Thursday, September 3, 2015


#8, SEPTEMBER 3, 2015.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
(Previous Newsletters on this subject: #1 11-2-11; #2 12-9-11; #3 1-2-12; #4 8-4-12; #5 9-23-12; #6 Jan. 21, 2014; #7 Feb. 17, 2015).


It’s the War Dept., It’s the Peace Dept. Blog


such as Campaign Finance, Capitalism, Corporations, Corruption, Democracy, Occupy, Plutocracy.

 Contents Campaign Finance Reform, Overturn Citizens United , Struggle against Corruption of Money and for Affirmative Government Newsletter #8
The newsletter has 2 parts of a basic program for action against the corruption by money.  The first group of reports are about federal agencies and constitutional amendment:  I. Pushing federal agencies, here the SEC and the FCC, for Transparency, II. Electing a president in 2016 opposed to Citizens United
The second group elaborates these two themes:
Petition to Overturn Citizens United
Credo Action, President Obama Endorses Campaign to Overturn Citizens United,
     Sign Petition
Friends of the Earth, Take Action
Constitutional Amendment Plan of Action
End Citizens United PAC Move to Amend Raised $2 million
ACPJ Actions May 2015

Petition for the K.O.C.H. Act
Senator Schumer Promotes the Disclose Act and Hillary Clinton
Transparency:  PUSH President Obama To Restrain Corruption of Federal
     Contractors’ Campaign Contributions:

Contents: Campaign Spending Corruption
Two Transparency Actions We Can Support Now: Require Donor and Spending Disclosure
The Major Reform: Overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen United Ruling

Require Disclosure
Petition from  : What the SEC Can and Should Do: Demand the SEC require public companies to disclose their political campaign spending.
Petition from People for the American Way:  What the FCC Can and Should Do:  Support the Koch Act to require that super PACs and other outside political groups disclose their major donors in TV and radio ads.
Amend the Constitution to Reverse Citizens United
Ben and Jerry against Corporate Personhood for Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton: Opposition to Citizens United Her Litmus Test for New Judges
Petition from Common Cause for the Democracy for All Amendment
Petition from

the S.E.C. MUST take action (please sign!)  Unsubscribe
2:14 PM (15 minutes ago)
to me  9-3-15     

Dick --

Right now, public companies can make political expenditures with corporate funds that are completely exempt from disclosure.

These companies haven't been bashful about taking advantage of this loophole. Only TWO PERCENT of companies voluntarily disclose their political spending.

This is scary, Dick. If no rule is written to require disclosure, then we have NO CLUE how much money is being funneled into our elections with corporate funds!

ADD YOUR NAME → Demand the SEC require public companies to disclose their political campaign spending! >>

The SEC has the power to require public companies to disclose important information to their investors. If we can band together and make the SEC take action, we will be one step closer to undoing the damage from theCitizens United decision.

Please sign your name and put pressure on the SEC to act today:
Thanks for your support,
End Citizens United PAC
1050 17th Street, NW Suite 590
Washington, DC 20036

Signature needed: KOCH Act would shine light on dark money!
Ben Betz, People For the American Way via 
8:49 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
A new message from your friends at People For the American Way.
The KOCH Act would direct the FCC to require that super PACs and other outside political groups disclose their major donors in TV and radio ads.
Add your support for the KOCH Act here>>
The Federal Communications Commission could play a huge role in cracking down on secret election spending, with tougher rules for political disclosure.
To pave the way, some of our allies in Congress have introduced the Keeping Our Campaigns Honest (KOCH) Act -- and, yes, that name is no coincidence.
The KOCH Act would direct the FCC to require that super PACs and other outside political groups disclose their major donors in TV and radio ads.1
Even the disastrous Citizens United decision was supposedly predicated on there being a certain level of transparency that, according the Court’s majority opinion, “enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”
Obviously that transparency is just not there. And because of the Right’s trumped up ‘IRS scandal,’ where new Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status in the 2012 election received scrutiny from the agency, the IRS is poised to sheepishly hold off on new much-needed rules to regulate dark money groups in the next election.
So it’s especially urgent that the FCC steps up and gets tough now.

