This week People For the American Way joined with more than fifty organizations to express their concern about two critical threats to our democratic system: corporate influence in elections and laws and official actions that suppress the vote. Under the banner “Money Out, Voters In,” the organizations issued a joint statement pledging to fight special interest money in politics and to support the rights of all voters.
The statement reads:
Within the next week, citizens in every state will come together to cast their votes for President, Congress, and other state and local offices. The right to cast those votes – to elect leaders who represent us – is at the heart of our democratic system. But this year, that right is in danger.
Our system of fair and free elections is under attack on multiple fronts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for special interest money and corporate influence in politics. At the same time, a rash of voter suppression laws in more than 30 states has threatened to make voting difficult, if not impossible, for millions of Americans.
Throughout the history of our nation, powerful politicians and interest groups have tried to block eligible voters from casting a ballot. For much of the twentieth century, they used literacy tests or demanded poll taxes. Today they ask for photo voter ID, or create restrictive voter registration schemes. These laws, combined with the challenge posed by limitless corporate influence, strike at the very core of our democracy.
Our nation’s history has been a journey towards true equality and the promise of a government of, by and for the people. Just as we have overcome many obstacles to achieve that promise, we are now committed to standing up against the pervasive, corrupting influence of an electoral system that auctions offices to the highest bidder and suppresses the vote of millions of Americans.
No matter what happens on November 6th, these threats must be addressed on November 7th and beyond. Together with our allies across the political spectrum, we pledge to fight for the rights of all voters in our nation and to move that much closer to creating a more perfect union. The future of our democracy depends on it.
“We are excited to be coming together with our allies to send a strong message: our organizations will not accept special interest control of the political system or the suppression of voting rights for partisan gain,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “As our affiliate People For the American Way Foundation has documented, the Right has long attempted to trample on voting rights under the pretense of the ‘voter fraud’ myth. This is ethically unacceptable and damaging to America’s democracy. We are honored to join with our allies in pledging to counter threats to free and fair elections.”
It is being released jointly by the following organizations: 350.org; AFL-CIO; AIDS United; All Education Matters; Alliance for a Just Society; Alliance for Justice; American Sustainable Business Council; American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote; Ben & Jerry’s; Center for Media and Democracy; CODEPINK; Common Cause; Communications Workers of America; Constitutional Accountability Center; Consumer Action; CREDO Action; DC Vote; Democracy 21; Democracy Unlimited; Democrats.com; Demos; Ethical Markets Media, Florida; Food & Water Watch; Franciscan Action Network; Free Speech For People; Greenpeace; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Main Street Alliance; Move to Amend Coalition; MoveOn.org Political Action; NAACP; National Center for Transgender Equality; National Congress of Black Women, Inc.; National Council of Jewish Women; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; The New Bottom Line; New Progressive Alliance; People For the American Way; Pesticide Action Network North America; Project Vote; Public Campaign; Public Citizen; Rock the Vote; RootsAction.org; Sierra Club; U.S. PIRG; United for a Fair Economy; United Steelworkers International Union; unPAC; WarIsACrime.org; and We the People Campaign.
It is also available at http://www.moneyout-votersin.com.