WHO WILL PAY FOR ELECTIONS?
I was up early this morning and at the voting station in Bath for the 8:00 am start of our Maine primary election. I set up a table on behalf of We the People Maine which is gathering petition signatures for a statewide referendum to safeguard access to the political process for everyone. We have to get about 53,000 signatures of registered voters across Maine to get the referendum on the ballot.
In response to the horrid Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case corporations have been given the rights of people and $$$ was determined to be "free speech". This ruling has thrown democracy into the dumpster as the corporate oligarchy can now buy elections like nothing ever seen before. Even state and local elections are being impacted as corporate money is being thrown at those races making it increasingly difficult for working class people to effectively run for political office.
I worked the first hour at the polls and got about 20 signatures. Primary elections usually get a very low turnout. I will return for two other shifts during the 12 hours that we will have our table at the voting station. Four other Bath residents will help staff the table throughout the day.
Most of those who voted during my first hour did sign the petition. But some did turn their nose up at me as I asked them if they'd like to sign. One woman asked me, "Who would pay for elections?" if we were to limit the ability of corporations to buy politicians. Several folks told me "I don't have time to sign anything."
The idea that one does not have the few seconds it would take to sign a petition that would help force constitutional clarification of the status of corporations and the role of money in the electoral process is mind boggling. How can you go to vote and not be concerned about the corporate oil-i-garchy making a mockery of the whole process?
It's a no-brainer. Hello!