Ro Khanna And Beto O'Rourke Move To Remove PACs From The Temple Of Democracy
According to CleanSlateNow.org, there are only six members of the House who don't take PAC money-- 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans:
• Ro Khanna (D-CA)The six most corrupt members of the House-- at least in terms of taking the PAC-bribes-- are all notorious corporate whores who have poisoned the political system and should be driven from office-- 5 Republicans and a disgusting excuse for a Democrat:
• Beto O'Rourke (D-TX)
• Jared Polis (D-CO)
• Phil Roe (R-TN)
• Francis Rooney (R-FL)
• John Sarbanes (D-MD)
• Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $3,249,247.09Ro Khanna, a dedicated progressive who represents the very PAC-friendly the Silicon Valley, started the No PAC Caucus in Congress. So far just Beto O'Rourke, the El Paso congressman challenging Ted Cruz's mega-PAC 2018 reelection bid, and independently wealthy Jared Polis from Boulder have joined the caucus. I've always asserted that the reason ethics laws for members of Congress-- including everything regarding how candidates raise money-- will always be inherently corrupt because they are written specifically for one class of people: members of Congress. They write their own laws to cover their own asses and legalize their own criminal behavior.
• Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $3,068,027.73
• Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $2,822,165.00
• Bill Shuster (R-PA)- $2,495,129.55
• John Shimkus (R-IL)- $2,484,809.71
• Steny Hoyer (R-MD)- $2,471,618.21
Tuesday, though, two members, Ro Khanna and Beto O'Rourke, have come forward will a new bill-- The No PAC Act-- to prohibit members of Congress from taking PAC contributions. It's a truly revolutionary proposal and it transcends partisanship. The bill that seeks to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by prohibiting members of Congress and those running for Congress from accepting contributions from a PAC, other than that of the candidate’s own PAC. It would also prohibit the establishment of leadership PACs.
The villain of the video above is Chicagoland knee-jerk Republican Peter Roskam who's taken $1,564,543.89 from PACs (more than half his campaign haul). Roskam's opponent in this race is Blue America-backed Geoff Petzel who backs what Khanna and O'Rourke are trying to accomplish-- and more: "I support the concept of the No PAC Act," he told us, "but this bill doesn't do enough to stop the influence of big money in our politics. I am a strong supporter of campaign finance reform and believe that no one, including corporations, should be able to contribute more than $200 to a campaign and all funds should run through a candidates committee. The No PAC Act does take an important stand against leadership PACs. Leadership PACs should absolutely be banned. They have no transparency and allow our elected officials to use them for personal gain. We need more transparency and less corporate influence in our politics. Reasonable people can agree that a $200 donation to a political campaign shouldn't influence someones vote, but when people like Peter Roskam use leadership PAC money for ski trips and hundreds of thousands in travel, I think most people will agree that some influence is certainly possible. Peter Roskam's use of leadership PAC money is yet another example of his questionable judgement when using outside money. In the past he was investigated for ethics violations over a trip he took with his family. The trip to Taiwan that cost $25,000 was paid for by a foreign government. His wild spending of leadership PAC money should also raise serious ethics concerns. And to make matters worse, Congressman Roskam voted to dismantle the House Ethics Committee... we need more oversight regarding these questionable uses of funds, not less. Being a Congressman should be about serving the people, not living a celebrity lifestyle."
In the 2016 cycle, PACs contributed more than $474 million to congressional candidates according to the FEC, which accounted for 35% of campaign funds for House Democrats, 39% for House Republicans, 15% for Senate Democrats, and 27% for Senate Republicans.
Khanna told the media that the bill "is an important step in stopping the influence of wealthy special interests in our political system. By limiting who can give to congressional candidates, voters can have a stronger voice in who represents them in Congress." O'Rourke agreed: "We need to get special interest money out of politics. This bill is an important step to do just that," he said.
We asked some of the progressive candidates who are running for congressional seats now. David Gill, who's up against Republican incumbent Rodney Davis-- who has gobbled up $1,806,068.14, an astonishing 69% of his total contributions-- was the first to respond. "As a candidate who supports meaningful campaign finance reform and who only accepts contributions from individuals, I'm fully supportive of the bill introduced by Representatives Khanna and O'Rourke. It will be much easier to finally achieve the single-payer health care system so desperately needed here in America when we eliminate the big money put into our political system by Big Pharma and the insurance industry."
Tom Guild is running against another big PAC-abuser, Republican Steve Russell in Oklahoma City. Russell gets about half his campaign funds from PAC-- $409,554.12 so far. Guild told us he fully supports the bill proposed by Khanna and O'Rourke. "I have never accepted a PAC contribution and have no plans to do so. Especially in light of Citizens United, we have a great need for campaign finance reform to remove the stench of big corporate money in congressional campaigns. Dependence on big corporate and Wall Street money undermines the one person, one vote principle undergirding our political system. Accepting PAC money is a serious and debilitating problem that crosses party lines. It virtually ensures that only billionaires who can self-finance their campaigns or those who 'play the game' and sell their souls to the devil can successfully mount a congressional campaign. The No PAC Act is a very good step in the right direction. People often say that members of Congress can’t be bought, but can be rented for long periods of time. We need to put a stop to that unfortunate reality. I’m all in on this one! I know voters in CD5-OK are fed up with the corrosive influence of all the PAC money sloshing around the political system and if they vote to send me to Washington in 2018, I'll sign on as a co-sponsor of this bill on their behalf as soon as I get there."