While big money is battling on the airwaves and the Television screens across Florida, as they will continue to do across the country during this election cycle, members of the House and Senate have proposed legislation and an amendment to the Constitution to end it. The Fair Elections Now Act and the amendment introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (Ky-03) both set out to eliminate corporate influence in elections. The Fair Elections Now Act sets out to create a publicly financed election process by creating a system that incorporates private donations, no greater than one hundred dollars, and public financing. This is hoped to level the playing field for all who aspire to run for public office and to eliminate monied interest in government. The amendment proposed by Congressman Yarmuth (Ky-03) addresses the Citizens United ruling made by the Supreme Court that has allowed for this surge in corporate influence in campaigns through Super PACs and such. The amendment would no longer allow for such entities to exist, allow for the creation of a publicly financed election system, and would allow Congress to create a national holiday for general elections.
While there is no hope of any of this passing any time soon, it is inspiring to hear that there are representatives who are producing such legislation. If this amendment were to be ratified and the Fair Elections Now Act were to pass, this would be the first step to a true representative democracy and mark the end of the American plutocracy. With an election system free from corporate interest our democracy would, as Stephen Colbert put it, no longer be raised “to the same level as the Tostitos™ Fiesta Bowl and Kardashian™ weddings.”