Letter writer: A push for real campaign finance reform

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m disgusted with politicians. With a few rare exceptions, none of my representatives are working for me. They are working for billionaires and corporate donors. And I don’t think the answer is to flood [Sen. Thom] Tillis and [Sen. Richard] Burr’s offices with my daily list of grievances. They aren’t listening.

What we need is real campaign finance reform so that you don’t need wealthy donors in order to run for public office. And then elected officials should be able to actually keep their campaign promises because they aren’t in conflict with some PAC or lobbyist group’s agenda. We need to change the system that has you and me donate money and time only to be ignored once our votes are cast.

I felt hope that this is possible the first time I heard Bernie Sanders speak. I was moved by the integrity of his small-donor fundraising. He couldn’t prevail because the system of the Democratic National Committee is skewed in favor of party insiders. But that system can be changed, and there is a group right now called Our Revolution that is doing it. Starting at the precinct level, progressives now control the Democratic Party in California.

We can do it here, too. We need all progressives in Buncombe County who want to see what it’s like to have candidates who speak for and work for and fight for us to join. If this is what you want, please come to the next meeting of Our Revolution Asheville on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Rainbow Community Center, 60 State St. Hope to see you there.

— Lee Wolfe
Candler

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62 thoughts on “Letter writer: A push for real campaign finance reform

  1. Deplorable Infidel

    Hey Lee…your people DID CONTROL US in NC for over 140+ years and look what a friggin mess ya’ll created! We the people done had enough of that for MANY years to come. I lived in Rawliegh and saw all the nasty ‘crackkks in control. I even went to Jim Hunts’ Inaugural Ball #1 in my young ignorance.

    • Lee Wolfe

      Bernie Sanders ‘ progressives aren’t part of the Democratic Party establishment… yet. That’s what Our Revolution is aiming for. What part of having elected officials who represent voters and not their corporate donors do you find objectionable?

      • Lulz

        Bernie Sanders never held a job til he was in his 40’s. What does someone like that know about work? Nothing. LOL, his wife bankrupted her last place of employment. You’re 20 trillion in debt because of the last buffoon in the Oval Office. And you think more debt and huge taxes is a good thing?

        • Hauntedheadnc

          But it’s okay if it’s Republican debt, right? What is the estimated cost of the wall up to these days, and how many trillions more dollars of debt are we expected to assume under GOP policies? Last I’d heard it was climbing past 5 trillion.

  2. luriab

    Thank you Lee for exactly expressing my and many others frustrations at our broken system of the worst candidate to the highest bidder. Our Revolution AVL has provided a necessary blueprint to prepare us for the challenges ahead.

    • Lee Wolfe

      Yes! I find it to be the most sensible long term solution for real change.

  3. Thanks a lot for your letter of support for moving the Democratic Party toward becoming an organization that represents the interests of the working people of this nation, not merely the entities and individuals that can make huge campaign contributions.

    • Lulz

      LOL, the democrats are the party of big government. They only represent identity politics in order to enlarge the government. You will never get blue collar voters back. Especially since you defend the illegals who are the primary root cause of low wages. Democrats are done as a party. And as they go even further left, the more they’ll suffer defeat. When the only thing they run on is hating white men and ridding the nation of jobs, nobody is listening anymore. Even the big unions are ditching them.

      • luther blissett

        “You will never get blue collar voters back.”

        Oh, still trying the “man of the people” act? $75 will prove whether you actually have the right to speak as if you represent anyone more than yourself.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        The dems betrayed American labor by supporting free trade (mobile money seeks cheapest offshore labor) and lawless immigration (cheap immigrant labor), for, as you say, power. I agree; the party will implode before they get labor back. Muslims are the new “oppressed” clientele class they are trying to cultivate.

          • The Real World

            You much underestimate the Scheming Class. (Bushie Jr got the CIA to fabricate info to get us into a big, ugly, costly war. And it worked. We’re dupes.)

            Obama proposed a new category (identity!) of unrelated peoples; the Mena. There are many articles online about this. I just picked a short one. Use keywords: Obama Mena for others. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/obama_wants_to_create_a_new_racial_category.html

            By golly, a significant number of people from that large region are Muslim. And where have the majority of migrants into Europe and the USA come from the last few years? The Middle East and N. Africa. It’s not complicated: create a legally protected class, guarantee them plenty of Govt freebies and support, open the doors — and they will come. America is utter heaven compared to the downtrodden wastelands most of those countries are.

            No, it doesn’t change anything for the next several election cycles but, the Schemers think in terms of the long game. Most of us don’t and that’s why we miss connecting many relevant dots.

          • luther blissett

            “Obama proposed a new category (identity!) of unrelated peoples; the Mena.”

            Woohoo, full-on internet nutjob tinfoil hat stuff!

            Wait until TRW finds out about the Emea.

          • bsummers

            OMG!!! It’s all becoming clear. “Mena”… as in Mena, Arkansas, the center of Bill & Hitlery Clinton’s drug empire!!! Do we have to draw you a frikkin’ map sheeple!?! It’s all connected!!

            Mena Coverup – Bill & Hillary Clinton’s Arkansas Cocaine Operation Exposé
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLWMnH31D-Y

          • The Real World

            Yet more 12 yr old hysteria. No surprise.

            Mena stands for Middle East and North Africa. Duh, that was tough to figure out.

          • Peter Robbins

            Glad you clarified. I was about to guess Mena Suvari. I liked her in that movie with Kevin Spacey, except at the end it got a little edgy.

          • luther blissett

            “Duh, that was tough to figure out.”

            It’s apparently tough for you to find out that it’s a shorthand drawn from corporate marketing, and not “Obama creating a new racial category.” But that’s because you’re a tinfoil-hatted loon who has too much time to follow too many weird Infowars-y links on the internet.

  4. Ashley McDermott

    It’s so important that we pair “defensive” actions — e.g. protesting, calling, emailing, etc. — with “proactive” actions, which is to say, actually have people in the Democratic Party that represent the working class! Otherwise we’ll just keep chasing down crooked politicians forever.

    Democratic precinct elections in the county are almost all on February 25th. It’s time to get some new progressive energy into place. We also need to start talking to our neighbors and communities 365 days a year and involving them in the political process so it’s one they feel relates to them. Voter turnout is the lowest it’s been in years, and it’s even lower during midterm elections (and 2018 isn’t that far away…). If people feel involved and represented, then that will change!

    • Lee Wolfe

      Very thoughtful. I think that many of us have felt exploited and even conned by politicians, and low voter turnout results from those feelings of apathy and distrust. We need real leaders who can stand up and fight for our needs- jobs with a fair living wage, a single payer health care system, an economy that rewards hard work and real skills over greedy Wall Street investors.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        I hope you realize that the 3 things you mentioned are characteristics of fascist governments, ie, wage control, control of national healthcare, and demonization of the wealthy elite..

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            No, that’s a sign of free speech, a right every American has, including the president. He has as much right to criticize the press as they have to criticize him. But the corporate media don’t like that because they personify themselves as free speech and claim protected class status.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            It would read better if I had written. “personify free speech as themselves”

          • Peter Robbins

            The press, by the way, enjoys the status of a protected class under the First Amendment. That’s why they call it “freedom of the press.”

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            The press includes any and all press, not just the corporate media. And none of it is above criticism. The only thing that’s protected is their right to say what they want. The 1st amendment doesn’t protect them from ridicule and criticism..

          • bsummers

            No, that’s a sign of free speech, a right every American has, including the president.

            Sure – if Barack Obama had said, “All white people belong in prison”, your first response would be, “Hey, it’s free speech – he has the right to say that.”

            We all know why Trump is attacking the media, calling them “the enemy”. He’s terrified of being exposed as an incompetent, a liar, a grifter, a person who has no idea how to lead a nation or run a government. A free press is HIS enemy, not the nations. And I don’t agree with John McCain that often, but at least he’s one Republican who has the integrity to call this moment what it is:

            “That’s how dictators get started.”

          • Peter Robbins

            Get your category errors straight, Mr. Snowflake. Obviously, it’s not a public figure’s criticism of press coverage in general that’s the problem. It’s a particular president’s use of the historically significant term “enemy of the people” that’s so odious, irresponsible and dangerous. Religions are not above criticism, either. Imagine if the President had said “the Jewish religion is the enemy of the American people.” No-name bloggers are not above criticism. Imagine if the President had said “Mr. Snowflake and his fellow travelers are the enemy of the American people.” You think it can’t happen here? It’s already started. But maybe you think that’s just towel-snapping talk.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Obama would have had the right to say that. No question. Americans would have had the right to criticize and ridicule him for it, too

            The leftist corporate media don’t like it that Trump exposes their biases/agendas and expectation of privilege, and bypasses it by communicating directly with the people. That’s really what this is about. The corporate media tries to act like a 4th branch of government, and Trump’s putting them in their place. And they don’t like it because Trump is empowering a decentralized press; any citizen now has the power to publish news.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Corporations are not religions and races, so they are not protected by the constitution. Trump didn’t attack the press or free speech; he said that specific corporations are acting like the enemy of the people. He even deleted his original tweet because he had left out 2 corporations that he considers particularly divisive and corrupt. Those he included in his second tweet.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            ” The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
            — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017

          • Peter Robbins

            And riddle me this, Mr. Snowflake: Would it be equally wise and responsible for the press to return the favor and start routinely referring to the President as the enemy of the American people? What could go wrong?

