselves more inclined to listen to everyone else besides their beloved donors.

Now it is time to put this bill before Congress. Let's see who would be willing to vote for this bill just before the primary season is about to begin. Anyone who cannot support this bill must be made to justify their position with specific objections. 

Tweet this link,, to your representatives in Congress and ask them directly if they would support this act. Then retweet their response if you get one. That's what I'm going to do. BTW, you can find your representatives in Congress here.

All we're asking for in this Act is accountability and an ear for the rest of us. That isn't too much to ask.
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