December 11 Weekly Roundup

Upcoming Area Events

1.  Saturday December 13th National March Against Police Violence in Washington, DC.  For more information contact - info@busforprogress.org.

2.  Sunday December 14th 4pm - Vigil to Prevent Gun Violence Temple Emeth, 1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ

Restore Democracy(RD):  Interesting reading related to money influence. Join the RD Work Group

Huffington Post: These Super PACs spent big as elections neared, but kept donors secret until now
"The contribution from Adelson to American Alliance underscores the glaring disclosure hole that occurs from Oct. 16 until Election Day every two years. During this time, super PACs can be formed without ever having to disclose a single penny of where they got their money until after the election."

It looks like Sen. McConnell's coordination rider is still kicking in the spending bill negotiations, with one reporter noting it's one of the "hold ups." Holding up a must-pass bill so McConnell can consolidate power and put another hole in contribution limits? Boy, I don't know.

For Reid's part, his office tells Andy Kroll( One of our former speakers), "Reid strongly opposes and will fight against any efforts to include the McConnell [measure]."

USA Today: McCaskill seeks to curb influence of Missouri mega-donor
Interesting: Sen. Claire McCaskill "is quietly working with others in the state to put campaign finance limits on the ballot in 2016, a move that also raises fresh questions about her own plans for the next election." Also, the biggest donor in Missouri politics just wrote a $1M check to a candidate. You think he'll get extra access?

Other interesting reads on Voter Rights and the Midterm Election:

http://www.gregpalast.com/the-secret-lists-that-swiped-the-senate/

Member Opinions

Letter appeared in the Asbury Park Press, 12/3/14--  by Tony Giordano, Howell, NJ

Problems in Ferguson about more than race 

As much as we need to address the urgency of equal  treatment of minorities by the criminal justice system, I’m moved to look at the larger problem that makes these inequities possible. 

First we must recognize that what the Ferguson situation has in common with many other major problems facing the country is that they are all violations of basic human rights.  Equality under the law.  The right to clean air, water and food as well as a stable climate.  The right to a living wage, and so on.  They’re all about human rights. 

Second, we see that on all these issues, government is failing to create the policies that the great majority of citizens want — unbiased and accountable law enforcement, climate change action, an adequate minimum wage, etc.  What we have now is a government that is not accountable to the people, so it can ignore them.  This is not democracy. 

Finally, we see that all these problems have a common root cause—the money in politics is causing elected representatives to create policy favoring corporations, special interests, and the wealthy-- who fund their increasingly costly campaigns.  Representatives have come to ignore the interests of average citizens. 

Government will not address the many problems faced by average citizens until the money is taken out of politics through campaign finance reform.  This needs to happen, and the sooner the better. 

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