Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Poison Pill Politics


 https://youtu.be/xnNvzJ4G3dk (The story starts at 5:50 and goes to about 14:30)

Poison Pill Politics

by C.A. Matthews

HR1, also known as the For the People Act, creates a national system of automatic voter registration, which is expected to bring millions of new voters to the ballot box, and cracks down on voter suppression tactics. --Ryan Grim, The Intercept

The so-called "For The People Act" has been passed in the House and has been sent on to the Senate. It all sounds great on the surface, but as one peers deeper into its 790 pages some rather troubling features are revealed. While 62% of Americans have stated they want more choices in candidates/parties on the ballot, this bill actually introduces legislation that would make it virtually impossible for third or independent parties to run candidates for office. Added bonus--it enables "Dark Money" to flood campaign coffers of the two so-called "major parties."

A bill that has a coating of good on top to hide its inner rotten core is called a poison pill. And it's not something anyone should swallow.

 According to Harvey Wasserman of Reader Supported News:

Though much in HR1 is absolutely essential to the survival of American democracy, one section is a cynical assault on third parties, making barriers to their signature-gathering and fundraising virtually insurmountable. Those clauses come from Democratic operatives who hate the Green Party and other third parties.

HR1 would inflate the amount of money national party committees can give to their candidates from $5000 to $100 million, an astonishing increase of 1999900% that would give party bosses virtually unlimited power to flood elections with Big Money.

This bill is "for the people"? It takes "Big Money" out of politics? Really?

The bill that should have been passed is The Fair Representation Act. Introduced in 2018 and 2019, if enacted ranked-choice voting (RCV) and multi-member districts for Congressional elections would become the law of the land, giving voters more power and more choice.

The Fair Representation Act sounds like a good thing, doesn't it?

But you've probably never heard of The Fair Representation Act if you get your news from mainstream media outlets. All you've heard  is how great the "For The People Act" is from numerous neoliberal talking heads without mention of how it will take away your choice of candidates and add even more unrestricted SuperPACs and Dark Money into US politics. That's because the major networks are owned by a tiny handful of multi-millionaires. They want this poison pill legislation to pass so there will be less chance of independent candidates winning and less chance of third party candidates who can think for themselves representing us, the people, and not them, the oligarchy.

Less democracy means there's far less mess for the oligarchs to keep under control. Far fewer chances for voters to elect representatives who will pass laws to tax these millionaires and billionaires the way they should have been taxed all along. Far less chance of these media monopolies being broken up to increase fairness and competition and give more choices to us, the people.

Fairness and choice?  Fewer chances for the mega-wealthy to purchase politicians with unlimited private donations? Hmm, those sound like healthy things, don't they?

 I hope you won't swallow the poison pill called the "For The People Act." Please share this information with others, watch the videos and pass the links along to your friends and family. Because the only true antidote to poison in politics is education and vigilance.


In this video, 2020 Green Party presidential and vice presidential nominees Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker discuss HR1 and the dangers hiding within it.  https://youtu.be/TiUQsekabsk

More from Howie Hawkins' #GreenSocialist Organizing Project:

Like you, we believe in the protection of voting rights, including same-day and automatic voter registration, restoring the franchise to people with criminal records, and an expansion of early voting, voting by mail, and absentee drop boxes...as a first step. 

HR 1, also known as the "For the People Act," is a bill that has passed the House and is in the Senate and which contains these types of necessary reforms.  In these days, when Republicans and right-leaning Democrats are happy to make access to the voting booth all the more difficult, these are good reforms that are useful now.

However, there is a specific section of this omnibus bill that deals with matching funds and overall campaign finance that serves to entrench dark and corporate money in campaigns even further.  

The major problems with the Campaign Finance of H.R. 1 include:

Excludes Third Parties: The qualifying threshold to receive presidential primary matching funds is increased five times, from $100,000 ($5,000 raised in 20 states in contributions of $250 or less) to $500,000 ($25,000 raised in 20 states in contributions of $200 or less). This higher threshold puts public funding beyond the reach of third-party candidates.

Increases Funding Disparities: The 6:1 ratio in matching funds increases the public funding disparities between candidates by seven times. A 6:1 match for a candidate with $1 million in qualified contributions would yield $7 million. A 6:1 match for $5 million would yield $35 million. The funding disparity grows seven times, from $4 million to $28 million.

Eliminates Private Spending Caps for Publicly Funded Candidates: H.R. 1 eliminates the private spending caps under the existing program of presidential public funding, which limits how much private money candidates who accept public funding can spend.

Increases Big Donations through Party Committees: H.R. 1 increases the amount national party committees can contribute to presidential candidates from $5,000 to $100 million. Each party has three national committees that can make this contribution: the national committee and the party’s house and senate campaign committees. So the total amount increases from $15,000 to $300 million. This change increases the influence of big donors. The current individual contribution limits to a federal candidate’s campaign committee is $5,600 ($2,800 for the primary and $2,800 for the general). The current individual campaign contribution limit to party’s national committees is $109,500. So the super-rich can give up to $328,500 to a party’s national committees.

