1. Many Americans believe that our current congress is dysfunctional. Do you believe this?
It is not dysfunctional at all if you are part of the elite, who pay little or no taxes! For everyone else, it is a nightmare.
2. If so, do you believe that large sums of money spent to influence political decisions is the main reason for this dysfunction?
It is certainly a contributing factor, especially with Democrats raising money from the same banks, insurance companies and Wall Street firms as the Republicans. Most of the blame, however, should go to the Americans who are too lazy to be informed about this problem and don’t vote.
3. What would you as a lawmaker do to curtail the effects of dark money donated anonymously to non-profits in unlimited quantities to influence elections and ballot questions?
I once ran a national campaign with a global impact. In 1996, when I returned to the United States after 12 years in Asia for the AFL-CIO, I found a dozen anti-sweatshop organizations in, maybe, 50 American cities. I united them to fight a single evil CEO. Armed with four years’ worth of my meticulous research about just eight shoe factories in suburban Jakarta, we rocked Nike’s world. For the next three years, sales in the U.S. declined and it sent Phil Knight to the White House bawling, “Get these activists off my back!” And – to the everlasting shame of the Democratic Party – Bill Clinton did just that. Within months, one of the most aggressive global social-justice movements of the late 20th Century was shut down in just months.
We can launch a similar campaign if I am elected to Congress. As an organizer, only I have the experience to unify all the anti-capitalist, environmentalist, good government and human rights organizations to fight for true reform. Cumulatively, they’re spending tens of billions with no apparent impact! I’m a fighter, and a uniter.
4. We believe that transparency is very important. Please share whatever information you feel is appropriate to share about your top five campaign donors.
The highest donation I have received is about $100. I think we have several of them, but no more.
5. Our thanks to Jeff for signing the American Promise Pledge to work towards a 28th constitutional amendment to implement more permanent campaign finance reforms. (http://www.americanpromise.ne
What do you believe should be included in this amendment?
Any and all corporate campaign contributions must be offset by an equal contribution to the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way, ACLU or Common Cause. I exclude unions because they have been fighting to get money out of politics since I was a teenager.