How Millions of Dollars Silenced Millions of Voices

By John Kubinski (MCAP co-founder)

According to the 2013 U.S. Census there are 316,128,839 people residing in the United States. There are 206,072,000 that are eligible to vote. In the 2012 Presidential election, 131,144,000 actually voted. That’s 64% and was considered a very high turnout rate. In the 2010 midterm elections, which determine Senate and House of Representative members, 90,732,698 votes were cast. That’s a turnout rate of 41.7%.

In the 2012 Presidential election over $6 Billion was spent on campaigning, according to estimates by the Center for Responsive Politics, making it the most expensive election in American history. Thanks to the Supreme Court decisions in the Citizens United case and McCutcheon v. FEC that amount will surely grow. Corporate lobbying will continue to expand. There are currently 6 Big Oil lobbyists for each member of Congress. These lobbyists spend millions trying to pass their agendas.

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The average winner of a U.S. House race in 2010 spent about 1.4 million dollars. The Senate winners spent nearly 7 times more than that. According to research done by OpenSecrets.Org the 2010 midterm elections cost 3.6 billion dollars. Where did this money come from?

For Congressional candidates in the 2010 midterms, 48% of the money used by candidates came from large individual donors. 23% came from Political Action Committees (PACS) and 11% of the money spent came from the candidates themselves. That means 82% of their campaign funding came from special interests.

There are currently about 4,000 Political Action Committees participating in Federal elections. These PACS are sponsored by corporations, trade associations and other professional business groups.

There are hundreds of special interest groups that make contributions to candidates in order to get special consideration for their cause or to get the candidate to promote legislation that is favorable to them. The financial sector (Insurance companies, Banks, Investment Firms and Real Estate) spends the most money each year on issues like Health-Care reform, Banking regulation (or more likely de-regulation), Wall Street oversight ( or lack thereof ). They have the loudest voice in Washington by way of contributions and lobbying.

With over 6 billion dollars being spent on the last Presidential election and another 3.6 Billion on the Congressional elections and thanks to the Supreme Court it looks like the flood gates have been opened for even more money to spent in the future, you have to ask yourself one question

  WHO DO MY ELECTED OFFICIALS REALLY REPRESENT?????

The time has come for the people of this country to demand better of their elected officials. We need campaign finance reform. We need a constitutional amendment that puts Citizens United to rest. We need to take a more active role in our own government. We need to realize that Senators and House members work for us. The President works for us. Take the time to learn more how about your local government works. Get involved. Write to your elected officials and demand that they legislate for the people not the profitable.

          WAKE UP, STAND UP, FIGHT BACK

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