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Government "By the People" Makes a Comeback in Congress

PHOTO: A bill introduced in Congress this week aims to give working Americans more of a voice in the political process. Photo courtesy of the U-S House of Representatives.
PHOTO: A bill introduced in Congress this week aims to give working Americans more of a voice in the political process. Photo courtesy of the U-S House of Representatives.
February 7, 2014

WASHINGTON – Backed by government reform groups and a growing list of other organizations, 128 members of the House of Representatives this week introduced the Grassroots Democracy Act to encourage citizens in New Mexico and across the nation to take their government back from free-spending corporations.

Tom Dent, coordinator with Central New Mexico Move to Amend, a nationwide coalition aimed at ending corporate rule, says the legislation could help balance the political playing field with the super-rich who are using their money to influence elections.

"It completely takes away our voice,” he maintains. “It becomes Washington run by the corporations instead of the real bosses, which are, we the people."

The bill creates a tax credit for contributions to congressional campaigns and a matching public fund to amplify the impact of regular citizens in congressional campaigns.

Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat from Maryland, the bill's lead sponsor, says the time has come for working Americans to have a louder voice in the political dialogue.

"People are increasingly angry at this sense that they can't be heard in Washington,” he insists. “That they're
being left out, their voices are being rolled over by super PACs and big-money interests here."

Sarbanes adds polling shows that not just Democrats but unaffiliated voters and Republicans, too, are concerned about the influence of big money on politics.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM