By Jay Hansen
I’ve written about Wolf-PAC on this website several times before. Wolf-PAC is a national organization supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics. Recently, they launched a Google Group called WolfPAC Research. It is a group dedicated entirely to researching information about state legislatures such as legislative calendars, elected officials likely to support the movement, and generally basic, essential information to help the group further its goal. After posting some information about Oklahoma’s legislative calendar I was asked to contact some state lawmakers. For now, I’ve decided to start with just e-mail, but hopefully I can find time to speak with Senators and members of the House eventually. I started with Senator McAffrey, a well-known progressive in the state of Oklahoma, and hope that he is receptive to the idea.
I chose to just do e-mail for now because my own schedule is very chaotic and starting with a nice ice-breaker e-mail that both outlines what we’re doing and even has a little fun doing it (hence my post-script) would be better than playing telephone tag. We’ll just have to see, but right now here’s my little contribution to the movement.
Dear Senator McAffrey,
My name is Jay Hansen. I’m a life-long and fifth-generation Oklahoman. Both sides of my family came here in the land run and have made it their home ever since, even through the Depression and Dust Bowl. I’m writing you today because there is an issue in America that desperately needs people’s attention, especially those in state governments. America is suffering from a plague of corruption in government by way of special interest money and big donors. As humans, we are incentivized to “work for” the person that signs our paychecks, and now we live in a society where politicians (particularly at the federal level) get tremendous gifts in the way of campaign donations and job offers from massive corporations, banks, and special interest groups. This has created an incentive structure for politicians to not “work for” their actual voting constituents, but rather their donors because of the near-limitless amounts of money and favors they are doing for them. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, if politicians don’t put their voter’s interests first we aren’t living in a real democracy, so as a fair and free democracy, we must act to place strict regulations on campaign finance and end the influence of big money in our elections.
I am a member of an organization called Wolf-PAC. We are a national group working with state legislators across the country to support state-based legislation to call for a constitutional convention of the states in order to pass an amendment to the US constitution ending corporate personhood and overturning the Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. the FEC. Already California, Minnesota, Montana, Vermont, Hawaii, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Texas among other states and smaller municipalities have at least introduced legislation if not passed it through their state Congresses calling for an amendment to get money out of politics. This is not an issue of left or right, liberal or conservative, or red or blue. This is genuinely something to which we can all agree; when a politician represents anyone other than his or her voters, democracy and justice is not being served and it must be rectified. That is why huge majorities of Americans – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – all opposed the Citizens United court ruling, and similarly why our federal Congress’ approval rating is so dismally low. People have figured out that their representatives don’t actually represent them, which is why putting an end to money in politics is entirely in the hands of the states.
I’m writing you to ask if you would be willing to introduce such legislation at the state level here in Oklahoma. I know there will be fierce opposition in such a heavily stacked Congress, but even just introducing the measure could at least start the conversation, and shine a light on those state officials that continue to defend the corruption in our system that now so many average citizens see. There are many reasons as to why such legislation is desperately needed but I chose to first contact you via e-mail for the sake of brevity. I would like to speak with you over the phone about this issue if at all possible, especially if you have further questions, concerns, or just an interest to learn more. I specifically chose to contact you Senator McAffrey because I have heard much about you through the Brennan Society and know you have a track record as a strong progressive willing to stand up for the little guy. There is no greater David and Goliath story of modern America than that of the American citizen versus corporate and special interest in the battle for our Republic, so I hope you can help us.
Thank you for reading my letter, and I look forward to your response.
Phone (cell): (Not posting this on the website!)
Wolf-PAC Website: http://www.wolf-pac.com/
My personal website: http://www.inthereddest.com
PS – If you didn’t notice, Texas is now listed in the states moving in this direction. This means we’re being beaten by Texas on this issue, Senator McAffrey. I, for one, don’t think I can tolerate that.