We are all aware that the huge amount of special interest money, particularly in federal races, has been a problem for years. We also know that these problems have been magnified by the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case which unleashed corporate spending for supposedly independent campaign expenditures and which has resulted in millions and millions of dollars in secret contributions.
Today is Law Day and what better occasion to highlight the serious consequences of an underfunded justice system for our country. “While these are difficult economic times, the failure to fund the justice system is deleterious to American democracy.” Read our full Law Day statement.
We have made a lot of progress since our post last week!
This morning, President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act into law and League Executive Director Nancy Tate got the opportunity to stand with the President as he did so. The STOCK Act makes it illegal for Members of Congress to invest or trade stocks based on nonpublic information they acquire on Capitol Hill.
Today, a Senate Committee takes up the issue of money in politics, specifically, whether we need disclosure of who is spending vast amounts of money in American elections. The League is deeply concerned about the current state of political financing in our nation.
As you know, 10 states hold their presidential primary or caucus elections tomorrow. And the League wants you, and your friends and family, to have the information you need when you go to the polls.The League has you covered: visit www.VOTE411.org, the nation’s premier online election resource.
As we pause to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us remember his lifelong passion and commitment to securing equality for all in American society.
In 1920, a major effort to register newly enfranchised voters and educate them in the political process was prominent on the agenda of the just formed League of Women Voters. A few years later, state Leagues were challenged to increase voter turnout by 25 percent, leading the Alabama League to note: “…it is a very difficult matter to qualify for the vote in Alabama…”
Elections present voters with important choices.
Adapted from a pamphlet published by the League of Women Voters Education Fund in 1980