Sick of Money Corrupting Politics? Take the Fight Local.
by Charlotte Hill
Last November, something extraordinary happened in Florida’s capital city. Despite steep opposition from entrenched interests, a tenacious coalition of citizens, from the tea party on the right to Common Cause on the left, crafted a powerful ballot initiative to fight the corruption of money in politics and reclaim government for the people. On Election Day, they won: the Tallahassee Anti-Corruption Act passed with the support of a stunning 67 percent of voters.
Until now, perhaps the single greatest stumbling block for the reform movement has been that many Americans are convinced victory is impossible, especially in a post-Citizens United world. This notion is unequivocally false. While there are many valid criticisms of the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is not the lone source of our nation’s corruption woes. The problem goes back much further. But a potent array of solutions are constitutional, even under the current Supreme Court. They include making it illegal for politicians to fundraise from interests they regulate, banning lobbyists from offering elected officials cushy jobs after they leave office, and creating a system of citizen-funded elections to make it possible to run for office without selling out.