Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Democrat John Thrasher, candidate for Congress in CD 2, is posting a blog diary at the Daily Kos. Here is his latest post. Daily Kos: AZ-2 Why I'm Running for Congress: Restoring Representative Democracy to America:
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
-Abraham Lincoln (R)
"We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob"
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D)
My name is John Thrasher, and I am running for Congress because the system of incentives governing behavior in Washington DC is fundamentally broken. Throughout my 42 year career as an educator I have always been proud to work in a country founded on the rock solid bedrock of "one person, one vote"
That principle has sadly not been secured. The fight is ongoing, and I’m here to tell you that for the last few decades, it’s a battle ordinary Americans are losing.
We’re losing because of money. Special interests groups and globally entrenched corporations have transformed America into a nation governed not by politicians, but by salesman working on commission.
In contemporary American politics, a vote is not the byproduct of research, rational thought, or moral introspection. Today, the votes made by politicians are determined by dollar signs and decimal points. How, our politicians wonder, will my vote affect my campaign contributions? How will this help me get re-elected?
On a daily basis, big money lobbyists give politicians an either/or proposition. Vote for the money or retire. Vote for the money or lose come election time. It is this proposition that for many is an offer they cannot afford to refuse.
This is the invisible hand that governs Washington. An invisible hand pushing us away from our constitution to another form of government. A government where laws are written to serve the interests of the elite few instead of the needs of hard working Americans.
We live in a country that allows bankers to write their own regulations, where health care interests spend millions of dollars setting up fake grassroots organizations and spreading misinformation about "death panels". I cannot imagine that the founding fathers ever even considered that they were founding a nation in which it was acceptable for Oil companies to funnel money to scientists for the purpose of spreading lies to discredit global warming, a threat which affects every American. Not to mention the abuses of big agriculture and the system of payola politics which yields a bloated defense budget of no-bid contracts and redundant weapon systems.
We will never be able to truly reform this country as long as money remains the primary currency of politics. That is why I am the first candidate running for congress to propose that we eliminate all private donations from politics.
In its place we will determine a signature threshold for each individual race. Any candidate who I able to gather enough signatures to break the threshold will receive public financing (there of course will be a cap on the number of candidates who can receive it in any given race). This will be paid for by donations that Americans will have the opportunity to give on their tax forms.
This will fundamentally change the system of incentives governing American politics. The interest of American citizens will become the main guide in our policy making.
You are probably thinking about now "What about Citizens United". I say, bring it on! I am running this campaign because that decision has put America on a path of becoming a Democracy in name only.
This is also a winning issue with voters across the ideological spectrum. Americans have a hard time agreeing on basic facts such as evolution. However the Democrats, Independents and Republicans all agree that our political system has become endemically corrupted.
- 85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today while 93% say that average citizens have too little influence.
- 95% agree that "Corporations spend money on politics mainly to buy influence in government and elect people who are favorable to their financial interests." (74% strongly agree)
- 85% disagree that "Corporations should be able to spend as much as they want to influence the outcome of elections because the Constitution protects freedom of speech." (63% strongly disagree)
- 93% agree that "There should be clear limits on how much money corporations can spend to influence the outcome of an election." (74% strongly agree)
- 77% think Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount U.S. corporations can spend to influence elections.
- 74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate spending in elections.
While all the poll numbers are in my favor, taking this position is a huge risk. The usual sources of campaign funding will be reluctant to give to a campaign that seeks to completely remove money from politics. I am making a bet American people will donate what they can to help this campaign for a more true democracy. I believe in my core that this issue is bigger than all of us. If we are unable to eliminate payola politics and restore true Democracy to America, I fear that our country is in serious trouble. I write to you today in the spirit of the founder of this blog; I ask you to help me "crash the gates" on behalf of all American citizens.
I am writing to you on Daily Kos because I deeply respect the incredible exchange of ideas on this site. I want to run an open-sourced campaign and continue to work with you to win in November.
By next Saturday we have a goal of raising 100,000 dollars, which my campaign will use to hire talented staff and make the initial advertising buys. I want to engage with this community every step of the way. I am asking you today to donate what you can to my campaign.
How much is having a true representative democracy worth to you?
To learn more about John Thrasher visit http://thrasherforcongress.org/