Three Steps to Sustain Democracy
The following recommendations require a “one before the next” approach to maintaining our democracy in the era of “Citizens United” summed up best by the bumper sticker that says, “I’ll consider a corporation to be a person when Texas executes one.”
Our “national issues” research is long term with a stopping point leading to 2020 (also the 100th year of the 19th Amendment). We are subject to the work conducted by large outfits such as Brookings or Heritage, Do not sit in signal silos of “news or findings” offering you what want to hear. Research recommends the following filter and review approach to sources as a first step. Identify sources we can trust on these issues for facts are first, followed debate, and political ideology last.
- Financial Reform (It is all about the budget – starting with the ACA
- Informed and Trusted Voter Resources
- Support for Referendums and Ballot Initiatives
The essential first step is the radical reform of campaign finance and political funding. The power of money in politics poisons everything.
The Pollution Paradox is a good example to use. The dirtiest companies believe they will be regulated out of existence and spend the most on lobbyists, politics, and misinformation. The paradox means businesses that are the dirtiest (or maybe with the most short-term outlook) dominate our national/local) governance. Exon-Mobile or Verizon should come to mind.
Second, given significant steps toward financial reform, a focus on how to assure truth is given to voters can be an Invisible Ninth priority. Large institutions are available and designed to help people, but they struggle to reach those who are not already well informed. Research seeks to develop a robust short-list for your review. These are the top few:
- Center for Responsive Politics (examines campaign finance and representatives)
- GovTrack (find representatives and senators, get alerts on legislation that affects you)
- Ballotpedia (baseline data on who, elections)
- Daily Action. Regular text with Fed numbers and a script on almost every issue that crops up.
- Take Action NYC. Use for participation in local events.
- The Open States. State government reps, committees, voting record, and campaign finance
- Countable – on feds legislative activities with upcoming MoC votes for MoC with pros/cons
- Swing Left – flip the House in 2018 with local technical assistance.
- A larger alphabetical list of “watchdog” groups, neutral, left and right is Here
Pick one, review, write tags, make additional recommendations.
Third, with substantially completed efforts to support financial reform and identify trustworthy institutions, it is reasonable for the 9th District Representative to support the practice of referendums and ballot initiatives by citizens who do not want to wait for representatives to take action. These measures allow citizens to gather signatures and demand a vote or enabling legislation. For example, in New York State:
Would the redistricting practices of the political party in power ever change without an independent office?
Would refusal of PAC funding occur without finance reform?
Health Care & the Budget Resolution
The Budget is the soft underbelly of the Republic Party, and an honest conservative like Rand Paul spells out why in this YouTube presentation. The national debate on the budget should be separate from the ACA, but not according to the Budget Committee.
On March 7th the Heritage Foundation’s Chief Research Fellow came out against the first congressional attempt at “replace.” It points out that low-income people still get a discount and while less than before, it leaves 25 million who do not get a discount and the likely hood of increased premiums and no offsetting subsidies. The solution implied is the impoverishment of people who are least likely to afford a health emergency, but the most liable to have a one.
2016 Report Card for Clarke via GovTrack.
The analysis of the bills Clarke has sponsored and cosponsored provides insight into her position in the House of Representatives.
Each dot in the chart below is a member of the House of Representatives. The dots are positioned horizontally according to our progressive—conservative ideology score and vertically according to our leadership score (leaders toward the top). Clarke is shown as a purple triangle. (analysis methodology)
Yvette Clarke sits on the following committees:
- House Committee on Energy and Commerce
- House Committee on Ethics
- House Committee on Small Business
Descriptions of these committees will be found HERE