          • Peter Robbins

            Um, Mr. Snowflake, check out who got top billing in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Corporations have feelings, too, you know.

            And your reliance on the President’s rights as a First Citizen-Loudmouth misses the point. You remind me of the guy who dismissed the gunshot wound in his foot by observing that he was within his legal rights to take action. Possibly true but hardly salient.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            ” Would it be equally wise and responsible for the press to return the favor and start routinely referring to the President as the enemy of the American people?”

            They called him that and worse long before he started rebuking them. About time they started receiving what they’ve been dishing out. The American people love it.

          • Peter Robbins

            When did the news media identified in the President’s tweet call him “the enemy of the people”?

          • bsummers

            When did the news media identified in the President’s tweet call him “the enemy of the people”?

            Never, ever. But don’t ruin a good lie by bringing up the “facts”.

        • Peter Robbins

          And, you’re right, Barry. The language the President just used to describe the press is beyond tantrum. It threatens our way of life. How long are conservatives of goodwill going to remain silent?

      • Lulz

        LOL, you don’t suppose oh 50 million illegals here working for 10 bucks and hour under the table is like killing wages? Don’t you realize that actual Americans are taking a pay cut because of that? And who is the cause? Your government and the corporations that exploit it.

      • The Real World

        “many of us have felt exploited and even conned by politicians, and low voter turnout results from those feelings of apathy and distrust.” — Agree with this but, Bernie and his ilk are not the answer.

        Certainly at this point you recognize that he was Hillary’s hired, and paid, errand boy? That was recognizable in Spring 2016 and everything that happened after only proved it. You can do better. Find someone with his/her feet planted on this earth and who has earned a paycheck other than from a government (your pocket).

        • Lulz

          Of course he was. But these people who think government is the solution don’t comprehend that those paying the taxes now aren’t getting their money’s worth. It’s a huge waste. The system is why we are in such a sad state. You don’t want more of it. You want to get rid of it once and for all. There’s no accountability in government anymore.

        • Lee Wolfe

          I haven’t run across that particular narrative before, it’s a new one on me. But I love a good conspiracy theory, do tell.

          • Peter Robbins

            I read tweets on the Internet where people claimed Trump was behaving so strangely to throw the election to Hillary. It’s clear we need some changes on the Democratic team, since nobody seems to able to get the job done.

          • The Real World

            Lee – I got on a roll. Here’s some food for thought.

            – Guys like a Bernie are a dime-a-dozen in metro NYC where he grew up. If you lived there 5 years or more, you’d recognize it. He’s got a handy shtick, most relevantly, in comparison to Hillary. He’s older and looks it and is much further to the Left. So, he was the perfect ‘straight man’ for her. (Where were the other candidates, btw? And why weren’t Dems complaining about it? If they had fronted 5 or 6 decent candidates, Bernie would have wound up a barely memorable footnote)

            – I have no evidence but, little doubt, that he was recruited by HRC. Was she honest with him about the whole enchilada? LOL, we’re talking Hillary so, not likely. But, the first glaring “tell” was when, in an early primary debate, he declares, “aren’t we all tired of the email thing?” And slightly before he’d finished the sentence she started that head bobbing thing she does, in agreement. That told me she knew he was going to say it. Which means he’d been asked to. Plus what legitimate candidate would defend an opponent so openly AND misstate the issue so as to downplay it?

