<img src=”http://fjl2016.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Where-the-whores-meet.jpg” alt=”Where the whores meet” />
Follow the link, below, to view a non-justiciable solution to the hated “Citizens United v FEC” decision.
Amending the Constitution to thwart this decision necessarily weakens the “First Amendment” rights of speech and assembly – and that will never do.
There is a better way to address this – with Congress CHOOSING to police themselves, in a very public fashion, for all the voters to see – or to see them NOT doing it, setting the stage for those refusing to participate having their tenure shortened in the next election.
We know the corrupt won’t sign it – but that’s reason enough for the voters to consider replacing those who won’t.
My opponent this Fall DOUBLED his net worth since taking the seat representing the Third Congressional District in January of 2015 – and he was already wealthy with funds earned by…well, <em>that’s for another day. </em>
He must have one hell of an investment advisor to have gone from 21 Million to 52 Million on a $174,000 a year salary in only 12 short months. Maybe he’s just really frugal.
I’ve signed the actual pledge every year since it was introduced at Speaker’s Corner in Philadelphia on Independence Mall in 2012, on the 223rd Anniversary of the Bill of Rights (Articles of Amendment) – as have many candidates.
<img class=”” src=”http://fjl2016.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CTR-2012-EARLY-AM-300×191.jpg” alt=”CTR 2012 (EARLY AM)” width=”470″ height=”299″ />
I would be reticent to vote for anyone who felt compelled to decline, as their motivation would always be suspect.
“Stand for what’s right, or settle for what’s left”
Frederick John LaVergne,
Democrat for Congress, NJ CD3 2016
<strong>Explanation: (Written in 2012 by Eugene Martin LaVergne, who drafted the “Change the Rules Pledge” in original form.)</strong>
<em>“According to the United States Supreme Court’s January 2011 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations which are not “persons” eligible to vote but rather are fictitious legal entities created under State Law to insulate a business owner from liability from civil lawsuit, are now entitled to the same right to engage in unregulated political speech under the [First Amendment] as “actual persons”. The effect of the Citizens United decision on the American Political process has been swift and dramatic. In the last 19 months corporations have dedicated tens of millions of dollars of shareholder’s money to support candidates or oppose candidates seeking election or re-election to Congress.</em>
<em>This is the first election for Congress since the Citizens United decision. The decisions on which candidates for Congress will receive corporate support or corporate opposition is determined solely based upon financial considerations of which candidate will likely best advance or protect the financial interests or legal status of the corporation. There is a very real concern that the millions of dollars in corporate money will mute if not stifle the political voice and political will of the actual “real people” who populate America. Opposition to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United by the “actual people” has been overwhelming but ineffectual. There seems to be a general understanding in Congress that any legislation that they enact will again be ruled unconstitutional.</em>
<em>This is indeed the probable outcome of any legislation.</em>
<em>As such, many argue that the only possible solution to the problem – that the only way to once again remove corporate money from Congressional Elections – is to somehow propose and pass a specific Amendment to the Constitution pursuant to the Constitution’s Article V, which will carves out a specific Constitutional exception which would allow Congress to exclude corporations from the political process without violating the [First Amendment]</em>
<em>Though much has been spoken and written about this possible option, no actual language for a proposed amendment had been brought forward, nor has any proposed Amendment gotten beyond Committee.</em>
<em>In the end, the reality is that trying to write a statute or proposed Constitutional Provision to regulate any form of speech – political or otherwise – is both a dangerous process, and, as the familiar phrase implies, a “slippery slope” that best not be stepped onto.</em>
<em>So with a majority of the people viewing the situation as intolerable, the controversy lies adrift in a political paralysis of sorts, with no meaningful solution on the horizon. There is a solution, and it is simple and immediate.</em>
<em>This solution does not require enacting any new Federal Laws under the traditional law making process, only to have those laws challenged in Court and inevitably and eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.</em>
<em>The solution does not require proposing a Constitutional Amendment, a long and daunting process that is unlikely to ever get beyond the “talking phase” anyway.</em>
<em>All that need be done is for the members of Congress to police themselves.</em>
<em>The effect of corporate money on the legislative process can immediately be excised simply by changing the Rules. Literally change “The Rules of the Senate” and the “Rules of the House of Representatives”. These “Rules” are beyond the reach of any Court, even the Supreme Court.</em>
<em>While corporations may – according to the Supreme Court in their Citizen’s United opinion – have [First Amendment] right to “political speech” equal to the “actual people”, there is no corresponding right to purchase a Senator’s or Representative’s vote with unlimited direct or indirect financial campaign support or opposition. That a quid pro quo arrangement between a Member and a donor – corporate or “actual person” – is something that may without question be barred by law is a principle that no one would seriously dispute.</em>
<em>In the modern legislative process, all substantive proposals and decisions are made and all meaningful votes taken in the various Committees and Sub-Committees during the writing and rewriting and revision process for proposed legislation.</em>
<em>There is no constitutional right of a Senator or Representative to participate in this Committee and Sub-Committee process at any level. It is solely the Rules of each House that define the Committee and Sub-Committee process, that define which Members and under what circumstances a Member may participate. And it is at this level of the legislation process that the support or opposition of a specific Member will make a difference to a corporation.</em>
<em>By the time that legislation reaches the “Committee of the Whole” of each House in final form – i.e., when the legislation is presented in final form to all 100 Members of the Senate and to all 435 voting Members of the House of Representatives – it is, practically speaking, too late for one or two members to change anything for their preferred corporate supporters.</em>
<em>Certainly last minute changes can be made in the “Committee of the Whole” of either house, but such last minute changes can only be made in the House with the assent of hundreds of Members, and in the Senate with more than 50 Members.</em>
<em>So, to solve the problem, all that need be done to remove the invidious impact of corporate money on the legislative process in Congress is to exclude – by RULE – any Member who has accepted corporate support.</em>
<em>More importantly, no member or corporation can go to Court to challenge any of the RULES. There is nothing that they can do.</em>
<em>What incentive does a corporation have to spend millions of dollars to support a candidate when those candidates will, by nature of the RULES, be prohibited in participating in the process at the only time that would matter to a corporation? The ills of Congress must be resolved through the political process, but to solve the ills of the Citizens United case and corporate money that it brings takes nothing more that the bona fide, real and genuine political will of the Members of Congress to do so.</em>
<em>All Congress has to do is “CHANGE THE RULES”.</em>
<em>Then, and only then, Congress will be primarily concerned with the interests of “We, the People”.</em>
<em>This is a fix for “Citizens United v FEC”. The status quo in Washington won’t like it – elected officials and lobbyists, alike. The officials work for you, not the lobbyists.</em>
<em>Tell them what to do. You’re the boss.</em>”
<strong><em>Eugene Martin LaVergne – September 29th, 2012 </em></strong>
<strong><em>Speakers’ Corner, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.</em></strong>
Even Robert Edward Forchion signed the Pledge…back in 2012!
<img src=”http://fjl2016.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/REF-300×225.png” alt=”REF” />