Time For Term Limits and Campaign Finance Reform

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Our system of government is broken. Big money now elects our leaders and runs the show. When the laws were changed to allow corporations to anonymously donate to political campaigns it took the power away from the individual. In addition, term limits should be instituted for congress as a way to eliminate the career politician.

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Time For Term Limits and Campaign Finance Reform

  1. 1. Politics in America A Story by Edwin M. Rutkowski http://www.flickr.com/photos/83261600@N00/6465719119/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 Hello! My name’s Eddie Rutkowski and this is my story of politics in America. Things don’t look so good in our little storybook land right now. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This story isn’t over yet. The ending of the story depends on YOU! That’s right. You can change how it ends, so pay attention.
  2. 2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49857679@N08/6190305908/ Our system of government is broken. Sunday, October 21, 2012 Our system of government is broken. Corruption and corporate greed is becoming commonplace in our modern world. Many people are upset. They feel that the upper classes are getting richer while the middle class is shrinking and the number of folks at the poverty line is growing. A robust middle class is crucial in a free market economy.
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9106303@N05/3100029352/ Illinois Wins! Most Corrupt Governor’s Office! Sunday, October 21, 2012 We’ve created a system that encourages bad behavior. This is the governor from my home state of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. He’s in jail now. Most of the recent governors of my state ended up in jail. Four governors in four decades. All in jail. They all had one thing in common: corruption of a career politician.
  4. 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/55205708@N00/6344652305/ Back to the Drawing Board Sunday, October 21, 2012 And having people like that run our country is not very productive. It’s time to rewrite the rules. Can you imagine how much better off we would be if our leaders weren’t so corrupt? I certainly can. I see a world where public servants do just that. Serve the public. But how do we fix years and years of bad policymaking? Where on Earth do we even start?
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/20561948@N00/4811539545/ Campaign Finance Reform and Term Limits Sunday, October 21, 2012 Well, while putting politicians on minimum wage is a clever idea, it probably won’t fly. But, if we were to change just a couple other things, like how keeping large corporations from contributing to a politician’s campaigns and limiting those who are elected to just two terms in office, that’d be a really good start. It would be a foundation to build a better government on.
  6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/61423903@N06/7382239368/ Growth and Prosperity Sunday, October 21, 2012 If we get rid of corruption in our politics it would lead to more confidence in our government. If we re-establish our confidence in our leadership, it would have a positive effect on the overall mood of the country as a whole. That would also lead to other positive changes in our society, which would eventually lead to growth and prosperity. A trickle-up effect, if you will.
  7. 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/28567825@N03/5038312866/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 Unfortunately, many politicians are more concerned with furthering their own career than serving the public. And that’s got to stop. There’s a lot of good ideas out there. There are many ways we can go about solving this problem, and I’m going to focus two of them today: Campaign finance reform and term limits.
  8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/25477528@N00/5180644307/ But let’s back up a bit. Sunday, October 21, 2012 But let’s back up a bit. Our story starts a couple hundred years ago, when our country was new. Once upon a time, America’s politicians started off with good intentions. They we’re a bunch of pretty smart fellows, you know. They designed the greatest system of government on planet Earth. Everything was going pretty good. For a while anyway.
  9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9147703@N03/2034624215/ More Money Than Politics Sunday, October 21, 2012 But then later some laws were changed or added. Many seemed to favor the upper classes and corporations. One new law made it okay for large corporations to indirectly contribute large sums of money to a politician’s campaign through political action committees, or PACs, which makes elections more about money than politics. Many people are very suspicious of these new laws.
  10. 10. . http://www.flickr.com/photos/9302703@N02/2056690287/ Climate of Corruption Sunday, October 21, 2012 And that shifted the balance of power to the upper classes and the corporations, and also created what I call a “climate of corruption”. Corporations in this country now have many of the same rights as private citizens. Our leaders are no longer interested in serving the people who voted for them. They are more concerned with serving the corporations that financed their campaign.
  11. 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/26614375@N00/381941233/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 The only way out of the climate of corruption is to take the money out of the equation. Unfortunately, thanks to the way the laws are written it’s too easy for high-paid special interest groups to influence elections and also for politicians to get rich doing public service. It’s time to put an end to the career politician.
  12. 12. http://www.flickr.com/photos/11121568@N06/4446461866/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 But in order to achieve campaign finance reform we must elect leaders who are in favor of such things. But that won’t be easy. Not too many of them are. We need to educate the public to demand better from our government. Later on I’ll direct you to some grass-roots organizations that promote these ideas in case you want to get more involved.
  13. 13. http://www.flickr.com/photos/84992687@N00/2962643371/ The President Has Term Limits Why not Congress? Sunday, October 21, 2012 “Term limits” is another way we can clean up our government. It’s already on the books for the president. If we limit our other elected officials to only one or two terms in office, we take away much of the incentive for corruption and set a better stage for our leaders to be leaders. Two terms is long enough to get real work done, and it keeps the career politicians out of office.
  14. 14. http://www.flickr.com/photos/99392248@N00/3914092475/ We don’t want to go! No Way! Sunday, October 21, 2012 But that’s going to be a toughie too. On a national level, nearly all the lawmakers in congress and the president would have to support such a change to our laws to make it happen. Many of them really like their jobs and don’t want to quit after two terms. And they are supported by big money interest that don’t want to see their guy retire after only four years.
  15. 15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/88996417@N00/427383721/ Simple, but not easy Sunday, October 21, 2012 Like many things about us and our world, the answers are elegant in their simplicity -- but implementing these things on a national scale is not easy. It’s going to take a massive grass- roots effort to pull this off. Change is hard, but not impossible. Once it gets rolling there will be a snowball effect. It’s just a matter of getting out there and getting the job done.
  16. 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/83261600@N00/4456180364/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 So, how does our story end? well, that depends on you, really! It’s up to you and each and every one of us to get involved and make our voices heard. Alone, maybe one person may not be able to do much, but in great numbers... watch out! We Americans could accomplish big things, but we have to work together.
  17. 17. http://www.flickr.com/photos/35237093637@N01/2244710624/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 So, where do we start? Well, one obvious answer is to simply get out there and vote. Get your friends and family to vote too. Why let only a few people decide? Voting is the single most powerful tool we have as Americans. The more people vote, the more the results are representative of the majority. We need to get as many people registered as possible.
  18. 18. http://www.flickr.com/photos/37763949@N00/2246225674/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 But vote for independents and third-party candidates who support these initiatives. It’s very important to educate yourself of the candidates’ platforms before you vote. Most of the two major party candidates run on familiar platforms, saying pretty much the same things they have been saying for years. Independents are more likely to favor new and different ideas.
  19. 19. http://www.flickr.com/photos/83261600@N00/4456180364/ Sunday, October 21, 2012 Well, thanks for watching! Now it’s time for all good citizens to go out and be activists! It’s up to all of us to finish our little story of politics in America. How it ends truly does depend on what you and I do. Don’t spend all your free time sitting on the couch. Get out there and vote and make your voice heard. Together, we have a chance.
  20. 20. TermLimits.org TimeforTermLimits.org BrennanCenter.org Citizen.org Sunday, October 21, 2012 I mentioned earlier that I would tell you where to go to get more information or to get more involved. These are some of the organizations that promote the ideas of campaign finance reform and term limits. I used their websites to do much of my research. Get involved today and it will make a better tomorrow. Thanks again for watching!

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