Pro-big money Republicans in the House have already blocked the KOCH Act once in committee, but we need to keep pushing in both the House and the Senate.
And this is important: even if we don’t get the bill passed, the grassroots support we generate for this bill will put pressure on the FCC, which can take vital steps to increase disclosure on its own.
After you take action, do even more to help shine a light on dark money by sharing the petition with five friends and on social media.
Thank you for standing up for transparency and against big money!
-- Ben Betz, Online Engagement Director


Bernie Sanders for President

Hi, I'm Ben.
And I'm Jerry.
I'm a person.
And I'm a person.
And together, we came up with a company called Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.
That's a corporation.
Ben, person. Jerry...
Ben & Jerry's, not a person... that's a corporation.
They're different.
But there's this problem. The Supreme Court decided that corporations are people, and that they're entitled to the same rights as people are. It's called "corporate personhood."
That's ridiculous. And what it means is that this presidential election, there will be a whole mess of shadowy money and corporate contributions backing candidates and causes on both sides of the aisle.
Except for Bernie Sanders, of course. Bernie has led the fight to put an end to the corrupting influence of big money in our politics.
From the very beginning, Bernie's called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United -- something with which we couldn't agree more.
People thought we were crazy when we started putting dough into our ice cream.
But what's really crazy is all the dough corporations are putting into politics.
This issue is so important because all of the money it introduces into the political process influences almost every issue Congress considers.
Join us and sign Bernie Sanders' campaign to overturn Citizens United.
Ben and Jerry
Thanks for joining us in this important effort!
-  Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield  -
Hillary Clinton’s litmus test for Supreme Court nominees: a pledge to overturn Citizens United By Matea Gold and Anne Gearan May 14, 2015  

Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton takes part in a round table of young Nevadans discussing immigration as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on May 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake
This post has been updated.
Hillary Clinton told a group of her top fundraisers Thursday that if she is elected president, her nominees to the Supreme Court will have to share her belief that the court's 2010 Citizens United decision must be overturned, according to people who heard her remarks.
Clinton's emphatic opposition to the ruling, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on independent political activity, garnered the strongest applause of the afternoon from the more than 200 party financiers gathered in Brooklyn for a closed-door briefing from the Democratic candidate and her senior aides, according to some of those present.
"She got major applause when she said would not name anybody to the Supreme Court unless she has assurances that they would overturn" the decision, said one attendee, who, like others, requested anonymity to describe the private session.
If the make-up of the court does not change by 2017, four of the justices will be 78 years of age or older by the time the next president is inaugurated.
Clinton’s pledge to use opposition to Citizens United as a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees echoes the stance taken by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is challenging her for the Democratic nomination.
“If elected president, I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice,” Sanders said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “And that nominee will say that we are all going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United because that decision is undermining American democracy. I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians.”
On Thursday, Clinton also reiterated her support for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, a long-shot effort that is nonetheless popular among Democratic activists.
"She said she is going to do everything she can," the attendee said. "She was very firm about this – that this Supreme Court decision is just a disaster."

Declare independence from Citizens United
Miles Rapoport, Common Cause via 
11:05 AM (20 hours ago)
to James  July 4, 2015
Dear Friend,
This 4th of July, we commemorate our nation's struggle for independence. But with this week's campaign fundraising deadline, we got all too real of a reminder of politicians' dependence on big money Super PAC donors.
declare-independence550.jpgFor many 2016 candidates (not to mention Super PACs and other outside groups), last Wednesday was the deadline to report what they've raised so far. We don't know the full numbers yet (they're sure to be huge) -- and for some dark money groups, we'll never find out how much they've taken in.
But one thing's clear. We need to take back our democracy. The Citizens United ruling made it easy -- maybe even necessary -- for candidates to rely on a few wealthy special interests to fund their campaigns. And when those donors come asking for special favors after the election, it's hard to say no…
Leaders across the political spectrum, 16 states (red and blue!), and hundreds of towns and cities have already called on Congress to pass an amendment. And with 73% of the American people on board, it should be a no-brainer for politicians in Washington to act.
But their corporate sponsors won't let that happen. Wealthy special interests want to keep spending big and keep calling the shots in our democracy -- so they'll do whatever they can to stop us. How's that for irony: money in politics is our biggest obstacle to addressing money in politics!
But we can stop this cycle if we get organized, speak out, and tell Congress we won't settle for anything less than a constitutional amendment overturningCitizens United.
Thanks for all you do,
Miles Rapoport, President
and the team at Common Cause

