It's time to stop runaway campaign money

January 21 marked the 12th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates of campaign spending. This led to a cascade of finance laws across the country being struck down by the courts, most recently Alaska’s Campaign Finance Law. While the top “one percenters” are gleeful in their ability to fund war chests to campaign for the candidates who will support their causes, the rest of “we the people” are left wondering if our $50 checks can possibly keep up, or why we should even bother.

Let us be clear: Most Americans believe in the right to pass campaign spending limits and are opposed to corporations being considered constitutional “persons”. Seventy-two percent of Alaskans agree, as a recent poll verified. Yet they keep voting for candidates who could give a hoot about limits. Why? Perhaps this is a concern down their priority list, perhaps they vote the party line, but for whatever reason they are being hoodwinked by politicians who are more interested in keeping their power than working for them.

So now in February our state legislature is underway. Several elected officials have introduced bills to rectify to a degree allowed by the recent court decision our campaign donation limits. These are bills HB234 introduced by Rep. Shrage, HB245 introduced by Rep. Josephson and SB155 introduced by Senator Wielechowski. Our system of governance requires of us, if we subscribe to our democracy, to be involved through education, communication with our leaders and, of course, ultimately through our vote. But just like the moniker ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, most only think about the last, and many only exercise the last of the above, the vote, and even then it is often a minority.

Contact your elected officials and demand that action be taken on these bills to move them into committee for a fair debate and input.

Beverly Churchill is a member of Alaska Move to Amend, whose mission includes educating Alaskans on constitutional issues regarding personhood and money as a form of free speech.

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