            – It was quite the routine. He was promising people a cradle-to-grave nanny state benevolence. Freebies all around! While HRC could speak of the big topics and be the worldly leader-type. He would cobble the Dems that didn’t trust her and the greedy ones who have no moral hesitancy at sticking their hands deeply into their neighbors pockets….then funnel them to her later on. Which he did. (But, it was at least refreshing to see that some of his followers figured it out, were pissed, and baled at the DNC after the first day)

            – The guy makes 175K a year, apparently has a net worth between 300-600K, his wife no longer works and, miraculously, he was able to pay CASH of close to $600,000 for a property in Vermont a few weeks after his primary defeat. Hello?? (Yes, his wife mumbled some stuff about having some cash from her share of the sale of her parents home, then changed her story a bit. From what I read, many Vermonters weren’t buying that shtick). He got paid for his efforts, many believe. Oh and, our man of the regular people, now owns 3 residential properties. Also, it’s important to realize that as the only other candidate on that ticket he got *enormous* name brand recognition (few can afford to buy that much) which has allowed him to make some very decent coin on several books in the last couple of years. Yea, ‘ole Bernie has done quite alright for himself in the last 1.5 years.

            – And, apparently, he never held a regular job until elected Mayor of Burlington, VT in 1981 at age 40. (He messed around at carpentry for some years and claimed he was lousy at it.) Bernie’s only steady income has come from taxpayers as Mayor, Congressman, then Senator. You may feel differently but that’s not a person I want for President. I prefer someone who understands risk and loss as well as reward. It matters.

            There’s more but, you get the idea. Lee, I don’t trust politicians as far as I can throw them. Frankly, the very definition and nature of their job will turn most of them into whores. That’s the gig and those that can’t stomach it leave after a term or two. Wash DC is definitely a swamp and it remains to be seen whether the new guy will actually do anything about that or make it even worse. Probably the latter, as would have HRC. We had no good choice, you see.

          • bsummers

            “I have no evidence but, little doubt, that he was recruited by HRC… He got paid for his efforts, many believe.”

            Wow, most people require at least some evidence to come to a belief that outlandish. So there’s absolutely no other explanation for where Bernie got the money for a new house other than that he was secretly paid by Hillary?

            “…allowed him to make some very decent coin on several books in the last couple of years.”

            Hey, dude (or dudette – no idea who you really are…) – you just provided the evidence undermining your own argument. But I don’t expect you to acknowledge that, any more than I expect you to admit your entire “Bernie was recruited by Hillary” fantasy is extra-ludicrous gaslighting supreme.

            I wish there were more conservatives with integrity and intellectual honesty (and real identities) on these threads. These phony, gaslighting, propaganda-shoveling sockpuppets test one’s patience…

          • bsummers

            BTW, for anyone unfamiliar with the technique displayed here by the sockpuppet calling itself ‘the real world’, here is the formal definition. We all need to know that this type of manipulation is rampant in the Trumpian post-fact age:

            “Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

            Don’t question yourself – question why these people are afraid to debate on honest ground.

          • Peter Robbins

            You mean like how the President and his flunkies can change what’s on a videotape that everyone saw, without ever troubling to alter what’s on it?

          • Peter Robbins

            And honest conservatives better wake up soon. It’s rapidly getting to the point where anytime a conservative opinion appears, one approaches with the assumption that the speaker is a denizen of the black arts.

          • The Real World

            LOL, boy, did some nerves get struck. It’s because the info is too discomforting; the two above recognize it but at the same time it bursts their Prophet Bernie bubble. Tension!

            That friends, (since we’re into a minor psychology lesson today introduced by Barry) is called: cognitive dissonance –. the mental stress experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values.

            Now they’ll feel the need to come back and sputter some more gobbledy-gook just to get the last word. It is Saturday today in AVL today, fellas. Feel no CD about that.

          • Peter Robbins

            Is striking a funny bone striking a nerve? I’m not a doctor.

          • Peter Robbins

            You seem up on psychology, though, Real World. Tell me, what’s it called when somebody makes up garbage, and tells it to people smarter than he or she is, and gets laughed at? I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings, but you shouldn’t put on a clown nose if you don’t want the occasional passerby to squeeze the wheeze.

        • The Real World

          Thanks for being open-minded and inquiring, Lee. I don’t run across that too often on this site. There are lots of unwilling and entrenched minds here, unfortunately.

          Much on my plate today but I will answer you this evening.

          • Peter Robbins

            Were there any mushrooms on that plate?

          • bsummers

            Algorithms in a server in a trailer in the Nevada desert don’t eat, Peter.

          • Peter Robbins

            I’m waiting for the lecture on how we blindly disbelieve whatever our prophets won’t tell us.

  5. Ken

    The next elections will have decades long impact on a state and local level. It’s hard to imagine a more important time to be active and involved even if you can only do a little.

    I also have to say how wonderful it felt to join a group of hundreds of like-minded and motivated people at the last meeting.

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