Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bernie can't do it alone - so an army of candidates are running for Congress to help

Bernie Sanders has done something no other politician in recent memory has done: he beat the money primary. Instead of holding lofty fundraisers with wealthy patrons, instead of dialing for dollars for up to two thirds of his time in Congress, he came to us for help. He's filling stadiums and parks with his rallies. He's set up a website to accept campaign contributions from ordinary people like you and me. How much has he raised?

Just 0.02% of his money came from sources other than regular folks like you and I. His average contribution is about $27. He's raised 182 million without a single $2700-a-plate fundraiser. Without a single corporate bundler. The only people who've got his ear are the rest of us.

Now lets look at Hillary Clinton:

For Hillary, 30% of her funding comes from SuperPACs and 70% comes from the rest of us. That's respectable. But I have a fair amount of confidence that those other groups have a far greater influence on her decision making than the 70% of the contributions she's received otherwise. Nearly $80 million of that money comes from large financial interests.

I'm not saying that she's evil in doing this. I say that she's doing this because she believes she has to. Like many high level Democrats, she believes that she needs the corporate money because the Republicans are going to take it if she doesn't. It doesn't have to be that way. Here are a few candidates to prove it.

Tim Canova is one of them. He's running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida and he's set to announce that he's expecting to have raised $1 million by this weekend for his campaign in the House. Wasserman Schultz complains that he's raised more money from out of state than in the state. But Canova counters that he's raise more in-state money thanWasserman Schultz. He's doing it all on small donations.

Zephyr Teachout wrote a book on corruption. She's running for a seat in New York and she's doing well, very well. Here's her bio at Wikipedia:
She is a tenured Associate Professor of Law at Fordham Law School and previously a Visiting Professor of Law at Duke University and a lecturer at the University of Vermont.
Teachout is an antitrust and media expert who served as the Director of Internet Organizing for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign. She cofounded A New Way Forward, an organization built to break up big banks,[8] and was involved with Occupy Wall Street.[9] Teachout was also the first national director of the Sunlight Foundation.
She is also featured at as a candidate dedicated to fighting corruption, public funding of campaigns and doesn't take big money from SuperPACs. She's already raised more than a half million from small contributions alone and if elected, will be one more member of Congress who will not be dialing for dollars.

There's a veritable army for Bernie growing among the ranks of candidates running for Congress. Along with Zephyr Teachout, we have Lucy Flores in Nevada, John Fetterman in Pennsylvania and of course, Tim Canova. Even more can be found here, on the leaders page in the website. More than 36 candidates are running for Congress with the intent of breaking the grip of corruption upon the members of Congress.

The fight against corruption is growing. We're living in it and we can see the results. From fracking to neglected infrastructure to medical bankruptcies and Wall Street bailouts. The tide against corruption is growing. It is up to us to push the wave of corruption fighting candidates onto Congress and our statehouses. I will leave you with one relevant quote to sum it up:
What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…  --Judge Learned Hand
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