I was very pleased this week to see that amid all the election partisanship New Jersey managed to become the 9th state to call for an amendment to lock big money out of the political process.
In what might almost be construed as a “bi-partisan” agreement the New Jersey state legislature passed bill AR86 which expresses strong opposition to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and calls upon Congress to amend the constitution of the United States. Good for them, I just wish more than two Republican legislators had thought enough of this resolution to back it.
The resolution passed 49 to 23 and asks that Congress specify that only “natural people” are people and corporations aren’t, as far as the first amendment is concerned. Guess which party the dissenters belong to?
I’d love to know Mr. Bucco’s reason for not supporting the resolution, as well as John Bramnick’s, Nancy Munoz’s, Gary Chiusano’s, and Alison McHose’s. Let me hazard a guess, it has something to do with either money or that it was supported by the Democratic party. Either way are you sure your constituents agree? It’s possible you guys all thought this would slide quietly by unnoticed, or maybe it wasn’t enough to mess up your next election. You might be right. You just might.
This is one of the many missed opportunities Republicans watch fly-by with increasing smugness. I like to think it will come back to bite them, but it might not. We don’t get pounded every 5 minutes with thousands of campaign commercials like the swing states do. From what I hear being quick on the mute button is a survival skill there. The swing states get that there is too much special interest money in the election.
Still, the unprecedented amount of money we’re spending on the Presidential campaign this year, the truckloads going into senate and house positions that might be in jeopardy and the oodles that has managed to trickle down into local campaigns should give every voter pause. Is this what campaigns are supposed to be in the good old USA? Is this just an extension of the “free market,” the best leaders money can buy? Super PACS think so. Too bad regular voters don’t have their own PAC.
Don’t get me wrong I fully realize that money is being spent and actually helping the economy along. If you wanted another stimulus, election season is a big one. Want to bet it goes over a billion? Spending on commercials alone has just passed 500 million. That makes me really glad I don’t live in a swing state.
Around here we get our ad saturation from “I’m an energy voter!” and other “clean coal” bamboozlers. I think they’re just hoping we don’t sue all the coal plants in Pennsylvania because of what the prevailing winds bring NJ. Have anyone else noticed that they’re not a lot of people or cars in those ad’s expansive landscape shots. Is that supposed to be the future?
I imagine that it will be a very long struggle to divorce elections from corporate capital, it’s just nice to be on the list of states that are demanding just that. It would be even nicer if our party’s representatives felt the same way that most of us do, or at least weren’t willing to trade away our wants for campaign dollars. At the very least they could do a better job of pretending.
The bottom line here is that our representatives aren’t voting for things we want. It’s good to be loyal politically but we should get some loyalty in return shouldn’t we? I’m wondering just how many of these kinds of votes it will take before we start to question our own votes.