Thursday, February 26, 2009

Your signature on a bar of soap!

According to, in the 2008 Congressional elections, 90% of the contests were won by the best funded candidates. An average seat in the United States Senate Cost 6.5 million dollars. In the House of Representatives an average seat went for 1.1 million dollars. I am not sure what you are thinking, but I thought we were in a recession? Looking at the costs of campaigns it does not reflect the financial struggles of the average American. Perhaps, that is because less than 1% of the average American gives more than $100 to Congressional campaigns. If the cost of the campaigns is not enough to make you want to take a stand, lets think about it in a new way.

All these contributions are coming from large corporations,lobbyists, and special interests groups. Seems fair right? I would argue not. These large donors, donate money to candidates. In return Candidates feel indebted to these individuals and organizations. Do not believe me? Take for example Prescription drug companies. For several years individuals have been urging for lower prescription drug prices. However, legislation continues to pass supporting the prescription drug companies and not the American people. Why would our government support drug companies over citizens. Perhaps it is the fact that over 92 million dollars has been contributed to federal campaigns in the last 15 years from Prescription drug companies.

Yet, big money has further implications. Ever notice that in the United States Senate there are few women and even fewer minority members. Perhaps this is because only particular individuals have access to money and connections to actually run a competitive campaign. What if campaigns were run on the basis of issues and policies and not the amount of money?

Have you had a conversation with your U.S. Senator lately? Ever feel like your Representative is not representing your district? Maybe, it is because they are worried about raising money for the next election. Perhaps it is because they are having dinner with large donors and instead of returning emails to constituents.

Sounds like it is time for a change in our election system. How about a publicly funded system? A system that would limit the amount of money spent on campaigns. A system that would prevent big money from buying influence. A system that allows for more individuals to run a competitive campaign. A system that does not discriminate by the size of your wallet.

It may seem like there is a lot of problems in the United States government. However, being critical but apathetic solves little. How about taking a stance and backing it with action. We can make a difference!

Monday March 2 and Tuesday March 3 take a stance against big money. Visit the Democracy Matters Table in Johnny's 10:30am to 1:30pm and let your voice be heard. You will have the opportunity to sign a bar of soap. This soap will be sent to the Michigan members of Congress asking them to "Clean up elections" and support publicly funded elections.

Change Elections. Change America.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soap and Numbers Campaign - Round 2

The 2008 Election was an exciting and competitive election. However, money became a dominating factor of the election. Citizens saw some the most expensive campaigns in United States History. Not only did the Presidential election prove to be costly, but also the Congressional elections brought a hefty price tag.

Where did most of this money come from…? The answer: Not from average citizens but instead from private donors and big corporations. How is the voice of the American people supposed to be heard if it is drown out by the large wallets of a few individuals?

As a citizen of the United States, I urge you to take action; let your voice be heard. Apathy will not make a difference, but advocacy will. In the following weeks, you will see posters hanging around campus. These posters will have facts and statistics from the 2008 Congressional elections. Take a moment to read these posters and ponder the information presented. Then the first week in March take action. Join Democracy Matters in Johnny’s the Dining halls and Dorms to write your members of Congress and urge them to support Clean Elections. It is time to get the money out and the people back in. “Change Elections, Change America”

For more information on Clean Elections:

For more information on the Soap and Numbers Campaign: