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The Best Money Congress Can Buy

Bernie Sanders and others have proposed banning corporate money from our country’s election processes. The United States has become a country ruled by corporate money—the company with the most wins. Do we have the best congress money can buy?

Do politicians set their own opinions and the opinions of their constituents aside, allowing their votes to be bought by greedy corporations who only care about their own bottom lines?  From my perspective, it seems corporate donations don’t simply influencepolitical decisions; they make or at least, shape, congressional policy.

Political contributions have influenced members of congress on key floor votes across the board.  The obvious issue that comes to mind is gun safety legislation. The financial “influence” of the NRA is the driving force behind the country’s lack of reform on guns.  Whether or not a politician believes we need improved gun safety, he or she worries about NRA campaign contributions and re-election, rather than the good  (or safety) of the country.

Another important public health issue is the environment.  The fossil fuel industry’s corporate political spending and contributions has a clear disabling effect on Climate Change legislation.  Most politicians believe in the science and the need for legislation, but are too beholden to the fossil fuel lobby. Their votes go to the highest bidder and the highest bidder is always a corporate lobby.

Even the issue of corporate political spending is controlled by financial motivation.  In January 2019, house Democrats unveiled a bill called HR 1, aimed at halting the influence of money in politics and expanding voting rights.  The ‘End Citizens United’ PAC— found 82 percent of all voters and 84 percent of independents support a bill of reforms to block financial influence in elections. Sound good? Well . . . not to Mitch McConnell, who declared, “that’s not going to go anywhere.”  The bill passed the house in March 2019 but, so long as McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader, it will never be brought up for a vote in the Senate.

Want to change things? Vote for the candidates who accept the least amount of corporate donations. Only we the people, and not a president or a congress beholden to corporate financial influence, can truly drain the swamp. A legislator or chief executive who takes corporate dollars will always put corporateinterests ahead of American citizens. Sadly, that’s the way of Washington in the 21stCentury.

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