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DEMOCRACY FOR SALE: Dylan Ratigan's Constitutional Amendment - Get Money Out Of Politics!

This is a very big deal.  But your help is needed.  Do not read this story and simply go on to the next one.  Politics will not be fixed unless YOU do something to fix it.  The best way to make a difference is by spreading this story.  Take 3 minutes, go to your email account and paste this link into a mass email to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in your address book.  DEMAND that everyone who receives it, in turn sends it to their entire address book.

By Dylan Ratigan

It’s time to get things done and finally get money out of politics.  Our Washington insider Jimmy Williams is now preparing a Constitutional amendment to get big money from special interests out of our political system.  We all know that they buy access and influence through campaign contributions, and benefit from the big payoffs (examples: Wall Street, health care, banking) and, of course, provide a lucrative revolving door to soften the blow when elected officials leave office.

Steps are already being taken by some big names.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has urged fellow CEO’s and campaign donors to boycott campaign contributions until the parties actually do something constructive to fight long term fiscal concerns and the jobs crisis.  

Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell has said he will support it as well:

  • There are so many legislators who have said to me, gosh, if I could vote in secret, I could vote for your proposal Governor because I know it’s the right thing to do.  But I can’t do it.  The other side will raise money on it and kill me.  And that’s what’s so important — it is so important to get the influence of money out of politics.  Because if you get the influence of money out of politics, we will get people who will actually vote their conscience.  And I think that’s extraordinarily important.  You’re right to say it’s not the lobbyists… but it is the moneythat perverts the entire process…. I would be interested in Jimmy’s drafting the amendment.

We are hard at work on the amendment, but we want to hear from you.  What do you want to see in this amendment?  How do we get money out of politics?  

Send us a message via this form or email us at MadAsHell@DylanRatigan.com, and we’ll post the best ideas on Monday and Tuesday.



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Reader Comments (36)

You know, this could actually work.

Like you say - all you blog stalkers need to do is forward an email, and nudge your neighbours to do the same.

If you don't, who's to blame?

Y O U A R E.
Aug 19, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermofo
Fantastic idea that I'm behind 100%. I have said this should be done for years and especially after the outrageous Supreme Court decision giving corporations First Amendment rights. I would further require all broadcasters/cable companies to provide free broadcast time under conditions legislated (not in the amendment) as a requirement of their public license. This should satisfy those who claim the public financing would be too expensive. I'd further recommend that those condition include scheduling of that time into "political "time or night where everything being distributed is on ALL avenues of delivery concurrently. No switching to American Idol! Oh yeah, no consumer ads either.
Aug 19, 2011 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGuy
I need to read the text of the proposed amendment before I will support it. How about one that would impose the death penalty for imposing a private central bank on us?
Aug 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeanette
Easy, call it what it is, high treason. If an elected federal official is not acting in the best interest of his constituents and (corporations, firms, groups,etc) in any way attempt to influence the political process other than presenting written arguments for their case, then they are subverting the system and in fact causing harm to this nation. I susgest we have an amendment that clearly defines the grounds for high treason and actually enforce, which we have not done for almost 50 years. After the first few are hanged, the rest of them will fall in line. It would also be an disincentive to corrupt officials to seek office, if they know their neck will be on the line.
Aug 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrutch
The only congressman to support this is RON PAUL! Use him as a front man to bring it up at all debates and campaign stops...humm maybe he would get some coverage...just a thought.
Aug 19, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered Commentermadeline
While we're at it let's outlaw ALL face to face lobbying too. The lobbying could be carried on via the USPS. This would also cut out thousands of highly paid jobs for the vultures that go directly from Congress to lobbying jobs. AIPAC should be the first to hit the door.
Aug 19, 2011 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce Hayden
Nice try, but he's not very smart.. If you want the money out of politics, you're going to have to restrain Washington and return to Constitutional first principles.

Simply banning "money" won't work.. You're going to have to respect the tenth and take the ability to pick winners and losers away from DC. Constitutionally speaking, DC is responsible for very little.. This money is spent to secure extra-constitutional largess and excess. Remove the ability to do that, and nobody will send a dime to Washington.. Because there will be no reason to.
Aug 20, 2011 at 5:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJhoffa_X
Tough assignment, as many comments allude to.

Constitutional amendments are 1 way to reiign in Supreme Court dereliction. The current roster is batshit insane, having spawned, among other atrocities, Citizens United v. Fed. Election Commission. Even under this abortion, corporate campaign contributions are supposedly illegal. I'll need to read it very carefully before drafting a proposed amendment.

