A note from my Congressman:
On July 4, 1776, fifty-six delegates from the thirteen colonies stood against a tyrannical British king and for the proposition that Americans would govern themselves through a democratic process of voting.
Almost 240 years later, it’s time for another Declaration of Independence. It is time to reassert the essential principle that all people have equal access to their government, which is accountable solely to them, regardless of their wealth or station.
We grew up as inheritors of the legacy of those courageous delegates. Today, their work is at risk. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and the hundreds of millions of dollars it has unleashed into our elections, is as serious a threat to the underpinnings of our democracy as anything I have seen.
In its aftermath, select donors (or a handful of power brokers) can ensure that the candidates they sponsor are indebted to them – and them alone. By rejecting reasonable transparency requirements for those who want to influence elections, we put the electoral process up for silent auction. It’s shameful. Democracy should never be for sale.
I know enough history to know that Jefferson, Jay, and Madison would never have envisioned or approved of the actions of Shelly Adelson or the shadowy Super-PACs out there.
With this in mind, I am co-sponsoring two resolutions of Constitutional Amendment to reverse the effects of the Citizens United decision. And I am pledging to work, inside or outside of Congress, to see one or both of them passed and ratified. It will be a long and arduous process. With any luck, perhaps the Supreme Court will choose to reverse Citizens United. But until then, our democracy is at risk.
You can read the two constitutional amendments I cosponsored here and here. I welcome your input on Citizens United, these amendments, and any other issue and encourage you to share those thoughts with your Senators and other public officials, as well.
Most Sincerely, Jim
Sigh. One scarcely knows where to start. At a time when:
1. The President has decided that he had the power to sentence American citizens to death, without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves, indeed without them even being notified that they are being added to the President’s kill list;
2. The government has removed the freedom of Americans to buy or not buy health insurance;
3. The President abuses his power of executive authority to implement policies that have been rejected by Congress;
our Congressman, Jim Himes (D-Goldman Sachs), is worried about American citizens spending their own money to support candidates and causes of their choice. His idea of independence involves limiting the freedom of Americans.
He then has the gall to speak to Thomas Jefferson in support of his position. The same Jefferson who said, “I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” And, ” My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
Congressman Himes also claims the mantle of Madison’s authority. What did Madison have to say? “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” Keep in mind that Himes voted for the voluminous Affordable Care Act, which continues to yield surprises, the latest being the CBO estimate that it will cost 3 times what we were told at the time of passage. Madison also wrote, ” I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” On the question of the wealthy participating in government: ” In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.”
As for John Jay, one quotation will suffice: ” The people who own the country ought to govern it.”
The sum of all this is that we do not increase freedom by decreasing freedom, and that we have more to fear from unbridled government than we do from unbridled speech.