Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “campaign reform”

America Gets Punk’d – Roger Ingalls

Have you ever wondered why so many federal laws are passed that favor large Wall Street-partnered corporations while little gets done to protect or improve the well-being of real people? Essentially, it comes down to who is drafting the bills that get introduced to Congress.

Most Americans have a very rudimentary understanding of how an idea or proposal becomes law unless they’ve extended their studies on the subject. A few may remember the simple sidewalk diagram, shown below, that steps us through how a bill becomes law; however, many more of us will recall getting educated by the cool Schoolhouse Rock song I’m Just a Bill.

The process of how a bill becomes law isn’t an issue. Our real focus should be on who is behind the introduction of a new bill, who is writing it and where do they come from. These more pertinent issues (questions) aren’t normally discussed in school or often mentioned in mainstream media. We wouldn’t want the general populous becoming too educated, now would we?!

Below is an interesting flowchart describing how a bill is written in today’s corporate-dominated political climate. Call it Bill Drafting 101.

This flowchart highlights one of many reasons why we need campaign reform. Aides that have worked for or associated with a corporation should not get hired by politicians that have accepted contributions from that corporation or its funded special interest group (PAC, Super PAC or similar). There should be a five year conflict of interest waiting period.

American Idol finalists Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez getting Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher on MTV would be funny but Americans getting punked by politicians and their financial sponsors is criminal.

Occupy Protest: Boiling It Down – Roger Ingalls

I’ve been chatting with friends about the Occupy Protests and our general view is that it’s been a positive event and we hope it turns into a long term movement. Like many interested citizens, our discussions hinge on questions such as, how long will it last, will it produce change, what is or should be the goal and can it succeed?

In some respects, it has already been a success. Unlike the Tea Party Movement which received promotional help from Fox News and was funded by corporate special interests, Occupy has gained momentum without main stream media or big money, proving it is truly a movement of real people. In addition, politicians are starting to talk and debate it, giving the movement legitimacy. Lastly, the top 1% (money earners) and corporate management are starting to hire security personnel out of fear. Instilling fear is a controversial issue but nonetheless, it gives a certain respect and recognition to the masses that can ultimately lead to change.

What is the goal? – this is the question my friends and I dwell on the most. Last week my post outlined eight demands but after further heated chats, we concluded this was too detailed and could be boiled down into one easily communicated message. Get the money out. Remove corporate and special interest money from all campaigns in all branches of government.

Once the favor-buying money has been removed, the balance of power will be restored and the rest is just details.



Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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