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One Man (or Woman) One Vote? Are our voting rights being corrupted?

The readers and listeners of Saturday Morning Live know the hard work that Elaine Willman does for all American citizens, even our Native American citizens. The Fairfield Sun Times of Montana has published Elaine’s article which deals with the loss of integrity in our one man (or woman) one vote for the purpose of elections. Please enjoy Elaine’s article and remember it’s up to you and I to give voice to these issues that affect us all.

2014-10-26_1355The Dung in America’s Elections

Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2014 8:44 am / By Elaine Willman

What do you get with cross-corruption of the elephants and donkeys? A massive Hippopotamus to squash your vote and mine.

How can this happen? Congress intentionally set up a system to better finance and control elections. Let me explain the congressional mechanics of the system that will flourish in the 2014 and 2016 elections unless voters take it down, in the same manner that voters dismantled the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, which was to be a more manageable new voter pool for the donkeys and elephants.

The financial instrument was sired by Senator John McCain who sponsored the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 to create a separate, tax-exempt monopoly that would soon pump billions back into both political parties. The current annual honeypot to play with here is over $20 billion. To ensure that the flow of money gets back to Congress the Federal Election Commission determined in May 2005 that tribal governments are not governments, and therefore could freely participate in and contribute funds to political parties, incumbents or candidates. No other governments may write a check to a political party or candidate, but hey—Congress who giveth the monopoly to tribal governments must benefit from the profits.

To ensure that such funds are undisclosed, Senator McCain, also the sire of the infamous 2002 McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act diligently, even belligerently refused to require that tribal governments disclose, as must all other contributors, financial contributions to political parties or election candidates. Pretty neat. Create the separate tax-exempt monopoly, spread it across hundreds of private tribal governments who are not answerable to American voters, and then permit them, as the only governments allowed to participate in America’s elections without transparency…and Voila! In California alone, tribal political influence has overtaken even the labor unions. I am not speaking of the full and necessary right of every individual American Indians citizen to vote. I am speaking only of the unregulated participation of separate tribal governments in America’s elections.

More recently, the U.S. Supreme Court partially improved the First Amendment playing field for campaign activities when it ruled in a 2010 case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by non-profit organizations. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to corporations, labor unions and other associations. The Citizens United case opened a larger voice for countering the giant tribal monies flowing into federal and state elections.  The case did not involve the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties, which remain illegal in races for federal office. No one’s wild about the Citizens United case, but the result at least lessened the national power of tribal government participation in America’s elections. Click to continue reading Elaine’s article

Elaine Willman is a Board Member of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) an organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations. Ms. Willman is author of Going To Pieces…The Dismantling of the United States of America, a non-fiction reflection of the voices on and near 17 Indian reservations in the United States.. Contact: Email: toppin@aol.com

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