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Sender: "Bruce Schuman"
Subject: Is corrupt money in politics the ONE issue that can unite Americans?
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014
Msg: 100855

From: List for transpartisan leaders and innovators [mailto:TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG] On Behalf Of Steven Rubenstein Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:20 PM To: TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG Subject: Re: [TRANSPARTISAN] Is corrupt money in politics the ONE issue that can unite Americans?


Can you explain why you believe money is the problem? Or perhaps a better way to ask my question is: how will limiting the money bring about whatever change you feel is necessary to improve politics?

I saw Lawrence Lessigl speak at Citizen's University in Seattle yesterday and he stated that less than 0.5% of people contribute to campaigns, But he then made the common assertion that somehow this inherently means that politicians are corrupt and beholden only to the people writing checks.

This view ignores the actual voters who continue to elect the politicians. It suggests that voters are either too stupid to make the "right" choice or that their vote is essentially a foregone conclusion based on how much money is spent. On the other hand, we are simultaneously told to trust the people -- the very lemmings so easily influenced by this money. This is an inherent contradiction.

So while I certainly agree that politics can be improved, I disagree that simply fixing the money problem will actually solve it. I think we need to work backwards and identify what we are trying to achieve -- and then determine how to get there.



On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Evelyn Messinger wrote:

Just to reply to Steven. You wrote: "I think the bigger problem is not

the money per se, but that it is too easy to hide who is actually spending it."

I agree with you, and part of my idea in proposing this as a topic for Transpartisan discussion is that a set of agreed-upon specifics could be arrived at on money in politics, perhaps more easily than for most issues.

On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:25 PM, Steven Rubenstein wrote: > No, this is not "the one issue" the community could unite behind -- because > it is not just one issue. > > You need to define which money you are talking about -- lobbyists, direct > campaign contributions, party contributions, third party expenditures, etc. > > The problem with suggesting money itself is the problem is that you take > away people's right to free speech and to share their views. Yes, there may > be too much money in politics. But who are you to say that I do not have the > right to share my feelings on the best course of action for this country? If > you take out money, then who is allowed to share their opinions and how? > > While you may disagree with the Koch brothers, you would probably hate them > less if the situation were reversed and Sierra Club had inordinately more > money to spend influencing voters than the Koch brothers do. (For the > record, I am a tree hugger.) > > I think the bigger problem is not the money per se, but that it is too easy > to hide who is actually spending it. That is something everyone could > probably agree on. > > cheers, > > Steven Rubenstein > > > > > On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:24 PM, Evelyn Messinger > wrote: >> >> Briefly: my name is Evelyn Messinger. I am a television and web >> producer whose work focuses on bringing citizens into the >> policy-making process by leveraging their opinions via media - see our >> website below my signature. >> >> If there is one issue that unites left and right in fundamental >> agreement on a problem and a solution, it is the corrupting influence >> of money in politics. The transpartisan movement could look at this >> issue as a case study and perhaps a way to seek practical avenues to >> engage the public. >> >> This post is inspired by a new campaign from - >> which sponsors an "Anti-Corruption Act" among other things - to hold a >> nationwide march on April 15 to "turn tax day into representation >> day." This is the group most likely to have a real impact using a >> grass-roots approach, because they are dedicated and professional, as >> this video shows: >> >> Liberals and conservatives emphasize different aspects of this >> problem, with conservatives focusing on the venal actions of >> politicians and liberals on the greedy demands of corporations, but >> there is surprising agreement on both sides, even among many elected >> leaders, that the rules of campaign finance should be changed. See >> this video we produced at both the Republican and Democratic 2012 >> Conventions on the topic: >> &list=PLC4B2F48B04494A6A >> (disclosure: we worked with Represent Us on this project). >> >> You would think that this degree of support would lead to change, but >> there are two problems: extremely powerful vested interests in >> maintaining, and even expanding, the current system; and the fact that >> money in politics, a root cause of many concrete problems, is more >> abstract than the problems themselves (my mortgage is under water, my >> kid's college tuition is going through the roof, I pay for 3000 TV >> channels but spend most of my viewing time watching commercials.) >> >> Is this the one issue that our transpartisan community could united >> behind? >> >> Thanks and regards, >> >> Evelyn >> -- >> Evelyn Messinger >> >> +1.415.377.6278 >> >> ############################ >> >> To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list: >> write to: mailto:TRANSPARTISAN-SIGNOFF-REQUEST@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG >> or click the following link: >> &A=1 > >

-- Evelyn Messinger +1.415.377.6278


To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: &A=1

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