to me 5-24-15
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling is one of the worst judicial decisions in history. Groups like the Koch Brothers are now free to buy elections and undermine our democracy.

Help us reach 25O,OOO citizen co-sponsors for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United:

Supporter: Dick Bennett
Co-Sponsor: PENDING (click to sign) >>
Dick --

It’s been more than 5 years since the Supreme Court’s fateful decision in Citizens United v F.E.C. Since then we’ve seen:

-- The rise to power of Charles and David Koch
-- The invention of the “SuperPAC”
-- The unconstricted flow of money into our elections

What’s happening before us is a fundamental erosion of our democracy. Big money groups -- most prominently those on the far right -- are seizing more and more control of America’s electoral system.

This was painfully evident in the 2014 Elections. Right wing groups were dominant spenders in elections both small and large -- and it paid dividends through a massive Republican wave.

Regardless of whether you lean right or left in your politics, we can’t allow ourselves to have a system that’s up for sale to the highest bidder.

We need change...but it won’t be easy. Amending the Constitution is a major undertaking. To start, we need tens of thousands of citizens like you to stand up in support of this movement.

Dick, will you join us now and add your name as a citizen co-sponsor for a Constitutional Amendment to overturnCitizens United? >>

We need your support. And we thank you for it.



President Obama Endorses Campaign
CREDO, Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United
79%    We've reached 118,855 of our goal of 150,000.
Sign the petition
Tell Congress:
"January 21 was the fifth anniversary of the terrible Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United."

Sign Petition
You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United
The 2014 election – the most expensive midterm in American history – painfully showed just how much damage the flood of political spending unleashed by the Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court decisions has done to our democracy.1
Backed by a geyser of money supplied by ultra-wealthy donors and corporations, radical right-wing extremists swept Senate and House races across the country.
The domination of politics by corporations and the mega-rich is a profound threat to democracy and freedom in the United States, and we have to fight back.

Early this year, CREDO and dozens of allied organizations plan to deliver 5 million petition signatures to Congress calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United – we've hit this ambitious goal, and now we need your help to go even bigger.

Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United.

An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the toxic influence of money in politics, and we have enormous momentum in the fight to overturn Citizens United.

Last year, a majority of senators cast a historic vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. And although the amendment didn't receive the needed 67 votes to pass, we now know who is on record in favor of letting big money buy our elections.2

At the state and local level, we're already winning major victories. Sixteen states and roughly 600 communities have formally demanded that Congress vote to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

It's incredibly difficult to pass a constitutional amendment, and it usually takes decades of grassroots organizing and pressure on elected officials to amend the constitution. This fight will be no exception. I hope you'll add your voice to the millions of other Americans who are speaking out against money in politics.

Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United.

1. Russ Choma, "Money Won on Tuesday, But Rules of the Game Changed," Center for Responsive Politics, November 5, 2014
2. John Nichols, "The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘*Citizens United*’" The Nation, July 10, 2014
CREDO Action is a publication of Working Assets |