Increases Big Donations through Victory Funds: H.R. 1 does nothing to curb big donor funding through joint campaign committees of presidential candidates and national and state party committees. This loophole enables the super-rich to give six-figure donations to the presidential candidates’ so-called Victory Funds. In 2020, donors could give up to $620,600 to the Biden Victory Fund and $580,600 to the Trump Victory Fund.

Preserves Unlimited Private Donations for Independent Expenditures: HR 1 does nothing to curb the unlimited donations the super-rich give for independent expenditures by SuperPACs, including as undisclosed “dark money” laundered through 501c4 nonprofits.

In short, the Campaign Finance section in H.R. 1 does not curb the swelling ocean of private campaign funding by corporate special interests and super-rich oligarchs. It simply enables the major party recipients of unlimited private donations to also get some public money as well. It is a reform that doesn’t reform.

Click here to read Howie's entire policy paper on HR1.

Click here to read Howie's article about HR1 on Counterpunch.  And please share!

So what can you do? Please sign our petition to immediately send an email to your U.S. Senator to request that they work to eliminate the campaign finance section of HR 1, as well as work to enact real campaign finance reforms that matter.  Click here to go to the petition.

Related Articles:





The Revolution Continues is now in our sixth year taking on the propaganda of the fauxgressives and their friends in the corporate-owned duopoly. We need passionate revolutionaries like you to help us provide progressive insights that are being actively censored elsewhere. If you can donate a little to the cause, please do so at the Paypal.me link below.


Thanks for all you do in making the world a better place. Power to the people!


Part of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (HR 1280), newly reintroduced in the U.S. Congress, is called the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. This is an issue that World BEYOND War has been working on, with some success, at the local level, and that work will continue no matter what. But this federal law would be a major boost, and it has a good chance of passing if we push for it.

Under this law, the U.S. military would be forbidden to transfer to federal, tribal, state, or local law enforcement agencies the following:

  • Firearms, ammunition, bayonets, grenade launchers, grenades (including stun and flash-bang), and explosives.
  • Vehicles, except for passenger automobiles and bucket trucks.
  • Drones.
  • Controlled aircraft that are combat configured or combat coded or have no established commercial flight application.
  • Silencers.
  • Long-range acoustic devices.
  • Items in the Federal Supply Class of banned items.

Click here to tell Congress to pass this bill right away!

Demonstrators across the United States declared in one voice that "Black Lives Matter," demanding criminal justice reform at the federal level. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was the House's response.

An overdue package of reforms, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, in addition to demilitarizing police, makes police more accountable, reforming qualified immunity, creating a national registry of police misconduct, prohibiting racial profiling, banning no-knock warrants in drug cases, banning excessive force, incentivizing the banning of chokeholds and carotid holds, and requiring the use of body cameras, but forbidding the use with those cameras of facial recognition technology.

Click here to add your name in support!


HR 1 is sold as a way to get money out of politics and to protect voters but it contains a poison pill for democracy and opposition parties like the Green Party. HR1 quintuples the amount of money Green presidential campaigns will be required to raise to qualify for federal matching funds: from $5,000 in each of 20 states to $25,000 per state.

The Green Party stands opposed to this bait-and-switch legislation that claims to improve access to voting while actually dismantling everyone's right to organize electorally against the parties of War and Wall Street. In a recent Gallup poll, a record 62% of US voters said we need a new major party.

HR1 is just the latest example of how the parties of War and Wall Street have no shame about strangling democracy to preserve their duopoly, even while pretending they're doing exactly the opposite. Please donate to the Green Party today so we can fight back.

No doubt you've heard from "progressive" groups about how HR1 contains much-needed voter protections. And it's true, HR1 contains some badly needed reforms. That makes it all the more shameful for the Democrats to use those reforms as cover to eliminate competition from alternative parties.

Go to our Action Page and Tell Congress: Stop HR1, the "Voting Rights Bill" That Restricts Voter Choice!

And make sure you tell your family and communities how HR1 will:

  • Eliminate the limits on donations and expenditures candidates can receive and make — what kind of campaign finance reform is that?

  • Inflate the amount of money national party committees can give to candidates from $5000 to $100 million, an astonishing increase of 1999900% that would give party bosses virtually unlimited power to flood elections with big money

  • Abolish the general election campaign block grants that parties can access by winning at least 5% of the vote in the previous presidential election. HR1 will eliminate this provision that was created to give a fair shot to alternative parties that demonstrate significant public support

  • Replace the general election block grants (where each qualified candidate receives a set, lump sum of public funding for campaign expenses) with matching funds through Election Day — a huge step backwards for public campaign finance reform — using the above-mentioned criteria designed to squeeze out alternative parties and independent candidates

Instead of trying to fool American voters and eliminating minor party voices, the Green Party calls for real reforms to democratize elections:

  • The Fair Representation Act, introduced in 2018 and 2019, would enact Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) and multi-member districts for Congressional elections, giving voters more power and more choice

  • Individual state governments should enact RCV for their elections, including the presidential election

  • Fully-public campaign finance for every federal, state and local office through the Clean Money/Clean Elections model now used in Arizona and Maine

Make sure you sign the petition today!

With Gratitude,
The Green Party of the United States


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. Just one rule: Be polite. This means no profanity or cursing. No shaming or hate speech. No threats or silliness. This is a family friendly blog. Thank you.