Jan 152015
 

It is generally accepted that large amounts of money corrupt the election process. Wealthy people, unions and corporations often make campaign donations to gain access to elected officials and influence policy. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a Supreme Court case that has had a huge effect on our political campaigns. The court ruled that corporations, unions and other entities have the same First Amendment rights of free speech as individuals. It also ruled that campaign contributions are a form of free speech. This decision removed the ban on corporations and organizations from using their treasury funds to support or oppose a candidate. Critics disagree that corporations and unions have the same free speech rights as people. They claim money is not speech and that humans, not corporations, are those who are entitled to constitutional rights. Critics say the infusion of unlimited money into our political process will enable these entities to buy our elections. Surveys have shown that 62% of Americans oppose the Citizens United ruling – and at least 16 states seem to agree with them. These states have backed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.

Pending Legislation:

S.525 – A bill proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to restore the rights of the American people that were taken away by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case and related decisions, to protect the integrity of our elections, and to limit the corrosive influence of money in our democratic process

I oppose reforming current campaign finance reform policy and wish to defeat S.525

I support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision by declaring that; whereas the right to vote in public elections belongs only to natural persons as U.S. citizens, so shall the ability to make contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of public elections belong only to natural persons, and wish to pass S.525

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Redistricting is the process of redrawing electoral district boundaries to reflect population changes identified every 10 years by our census. Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing these district lines to achieve political gain for legislators. It involves the deliberate manipulation of political boundaries for electoral advantage, usually to benefit incumbents or a political party. Partisan state legislatures and improved software now design contiguous districts which pack opponents into as few districts as possible, leaving district maps that are skewed towards one party. Critics claim gerrymandering is responsible for the current gridlock in Congress because a small number of voters have elected a large number of representatives. In our last presidential election, gerrymandering was cited as the reason one party was awarded more Congressional seats while receiving fewer votes. They say our Congress “does not look like our nation” because congressional districts have been so drastically altered. Each state uses its own standards for creating Congressional and legislative districts. In the states where the legislature is in charge of redistricting, the potential for gerrymandering often makes this process very contentious. Redistricting is often contested in court by the losers of the new plan. A small number of states carry out congressional redistricting by an independent or bipartisan commission, with some of these plans requiring the approval of the legislature.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.223: John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act

I oppose reforming current redistricting policy and wish to defeat H.R.223

I support requiring state redistricting to be conducted through a plan developed by the independent redistricting commission established in the state, or if such plan is not enacted into law, the redistricting plan selected by the state’s highest court or developed by a U.S. district court; prohibiting a state that has been redistricted after an apportionment from being redistricted again until after the next apportionment of Representatives; and wish to pass H.R.223

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Term limits prohibit an elected official from serving more terms than the limit allows. The Presidency is limited to two terms but members of Congress do not have term limits. Senators and Representatives have great advantages when running for reelection such as fundraising, free media exposure and office perks. Considering the cost of election campaigns, challengers have an extremely difficult task displacing incumbents. Because of this, over the last 20 years nearly 90% of all members of Congress have been reelected. Opponents of term limits believe the best candidates should be allowed to serve our nation regardless of how long they have already served. Term limit supporters claim that repeatedly-elected politicians often become insulated career civil servants and inefficient representatives of their constituencies. Supreme Court decisions have struck down term limit laws previously enacted in several states on Constitutional grounds. Supporters wish to amend our Constitution to enact term limits.

Pending Resolution:

H.J.RES.41 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve

I oppose reforming current tem limits policy and wish to defeat H.J.RES.41

I support a long-term campaign for a constitution amendment that limits members of the House of Representatives to three terms and members of the Senate to two terms, and wish to pass H.J.RES.41

 Posted by at 12:00 am