Help us get 5 million signatures to end Citizens United
January 7, 2015
Michelle Chan, Friends of the Earth via
Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United!
Dear Dick,
I don’t have to tell you how the flood of polluter money in politics has had a devastating impact on our environment. From the failure to regulate dangerous bee-killing pesticides to the massive giveaway of billions of taxpayer dollars to the fossil fuels industry, excessive corporate power has not only poisoned our environment but our democracy as well.
January 21st will mark the 5th anniversary of the    case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations had a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of “independent expenditures” in an effort to sway our elections.
We must put an end to this unlimited spending.
Tell Congress: Overturn Citizens United NOW!
Like me, I am sure you have seen the significant impact that this ruling has had in the last few election cycles. For example, last year the Chamber of Commerce spent $31 million to ensure its favorite candidates got into office, helping make the 2014 mid-term elections the most expensive in history.
That’s why more than 3.5 million Americans of all political stripes have signed on to a petition calling for Congress to reverse Citizens United. We hope to get to 5 million, so that we can send a powerful message to Capitol Hill later this month.
Help us reach our goal of 5 million people saying “enough” to unlimited corporate spending in our elections: Take action today!
As you know, this unchecked corporate spending has had huge environmental consequences. For example, if you look at this outgoing Congress, climate change deniers took an average of $346,975 from the fossil fuels industry, while members who do acknowledge climate change took less than a third of that ($96,999).
The evidence is clear: unless we get big money out of politics, we will never have a fair shake at protecting people and the planet.
Add your voice: Tell Congress to overturn Citizens United!
Let’s get money out and voters in!
In solidarity,
Michelle Chan,
Economic policy program director,
Friends of the Earth

Contact us
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Washington DC
Berkeley CA

End Citizens United Unsubscribe
11:18 AM (26 minutes ago)
to me  8-13-15
Move To Amend, Eureka, CA. 69329 likes · 2417 talking about this. SIGN THE PETITION AT
Sign the Move to Amend petition: corporations aren't people & money is not free speech!
Common Dreams NewsCenter
Jan 20, 2013 - It's been three years since the Supreme Court issued its outrageous decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, overturning the flimsy campaign ...

Move to Amend: We the People, Not We the Corporations
Move to Amend
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the ...

The ACPJ Monthly Meeting will be moved to June 1 to make way for some great events in our state to restore Democracy.
Monday, May 18, a free performance of the play “Go Granny D!” based on the life of campaign finance activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock.  7:00 PM Unitarian Universalist Church,  1818 Reservoir Rd, Little Rock 
Tuesday, May 19, Rally and march to show your support for a ballot initiative to restore democracy for all.  March begins at10:30am starting at MacArthur Park.  Rally will be at the Little Rock State Capitol Building at 12:30pm. 
We will rally alongside Ben Cohen of Stamp Stampede (and Ben & Jerry’s), campaign finance reform activist Rhana Bazzini, Scott Foval and Rio Tazewell of People for the American Way, Jonah Minkoff-Zern of Public Citizen, and John Bonifaz of Free Speech for People. We will be joined by local leaders, Steve Copley of Arkansas Interfaith Alliance, Neil Sealy of Arkansas Community Organizations and State Representative Clarke Tucker, among many more.

Get more details about these great democracy events on May 18 and 19 in Little Rock and be sure to join us.

The effects of Citizens United in Arkansas have been severe.
For example, in Arkansas’ 2014 U.S. Senate race, nearly $63.5 million was spent — including $39.9 million from outside groups — making it one of the five most expensive Senate races in the country.

Take action today to restore your voice in Arkansas politics!
Show your support for a ballot initiative that would reclaim our democracy from the wealthy and special interests.

Facebook Event Pages:
Main event on May 19.
“Go Granny D” event on May 18.
Please contact


Thanks for adding your name to support the Keeping Our Campaigns Honest Act (K.O.C.H. Act)
Will you help keep up our momentum by forwarding this and asking three friends to sign as well?

Democrats just introduced a bill to force SuperPACs to disclose their major donors at the end of TV ads:

5O,OOO Signatures Needed → Sign your name to support the K.O.C.H. Act:

Here are the names of some real groups that attacked President Obama in 2012:
Restore Our Freedom
American Crossroads
Club for Growth
Americans for Prosperity
Freedom Works

They sound innocent enough.

But they’re actually right-wing front-groups for the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers.

Voters deserve to know who’s behind the deceptive ads flooding our airwaves.

The Keeping Our Campaigns Honest Act (K.O.C.H. Act) would do just that -- forcing SuperPACs and dark money groups to disclose major donors at the end of their ads.