Speaking of which, Christopher Whalen was the 1st person I know of to propose this remedy for our current ills. He may not have been the first ever, just the first I knew of.

I wonder how James Galbraith or Paul Craig Roberts would draft such an amendment? Fuck it. I'll work on my weekend homework assignment and draft one myself...
Aug 20, 2011 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Dumb idea. Don’t treat the symptom, treat the illness. Special interest groups only exist because they can get exemptions and special privileges for themselves. We live in a system which no longer believes in equality under the law but equality in outcome. So we grant special privileges to a few which create incentives for others to try and get special treatment as well. There is no way Ron Paul would ever support this. Most libertarians believe that you should be able to do whatever you want with personal property. This include huge corporations which are owned and operated by PEOPLE. If you don’t like what they do with their cash, don’t buy things from them.
Aug 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhalfcast
"Most libertarians believe that you should be able to do whatever you want with personal property."

Really? So you should be able to buy off judges, regulators and legislators and effect a 2-tiiered justice system to pave the way for your own no-penalty crime spree?

"There is no way Ron Paul would ever support this."

I take it by your use of the subjunctive that you don't actually know. In any event, Ron Paul didn't get behind Rep. Kaptur's bill to reinstate Glass-Steagall. So what? Repealing Glass-Steagall was a huge mistake, permitting Wall Street to bloat into a 150-pound colostomy bag that's cost us millions of real jobs.
Aug 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
So what? Repealing Glass-Steagall was a huge mistake, permitting Wall Street to bloat into a 150-pound colostomy bag that's cost us millions of real jobs.

.....@ | Cheyenne , very well said, evan thoe its a Stinky Way of Saying It ! Congress, a 150-pound colostomy bags walking......with all their little puppets with Cash Filled Suit case's right behind them........

Hey, we gotta try something. Its better than doing nothing.
Aug 20, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Small, pragmatic, achievable steps required. JFDI.

@halfcast - Don't try boiling the ocean.
Aug 20, 2011 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermofo
Right on, T-Dar and mofo.

I can't stand the smug defeatism that's so common now, offered up without any spirit of creativity or penchant for problem-solving, just a smarmy I'm-so-smart arched eyebrow (and a pocket with a Chase debit card). I'll run shot glasses off those eyes before I'll take direction from an entire class of vastly overcompensated pussies like Jamie Dimon, who cower at the thought of actually taking any risks with their own money.

Who in the fuck are these serfs who accept and seem to embrace the status quo? Do they really think sites like this one and similar work by Yves and Karl and Tyler and Mish and McBride and Jesse and Ed and Max and Barry and deCarbonnel and Whalen and Ratigan et al. are just a waste of time? Then it is quite strange that they flock like sheep when someone proposes a way out of this godawful mess. If I didn't know any better... I'd rather take them for the insult they represent.

Exercising your rights under the first amendment is always a good thing, and it might even work to turn back the tide of scum that's overtaken this once-great nation. And if it doesn't work, you know what? Well, then I guess we'll just have to move on to the second amendment.
Aug 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Enjoyed reading the comments. I'm surprised by the negativity expressed by a few readers. It might not be a perfect idea, but at least Ratigan is trying to do something. He has the power of a large and motivated audience behind him, and I don't see any other talking heads actually working to find solutions. He deserves support and especially some help.
Aug 20, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
For anyone interested, here is the U.S. Supreme Court's latest on campaign contribution law:

Aug 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Enjoyed reading the comments. I'm surprised by the negativity expressed by a few readers.

......@ DB.......

I have noticed that in just the last 6mo. people are letting go of their inner-feelings, my self included. We are starting to lose control of our tounge becouse of anger with whats realy going on....

We have our backs up agunist the wall and are saying what most dont have the guts to say.........The Anger-Bubble is about to expolad........Evan some of the people that dont follow whats going on are starting to find out the truth........

Everyone is starting to show thAre Anger, my self included.........Thats a good thing cuz i wont hurt anyone from venting my feelings.......Bottom Line, we've Had-Enough................

Rev. Manning.........We Aint Gona Take It Anymore, the Mac-Daddy has run his mouth way to many times.......The American People arnt gona take it any more, were mad as hell..........................................................................................! that was for you Cheyenne !

I to try to not Cus, but my anger is getting the best of me too...
Aug 20, 2011 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
"I have noticed that in just the last 6mo. people are letting go of their inner-feelings, my self included. We are starting to lose control of our tounge becouse of anger with whats realy going on...."

I've noticed exactly same thing. Over the last month, I saw it in New York City, Los Angeles, Riverside, Chicago, and even in Indiana's Amish country. It is a beautiful site to behold, and it is spreading F-A-S-T.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked.

