Letter: Join effort against influence of big money in politics

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Join effort against influence of big money

To the editor:

The 2016 election will be most expensive, money-dominated and voter suppression-marred contest in modern American history.

The vast majority of the electorate agrees that money has far too big an influence in politics. Yet, most lawmakers have to start raising funds to get re-elected as soon as they come into office, and no legislation that addresses this issue is moving forward. American democracy is fast turning into, or has already become, a plutocracy, where the influence of a few wealthy people and companies is deciding, which issues are getting attention and which laws are being passed, crushing hopes for progress on climate change, economic inequality, mass incarceration, and more. Our planet and people simply cannot afford that.

This is why I am so heartened by the initiative "Democracy Spring," a week-long march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Washington D.C. When the marchers arrive at the Capitol on April 11 they will be joined by thousands who've come from across the country. Beneath the dome of the rotunda, on the steps outside the Capitol, and in the offices of our congressional representatives, we will engage in peaceful civil disobedience for at least a week. Day after day.

Before setting out, we will ask Congress to take immediate action to end big money in politics and make the 2016 elections free and fair for all people as equal citizens, or be prepared to send thousands of patriotic Americans to jail simply for demanding an equal voice.

With leaders like Lawrence Lessig, Zephyr Teachout, Cenk Uygur, and Mark Ruffalo already pledged to risk arrest and over 70 organizations signed on to help, we can create a watershed moment in America that will force this issue into the spotlight and make the election a referendum on whether our democracy should belong to the People as a whole or to the wealthy alone. Join us!

Uli Nagel, Lee


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