Yesterday was MoveOn.org's national day of protest against the Citizen's United decision and the influence of corporate donations on our representatives in Washington.
For 23 years my representative has been worthless, so this was an opportunity to rally against Citizen's United and make a showing for what united citizens can do, especially since he's flirting with the tea party in order to pander to the corporate arm of the Republican party.
Here's some background on MoveOn's goals, via The Nation:
Starting in May, MoveOn organized more than 150 community forums across the country and consulted with experts in the public policy, netroots and legal communities to craft a progressive response to Citizens United. In late June MoveOn members overwhelmingly approved a three-part "Fight Washington Corruption" pledge calling for (1) overturning the Court's decision through an amendment to the Constitution; (2) passing the Fair Elections Now Act in Congress, which incentivizes candidates to collect small donations by offering competitive public matching funds; and (3) enacting tough new laws cracking down on the revolving door between government officials and lobbyists. A diverse coalition of advocacy groups, including the SEIU, Democracy for America (DFA), People for the American Way and The Nation signed on as co-sponsors. MoveOn called it "our most ambitious campaign ever."
That picture at the top was our group. You might think it was small, but for this area, it was huge. We're a red, red district slowly turning a shade of purple. Everyone was motivated, fired up, and ready to push toward November and the defeat of our particular corporate Republican do-nothing congressman.
We collected 40 signatures to present to Rep. Elton Gallegly, who was out of his office and in Washington DC busily voting against the bill to help states pay for teachers, firefighters and policemen. Nevertheless, our presence was felt, and noticed by passers-by and inhabitants of his office building.
Now that the Senate has managed to stop the DISCLOSE act dead in its tracks, it's open season. The FEC is issuing rulings right and left in support of schemes opened up by Citizens United. Target's contribution was disclosed, at least. The next one may not be.
Did we accomplish much? Actually, yes. We have a good-sized group of committed and connected people with a goal not only to fight corruption, but to send a long-term Republican congressman to the unemployment line, where he can make a claim for the benefits he voted against on three separate occasions.
Not a bad night's work.
Other photos from rallies around the country on Flickr. Here's one from Common Cause's event in Pennsylvania, too.
And from Indiana: