Greens Speak Out in Support of Campaign Finance Reform.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
Green Party leaders, candidates, and members call McCain-Feingold a
first step, but demand stronger measures to restore democracy.
DR. JONATHAN FARLEY,
Green Party candidate for U.S. Congress, 5th District of Tennessee:
"Our birthright, American democracy, is being sold to the highest
bidder. The sell-out of American politics will only be reversed when
people have a real choice, instead of identical candidates from twin
parties joined at the wallet, and compromised by 'gifts' from wealthy
elites. Corporations have hijacked our government - and I'm going to
fight to get it back. Campaign finance reform doesn't go far enough: we
need proportional representation, instant run-off voting, and an
election day holiday. Voting isn't just for those who can afford it.
It's for those of us who want it. And we must challenge the status of
corporations as 'persons,' which magnifies the power of the wealthy to
buy off elected officials, granting them all the privileges of
citizenship but none of the responsibilities, like having to pay their
own debts, pay taxes and face prosecution if they commit
BEN MANSKI, Wisconsin
Green, member of the national Steering Committee of the Green Party of
the United States: "The Enron scandal is as much about the
bipartisan failure to defend democracy as it is about a corporate con
job on employees and investors. Enron's huge contributions bought
influence in the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Enron and other
energy corporations took part in numerous secret meetings with Vice
President Cheney - the documents from which are now under GAO subpoena
-- to help determine Bush energy policy. The Vice President held no
meetings at all with consumer and environmental groups -- citizens'
organizations that, like most of us voters, can't afford to buy
our way into Dick Cheney's office."
ANITA RIOS, Ohio Green, member of the national Steering Committee of the Green Party of the U.S.: "Candidates should be elected on merit -- on platform, principle, and record of service to their constituencies -- not on the quid pro quo of coaxing checks from corporate lobbies. That's why Greens support caps on spending and contributions at the national and state levels, and public funding of campaigns. It's why the Green Party doesn't accept donations from corporations, and why the national party does not accept contributions over $10,000 per year, less than half of what the new law permits."
Connecticut Green, member of the national Steering Committee of the
Green Party of the U.S.: "We must end the sale of our government to
the highest bidder. In return for their campaign contributions, special
interests receive tax breaks, preferential treatment and government
contracts that make a political donation the smartest investment a Wall
Street wheeler-dealer can make. We'll never get universal health care,
affordable housing, strong environmental protections, or true national
security without meaningful campaign finance reform."