This one comes from our dear friend Don Mosley about whom I hope to tell you someday. But for now, since he sends out so little -- he's got my attention (as if the decision itself had not!) So am interrupting another focus very briefly to get this out...
I hate impersonal form letters, but sometime they are the only way to get word out in time to people who need to hear about it.
I was appalled to see the Supreme Court decision a week ago in the case called "Citizens United vs. the FEC." For better or for worse, I seldom take the time to get involved in such matters - too busy all the time with peacemaking projects, among other things - but this one really bothered me. I agree with my good friend, Bob Edgar, now the President of Common Cause, who calls this one the "Super Bowl of bad Supreme Court decisions. (I have shared some exciting adventures in the Middle East and elsewhere with Bob when he was General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.) It practically guarantees that the influence of money on our elected members of Congress will become even greater - at the expense of all of the rest of us. I am not aware of any act of the Supreme Court which has ever dealt such a devastating blow to our democratic system.
I hope you will read Bob's letter below and send him your support as a religious leader - and/or that you will quickly forward this message to others who will do the same.
Thank you for considering this.
From: Don Mosley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 2:54 PM
To: Bob Edgar
Subject: Re: Religious leader statement/letter on Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision
Bob, Thank you, brother, for speaking out so strongly against this awful situation! Even I, who have just written a book about the importance of resisting despair and putting our faith into action, am having to struggle to keep hopeful on this one.
I would be happy to have my name on the list, but I'm not a "Reverend" - so I am forwarding this to all the qualified people I can think of. I hope they respond in time.
PS I know you are far too busy to read extra books, but I think you would like my new one, Faith Beyond Borders, Doing Justice in a Dangerous World, to be published by Abingdon in April or May. You figure prominently in one of the key stories toward the end of the book.
----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Edgar
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:58 PM
Subject: Religious leader statement/letter on Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision (or modify for your own group or self)
I need your active and urgent help to spread the word to across the country about the horrific effects of the recent Supreme Court decisions: Citizens United vs. the FEC. A coalition of groups working to blunt this decisions and to support changing the way we fund House and Senate campaigns is building support from a variety of constituencies. We are working to get corporation leaders and active lobbyists to stand up and speak out on the impact of this decision.
You can find more detailed information about both the Citizens United decision and the Fair Elections Now Act on Common Cause’s website: www.CommonCause.org. or click here
Here is where I need you help: In the next two weeks we would like the letter, which is attached and below, to be sent to the Congressional leadership, signed by as many religious leaders as possible. Help me send this request out as fast and as widely as possible.
If you are a religious leader, please email me your willingness to add your name, title and religious affiliation to the letter. I would also appreciate your asking your colleagues to consider signing.
If you are not a religious leader, please share this with those you know and/or work with who might be interested in adding their names. Have them email me their name, title and religious affiliation.
As you know, my email address is redgar@CommonCause.org. I can also be reached by cell phone at 202-725-7029.
Thank you for considering this very special request.
President of Common Cause
January 28, 2010
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Citizens United and the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826 & S. 752)
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
As religious leaders, we believe in equality and justice for all people and in building the common good. In a democracy, these ideals cannot be realized, however, if the rules governing the electoral process actively or passively favor one segment of the population over another.
We believe existing campaign finance laws already permit the unfair influence of persons and groups with extraordinary wealth over the political process by providing them with special access to elected officials. This special access ultimately results in legislative outcomes that reflect the needs of those with the financial means to make political contributions, and not the needs of the poor or disenfranchised.
The recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will surely amplify the voices of the wealthy campaign donors and bring new powerful players to fore at the expense of everyone else.
We believe Congress must address both the Citizens United decision and the problems of the current campaign finance system by passing the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826). This measure would empower average people to participate in politics with small donations, and would return the gaze of our elected officials solely to the needs of their districts and the nation as a whole, rather than the interests of those with significant financial resources for campaigns.
We pledge our support and we pledge to work among members of our churches and religious communities throughout the nation to encourage support for your efforts to bring about reform.
As you know, the Fair Elections Now Act was sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) in the Senate and House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in the House. In the House, the legislation has attracted nearly 130 cosponsors. With a strong Fair Elections system in place, candidates will spend less time courting the narrow slice of Americans who currently fund campaigns and engage a larger, more active citizenry.
We hope in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision you will support the Fair Elections Now Act so that Congress can act effectively on the people’s business.