How to deal with corruption

April 4, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More has a lot of energy and ideas.   Here’s the reaction to McCutcheon:

It is time to move from defense to offense, and pass a wave of local anti-corruption laws across the nation over the next few years — while simultaneously organizing a 21st century anti-corruption movement made of grassroots conservatives, moderatesand progressives. The nation is ripe for such a movement, with voters abandoning the major parties in droves. A recent Pew study shows that a full half of millennials identify as political independents, up from 38% in 2004. It is the combination of passing bold reforms in cities and states, while creating a loud and visible, right-left anti-corruption movement that will provide the political power necessary to forcechange.

We stand at a crossroads. Political corruption has grown so severe that reality is much closer to the dark TV drama “House of Cards” than what we learned about in grammar school. A recent New Yorker story about corruption in North Carolina describes state Senate Majority Leader John Unger:

“Unger recalled the first time that a lobbyist for a chemical company asked him to vote on a bill. “I said, ‘I don’t sign on to anything until I read it.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s not the way it works around here.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t know how it works down here, but that’s the way I work.’ And he said, ‘Well, if you don’t learn to get along, when it comes to your reelection, we’ll stick a fork in you.”

McCutcheon turned that lobbyist’s salad fork into a pitchfork. But with the right strategy, we the people can, and will, stick a fork in the beast that our system has become.


Category: Campaign Finance Reform, Corporatocracy, Corruption

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    The McCutcheon case could reverberate for years to come because of its embrace of the definition of corruption in the 2010 Citizens United decision. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion limited “corruption” to the quid pro quo trading of favors for money.

    The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the only acceptable purpose of campaign money regulation is to limit corruption and the appearance of corruption. A narrower definition of corruption therefore restricts the scope of campaign finance law.

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