But if Democrats are going to get this bill through Congress, it’ll take a tremendous grassroots effort.

5O,OOO Signatures Needed → Sign your name to support the K.O.C.H. Act:
Soft money. Dark money. Koch money. There's something these all have in common: none belong in our political system.
That's why I helped twice to shepherd the DISCLOSE Act, introducing it in 2010 and co-sponsoring a similar bill in 2012. We need an end to unlimited, unaccountable donations and spending in campaigns in order to make our elections fair and accessible to everyday Americans.
But don't take it from me. Here's what my former colleague and our future president Hillary Clinton had to say:
'We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment.'
After hard-right Republicans bankrolled races with hundreds of millions of dollars in 2014, we saw some of the most expensive elections in history -- with voters left in the dark about who truly funded attacks on Democratic lawmakers.
The newly elected Republicans don’t care about working families. They care about their secret funders. Their agenda threatens critical programs and policies like accessible health care, affordable higher education, and widespread job creation.
Hillary has elevated the issue of campaign finance reform to the presidential campaign stage and made it a central plank in her campaign. We must seize this opportunity and lead the fight for fair elections.
This could be our moment to reverse Citizens United once and for all -- but only if we stand together today.
Thanks for all you do,
Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senator

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ACTION to combat Citizens United-related corruption: Disclosure of campaign contributions by federal contractors.   And CONTACT PRES. OBAMA
Jonah Minkoff-Zern via
to me  3-4-15
President Obama is currently contemplating issuing an Executive Order requiring disclosure of campaign contributions for federal contractors.
This would be a very exciting victory for our movement to shine the light on corporations that are attempting to buy our elections. It is very likely that significant grassroots pressure will make the difference.
We are ramping up the campaign to encourage Obama to do so culminating in nationwide rallies on April 2 – the year anniversary of the McCutcheon Supreme Court ruling that further put our democracy up for sale.

Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign on behalf of the Get Money Out Collaborative

Dick,  [This was distributed to all Senior Democrats of NWA via Sharon and Martha.]

Who can lead the fight against corporate corruption of our elections?

You can.

This Friday, March 6, a coalition of organizations is hosting a virtual town hall meeting featuring Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s and superstar activist for reining in corporate power.

During this conversation, we’ll discuss an alarming kind of corruption that has emerged because of Citizens United — and how we can call on President Barack Obama to end this corruption.

Join the virtual town hall meeting on Friday, March 6, at 4 p.m. Eastern:

Sign up to let us know you want to join Friday’s conversation and to make sure you get an email with all the details.

Corporations that receive government contracts can secretly funnel untold sums to help elect (and re-elect) the very same lawmakers who are responsible for awarding those government contracts.

It’s a cycle of corruption enabled by inadequate election laws. Thankfully, fixing this corruption doesn’t require an act of Congress.

President Obama has the authority to fix the problem with the stroke of a pen.

This is a unique opportunity, not only to learn what’s happening, but also to join the nationwide response in a way that puts your outrage about the destruction of our democracy front and center in the public eye.

Sign up to be a part of the conversation on Friday, March 6, at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Thanks for all you do.
Jonah Minkoff-Zern
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign on behalf of the Get Money Out Collaborative

P.S. Unable to attend, but want to help plan a rally against corruption in the coming weeks? Sign up here, and we’ll follow up with you about plans for upcoming opportunities to organize a local demonstration or event.

I learned of the SC ruling in favor of McCutcheon at 10:30, and at 1:00 Peter Tooker, Abel Tomlinson, and I (and later a passerby Kitty) held an OMNI banner and 2 Citizens United/McCutcheon signs until 2:45.  Abel had notified TV, and the KNWA cameraman Joel Kattner came by, filmed my answers to a few questions, and said a 30 second piece would show that night.
Earlier I had written these people asking them to join me in protest if McCutcheon is affirmed by Supremes:  Drake, Swaney, Gray, Bettie Lu, Cora lee, and?  .  
Dick Bennett


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

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