As long as lobbyists (everyone who lobbys, not just the registered ones) who represent wealthy coprorations/individuals/families are allowed to manipulate our elected leaders and laws, we will have a “government of the corporations by the corporations for the corporations”!
The current 435 members in the House of Representatives are too easily corralled by selfish interests that plague the capitol. We need to bring our Representatives back to our home districts (they vote electronically) and we need to maximize apportionment.
The current apportionment of the house is set to 435 members. At this nation’s founding there were approximately the maximum allowed* 1 congressman for every 30,000 citizens. If this ratio had not been abandoned today we would have a house of representatives with over 10,000 members.
It currently requires well over a million dollars on average to get elected to the House. An increase in apportionment would allow a people without millions of dollars or flexible morals to campaign and get elected to a seat.
How can they serve their communities if they don’t drive the same roads, send their kids to the same schools, and drink the same water as those living in their communities?
Increases the difficulty of DC based lobbyists who meet with our representatives. (travel expenses , number of votes needed to corrupt a vote)
Makes gerrymandering districts a thing of the past.
Increases time available for representatives to meet with residents of their District.
*see article 1 section 2 clause 3 of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_3:_Apportionment_of_Representatives_and_taxes
“We need to bring our Representatives back to our home districts”
Arguably, the more time they spent in DC, the more likely they are to enact “good” legislation. The more time they spend in their own districts, the more corrupt they get:
Corporations are not people; they do not breathe or make decisions on their own. Corporations are the puppet of their board of directors and shareholders. Corporations should hold no more power or influence than one single person and that person who controls the corporate vote must not be able to vote as an individual.
Corporation should not be allow any more access to our branches of government than a single individual is allowed and they should not have the ability to give any amount of money to politicians in the guise of nonprofit political organizations.
i feel that even tho it might stop, it would still happen secretly, even more secretive than it does now.
Money out of politics! End corporate lobbying and political donations!
End corporate lobbying
Following BP’s (a foreign corporation) disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), apologized to BP’s Tony Hayward, a foreign executive of a foreign company for our demands for restitution for the worst environmental disaster off our shores:
Giving the opening statement for Republicans at today’s BP hearing, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, vigorously defended the company in the wake of Wednesday’s compromise on an escrow fund to pay for damages from its broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown,” said Barton, “in this case a $20 billion shakedown.”
Barton, who holds a safe seat in Texas, is saying what the leading edge of tea partyers and conservatives are saying — no matter whether it’s good politics, his first worry about the response to the disaster is that it will empower the federal government. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)said this to me on Tuesday, and Dick Armey said it to me yesterday when I told him about the $20 billion compromise.
“It fascinates me,” said Armey. “I’m fascinated with it. I’m against it — there is no doubt that BP has resititution to make, but there is something called due process through the legitimate judicial branch of government through which these things should be adjudicated.”
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971… before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work. If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
It’s time that we had a true democratic republic that protects individuals right! How can we be free if corporations and unions can buy votes?
Simple solution to end corporate lobbying. End government interference in the business sector. Case closed…no lobbying would be needed if the government was not interfering.
Are people not allowed to voice their own views. The same rights that allow you to protest guarantees a persons right to lobby. Limit one aspect of free speech and the rest come tumbling down.
This is a complicated issue. Excessive lobbying is an inevitable byproduct of expanding the powers of the Federal Government. You could “end” lobbying in theory, but at the end of the day interest groups determine who gets elected. Politicians always remember who gets them elected and they reward them in kind. The best way to minimize lobbying is to limit the powers of Congress.
You do not seem to want to be President? If you want the big boys
Chair you are going to have to deal with the issues! Not crap on the people
You are supposed to sound like you want to represent.That’s un-American!
All I hear is too much self interest and self serving on campaign trail
Americans crapping on other Americans who just want to serve?
I thought it was about us?
This is one of the most important areas for the “occupy” movements to address. Large corporations have way too much influence on our government and one way is through their lobbying efforts. Certainly lobbying expenses should not be allowed as a legigitimate business expence. They should have to be paid for with “after tax” money. But lobbying is frequently very beneficial to a corporation. A million dollar lobbying campaign can result in a billion dollar benefit to the corporation. So taxing will only be moderately helpful. Disclosure is probably a better path. Lobbyists are required to disclose their activities but not much attention is paid. Elected officials should also be required to disclose contacts with either themselves or their staffs. All exemptions to open meeting and public discloure laws need to be removed. All legislative language not written by the elected official or their staff should have to be disclosed (language and author). Violating the disclosure laws by an elected official should result in mandatory jail time.
There is a trend in human societies: that a dramatically unequal distribution of wealth is evidence that a society is not free.
Human beings are all thinkers, innovators, independent beings. Our social and economic structure works best when it takes advantage of our decentralized, autonomous brainpower. And we have a lot of brainpower – America is the most educated society in human history.
As wealth collects in the hands of fewer, the burden of distributing wealth, of solving problems, of making decisions, is being placed on the shoulders of fewer brains.
There will always be people who deserve this: great innovators and decision-makers who are good at it. And there will always be those who find themselves in control of, or in possession of, wealth without having earned it. So what is the proper balance?
I believe we can know for certain what the proper balance of wealth is in any and all human societies at any and all points in time.
It is simple: in a free world, a world in which all acts of human association or transaction are voluntary and by choice, a world in which we peacefully interact through cooperation and competition, then the distribution of wealth will reflect the true democratic choices of all individuals.
We do not live in this world, obviously. But how do we achieve it?
If we turn to socialism, we end up collecting even more decision making power in the hands of even fewer. So what is the other option? Capitalism? Not as we have it now. We must take away the tools that allow businesses to hold power; that allow trillion-dollar bailouts of banks while our nation runs a deficit.
I believe the answer is simple, and somewhat ironic. Whenever we give governments the ability to enact a law to control a peaceful business activity, we give to business a tool of power that it will seize, sooner or later, by lobbying congress to write the law in its favor, and in doing so, interfere with our own freedoms.
Give government the power to regulate the housing market and financial system, and the world will crumble to serve the lenders of home loans. It doesn’t matter who you elect into office. Bush did it. Obama did it.
I believe in the freedom of human cooperation. A peaceful exchange, of ideas or goods, is a sacred thing. No law can touch it. So let us pass a constitutional amendment to end our ability to pass laws over peaceful commercial exchanges; and as a result, corporate America will be forever cut off from the power structure.
The end result will be that we regain our freedoms, and as the inertia of old and unearned wealth diminishes into the tumultuous sea of economic activity, those who bear it in the end will deserve it, and the wealth of the economy will find its natural place.
You can’t eliminate lobbying without eliminating free speech.
Imagine some eccentric billionaire who just really likes trains, and spends his own money making ads about how awesome they are, and how we should have laws that promote their use. Is that lobbying? What if he really hates some anti-train politician, and takes out attack ads. Is that lobbying?
Public financing of elections is a good way to reduce the influence of lobbyists…
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