By Azor Cole, American Promise Citizen Empowerment Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Money’s corrupting power is sometimes easy to see. The Koch brothers gave Paul Ryan $500,000 for passing corporate-friendly tax legislation.
Stephen Cloobeck, major Democratic Party donor, threatened Democrats who speak negatively about millionaires and billionaires, saying, “I’ll cut your money off, and others will do the same.” This was on national TV.
But most of the time, the donor class operates unseen. Take gubernatorial races. Corporations can pour unlimited amounts of undisclosed money through the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and into the pockets of candidates. Corporations indicate an “interest” in a candidate along with their contribution and the RGA or DGA winks and nods. The money is funneled accordingly.
This glaring loophole benefits from the Supreme Court’s shrinking definition of corruption when, in reality, corruption is systemic, rarely black and white.
But what’s the solution? We need to replace money’s political influence with We the People's. The only way to do that is to get active in our communities and demand our lawmakers support the 28th Amendment to ensure that people, not money, govern.
Democracy only works when citizens take responsibility for its health. Right now our democracy is sick, and it’s every American’s job to fulfill their duty of civic upkeep. The American Promise team supports citizens fighting back against corruption everyday. Losing is not an option, and with the help of every able American, we won’t.