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More People, Less Money, in Politics 

Someone once coined the phrase, "We have the best government money can buy." Sad, but true. Big Money Interests (Corporations, the Wealthy, Labor Unions, Special Interests) have taken over our political process to the detriment of "We the People." They control our Congress, and until "big money" is taken out of politics we will not have a democratic government. Why do the Big Money interests want to control Congress? So that laws and regulations enacted by both parties will benefit them and their Big Money interests. This ensures continued wealth and power to them. How do the "Big Money Interests" control Congress? They buy out our representatives with campaign contributions. To be fair, not all our representatives are bought out, but who knows how many are? When 94 percent of candidates who raise the most money win elections-something is not right! Who do you think our representatives represent? Big Money Interests or "We the People"?

To exacerbate the problem, the Supreme Court in 2010, in "Citizens United vs. FEC", by a bare majority, ruled in a nutshell that corporations are people and money is speech. Huh! How can they say that corporations are people, but in 1973 they said the unborn are not?

When they say that money is speech are they saying Big Money Interests can speak, but people who don't have money can't? They have more money than you and I, and therefore have a much easier time shaping public opinion about a candidate. Some do, but many Big Money Interests have little conscience other than their bottom line.

The Supreme Court ruling also opened the door to "Super PACs" wherein unlimited secret campaign cash, from Big Money Interests is funneled into the PAC. Presidential candidates are letting Super PACs do the dirty work for them. Is this the kind of politics we want? One leading presidential contender has said, "Super PACs are a disaster", even as Super PACs support him.

Something needs to be done to restore our democracy, to assure that Big Money Interests will no longer own our government. That something is a constitutional amendment to overturn the disastrous Supreme Court ruling. Various amendments have been proposed by citizen action groups, and a few by Congress.

Let's not try to frame this as a Republican or Democratic issue, because it is not! Sen. John McCain has said it's one of the worst rulings he has ever seen. Polls show the majority of Americans agree. If you agree that the Supreme Court ruled in error, then you can help by signing a petition. Here are just a few of the citizen's action groups with petitions to sign: or

If you would like to get more involved, "" has put out a call for action to "occupy the courts" on January 20, 2012. To declare that, CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE! MONEY IS NOT SPEECH!

Finally, imagine a world where human needs outweigh corporate profits, and where government works for We the People, rather than corporate donors. In the words of former congressman and governor Buddy Roemer, "The possibilities are limitless when the president and Congress are free to lead and free to represent the people that elected them, not special interests."

-Jim Payne, Bend

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