The American dog is waking up to the reality that this is no accidental downturn.
Aug 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Aw, Crap NO, this was all planed out over 50 years ago. Its going way better than they planed it.... The credit card offers are back in our mail box once again and the people are useing them becouse they have NO Other choice, or lose everything..........

They are just digging a faster hole in the mean time.. When it all caves in, we know whats comming. The young will bust the place up.....the rest will stand thAre with their hand out hoping the Dem. will send them thAre check......

My thougt is to get a Ozark's "Hunker-Buncker"....and pack it full of Wiskie..............Moon Shine............PlayBoy Mag's...........Batterys for the "Vib-Er-Ate-Or", if ("Mommy Aint Happy, Nobody Is Happy" ).............Pop Corn, Hot Porky Rines, Gompers Deer Jerky, Diesel for my Onan Gen.,

Oh, Sorry, Food and Water.............Cat Food, people grade, 'Hallo", Wellness, Mollases for the still...... All my old Flying Mags...... & my Martian Guitar...........

The Hunker-Bunker, Google It, will come in handy when the shit heads wake up in our resort, and with-out...............

Dar's anger turns into Glee, knowing we can make it for 18mo. when the Crap Hits the Fan........Till that happens, my ANGER-BUBBLE, is gona get the best of me too........?

Cheyenne , Please let me know the next time you fly over the "Ozarks"...............................................................?

You will need a week of Rest ? I have 100 year Old Bourbon, and "Fresh Ginger Brandy"........! Tex
Aug 20, 2011 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar

I can have "Fresh Wisconson Cheese Curds" waiting..............they are Better Than "Sex"...............Zittu Cheese Factory, Wisconsin, they ship to the World........................

I pulled the tour bus over many times to load up on fresh cheese curds on our way out.........Ya'll can have them too, just google them......... They need to be warm, room temp. to get the Best "Squeky Bite" at thAre best..................
Aug 20, 2011 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Terrible idea. Then we would NEVER know how they are voting. How could we vote for someone without knowing her voting record?! The best solution is GovAtHome.com
Aug 21, 2011 at 3:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterGladys
Gladys. I have no idea how you get that we wouldn't know how they are voting. That doesn't make sense. But here's the link you attempted to paste.

Aug 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
You know you're on to something when the robo-posters show up with objections.
Aug 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
you are putting the cart before the horse with this constitutional amendments. Let's press for more investigations and access to documents that will reveal the truth. Before any amendments, the big insider circle needs to be busted including all those who have been complicit in duping Americans. Why do you want a constitutional amendment when they ignore the constitution as it is??

These ideas are just distracting. The focus should be on increasing transparency on issues like 9-11, bank bailouts, the federal reserve, and the general sell-out of America by Congress.
Aug 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterdogismyth
Dumb idea. Don’t treat the symptom, treat the illness.

OK, We all know we cant get to the Illness, there is just no way to lock them all in a big box and throw them over board.... But the next best thing is to take away their Candy.

There is nothing Sweeter than wacthing 545 growen men and woman having a melt down becouse the American People have taken thAre Candy-Money, from them.

By removing the Symptom, the Illness will slowly heal. The melt-down will take a wile from withdrall from the Sugar-Money loss....

Its time to Starve the Beast..! We cant get at the 545 behind bars, but we can kidnap the cook.

Just a thought, becouse to stand by and do nothing is nothing more than helping it to contuniue, your just as guilty as they are for taking the money.
Aug 21, 2011 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Well said Dar.

Dogismyth wrote:

"These ideas are just distracting. The focus should be on increasing transparency on issues like 9-11, bank bailouts, the federal reserve, and the general sell-out of America by Congress."

Look, I'm all for transparency but it doesn't make a difference. The Fed's dirty laundry has been floating out there for awhile now and nothing happens. Look at Taibbi's Wall St. Wives story...it's been out there for months, I bring it back to the front page every 30 days or so, and NOTHING. No investigations, no backlash, NADA.

Regarding lobbying and money in politics, the same result. We all know about the problem, but nothing gets done about it. In that case, a constitutional amendment, no matter how unlikely, would be a great solution.
Aug 22, 2011 at 2:54 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
BILL MOYERS: I have with me some of the documents revealed in those hearings. They confirm everything you've been saying for years now, how the system really works: give us the money and we'll give you the legislation. Do you think your colleagues will begin to listen to you now?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Well, I don't know if they will or not. You know, this is a very addictive system. It's so much easier to raise money in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars than in one thousand-dollar or two thousand-dollar contributions. But I think they're tired of it. There was recent comments by Senator Zell Miller of Georgia where he said after a period of fund raising he felt like a prostitute after a busy day.

