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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Money Does Not Equal Free Speech

The city of Albuquerque continues its fight to maintain its overwhelmingly voter-supported mandatory spending limits for mayoral and city council elections. As Derek's op-ed in today's The Albuquerque Tribune says, the spending limits have kept special interest cash from dominating elections while simultaneously encouraging vigorous competition between candidates, two great things for our democracy.

Check out the press release from the National Voting Rights Institute for more information about efforts to get the US Supreme Court to revisit Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the foolishly-decided case which overturned post-Watergate efforts to clean up our federal government and still hampers efforts to get big money out of politics to this day. Buckley wrongly equates money with free speech, basically allowing fat cat robber-baron types to pony up huge amounts of cash to distort the democratic process.

A successful effort in getting the Supreme Court to overturn Buckley (see Derek's op-ed for some great examples of previous cases where this happened) might be one of the most important steps along the way for regular Americans to take our democracy back. You can use our Citizen's Toolkit to find your Senator or Congressperson to let them know how you feel about money in politics, or to tell them they should be playing a role in building public pressure on the Supreme Court to reconsider Buckley.

Also see NVRI here and my prior post here for more background on the case.

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