Citizens Rising at MIT last night was an amazing event. Maybe 800 people in a room for 3 hours focusing on the core corruption problem in our government. But two questions this morning suggest that in two particulars, my presentation was unclear and incomplete.
Unclear: “So what is your view about the movement to get Congress to propose an amendment to the constitution.” This question was prompted by my saying that the view that we could make no progress on the problem of corruption without a constitutional amendment was “bullshit.” As anyone here knows, I believe we could make enormous progress with a single statute changing the way elections are funded. Getting a Congress that would pass such a strategy is the whole focus of Mayday.
But I also believe (and in fact said last night) that the movement to get Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution has been the most important force rallying people to the corruption cause generally. So I’m a great admirer of the work of, say, MoveToAmend, and FreeSpeechforPeople, and it may well be that an amendment is needed eventually.
But whether or not an amendment is needed, our first steps should be statutory. We can pass fundamental reform that this Court would uphold that would change the way elections are funded by a simple majority. The press to do that needs to be a bigger part of the reform strategy.
Incomplete: “So why isn’t Mayday.US supporting Orman?” Greg Orman is the independent running for Senate in Kansas. After the Democratic candidate in that state dropped out, many see Orman as a strong and viable candidate. Orman has been an important force for reform. He supports term limits and meaningful lobbying reform. He would be a great addition to the Senate.
But Orman has not yet signaled his position on fundamental reform in the way campaigns are funded — either the kind of reform Republicans support (vouchers, vouchers, tax credits), or the reform Democrats support (matching grants, matching grants). We would LOVE to stand behind a strong and viable Independent like Orman, and I am hopeful this issue will become more clear.