BILL MOYERS: Can a government run by prostitutes and addicts claim to be legitimate?

Aug 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMe
"a constitutional amendment, no matter how unlikely"

It's not as unlikely as you think. The 26th breezed through in what? 13 weeks from draft to passage? And without Internet and cell phones.


Respectfully disagree. While I share your desire to see criminals locked up, they run free because the prosecutors' bosses have been, well, bought off. Hence the primary utility of an amendment to curb buy-offs.

Still yet, however, the responsiveness of the Nixon-era would-be plutocrats owed to their fear of pissed off crowds. If you think we can change jack shit from a cold computer terminal, think again. There's no substitute for getting off your ass and raising hell in public.

Anonymity just ain't cutting it.
Aug 22, 2011 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
There are some excellent comments here.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship."

Alexander Fraser Tyler, "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic"

We were founded as a Republic, the Republic has been denied. Today the "voter" as mentioned above is not the majority of individuals represented in our nation... It is the Lobbyists, and they have turned that power into a highly tuned form of cannibalism on both our treasury and our taxpayer.

"It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there is service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be master."

Ayn Rand
Aug 23, 2011 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
If you collect X signatures, you can run using a fixed campaign budget funded by public. No one can donate directly to you. No PAC can mention a candidate by name. (This will in turn put a greater emphasis on the media, so we need to ensure the fixed budgets are large enough that a media tycoon cannot become a kingmaker).

Change Congressmen to 4 years and Senators to 8 years, but term-limit both to 16 years. (32 years possible if someone does both). That's enough time to make a real difference, while reducing the number of career politicians.

Politicians to earn a multilpe of the average wage, and their pensions to be indexed to the average wage. Then if they do not plan for the future, they will suffer alongside everyone else.
Aug 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBP
Most politicians after 1 1/2 terms become multi millionair$ on a salery of less than $150K
Problem is not donations but inside stock trading and when to buy and sell.
Cut and dry legeslation is needed-- What you came in,you leave with the same amount.
Worst part is how both parties chose their candidates. Remember Emanuil,the Israelie who was in charge of funding Candidates-if they did not swear to fund protect Israel--no ca$h. Not anyone can run for district--the party controllers decide on it.Even President/Leaders are chosen in secret. No Democracy Yes Demockracy :^/
Aug 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterjojo
This is a trick to open the Constitution for change. Do not trust this effort to not bend the final wording and make a deal with opposition that they too can inject other false labeled controls over the Citizens. There is no difference between the blue suit or the gray suit, the destruction of our nation is being completed by the insiders, we are being eliminated by people in office performing for Corporations. Capitalism without the Union is slavery.
Aug 31, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterwhiteyward
Select politicians from the jury pool.

Repeal Bush laws and prosecute traitors - outsourcers, banksters, and government who are waging war on the United States - wars on terror, drugs, women, middle class, Middle East, unions,... = Treason.

Constitution commands President, Vice-President, and all civil officers be removed from office for bribery; campaign contributions from corporations are bribery per se.
Aug 31, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterAstraea
And Gibison Guitar, gets Shit On becouse they gave money to the RNC....................
Sep 2, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
How we get money out of politics... Campaign finance reform hasn't worked. There must be a system put in place where it does not cost billions of dollars to be elected to office thereby ensuring that the "average man" has a chance at winning an election and also ensuring that we get "new blood" in Washington. Recycling politicians is a huge part of the problem. We need to set up a system that ensures a person enters the political realm... not for personal profit, but because that person wants positive and genuine change for this country. If it is not possible to make billions of money from entering into politics, the "crooks" will not get into politics because they will not benefit monetarily. It will give those a chance at improving the country who genuinely care for their "fellow man." For this to work, however, the current media cannot be allowed to cover the election process as they are "tainted." They have forgotten what the truth is. Pass a law that only allows a separate, perhaps alternative media that has nothing to gain personally cover the elections to ensure they are honest.
Sep 4, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterWTH
We need to set up a system that ensures a person enters the political realm... not for personal profit, but because that person wants positive and genuine change for this country.

Gee, that sounds like Ron Paul to me........
Sep 4, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Because so many of my friends can't bother to go down to check out OccupyLA, I put together a photo journal on Saturday's march in L.A. ...
combined with an appeal to sign the petition to GET MONEY OUT.

Check it out at http://www.flashnomad.com

The most telling moment was that after photographing signs that said EAT THE RICH, I drove home through Malibu where the residents had their heads in PIES... literally, at the Annual Pie Contest!
Oct 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterFlashNomad

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