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September 3, 2020

Jeff Clements: Big-Dollar Bribery Cases Highlight Need for Reform

Jeff Clements: Big-Dollar Bribery Cases Highlight Need for Reform

September 3, 2020
Published By American Promise
American Promise has a strong network of grassroots volunteers in Ohio, one of two states where elected officials recently have been charged in bribery schemes. American Promise President Jeff Clements, right, joined Ellen Greene Bush and others with the Port Clinton OH American Promise Chapter for an event in Columbus in 2018.

What do two recent big-dollar bribery scandals in the Midwest have to do with politics as usual? Unfortunately, quite a lot, writes American Promise President Jeff Clements in a recent op-ed published by the Fulcrum

“This latest Midwest swamp fest has all the features of American campaigns today: super PACs funded by a few corporate interests; dark money front groups; politicians strong-arming business people who need legislation; legislators who don’t ‘go along’ getting pushed aside; a revolving door between politicians and lobbyists; false attack ads and propaganda; crony capitalism; and utter contempt for the voters and taxpayers who get stuck with the bill,” Jeff writes.

In these recent multimillion-dollar political spending schemes in Ohio and Illinois, wealthy groups and companies sought to secure subsidies, tax breaks and competitive advantage. Unfortunately, when the billions of dollars from corporations, unions, and extremely wealthy people that flow into our political campaigns have been deemed “free speech” by the U.S. Supreme Court, charges of corruption through the political system are not surprising.

But the voters and taxpayers getting stuck with the bill for these elite special interests are taking notice, Jeff writes: “In the face of this systemic corruption, signs of reform and renewal are growing rapidly. Last year Americans named political corruption the No. 1 crisis facing our nation.”

Americans of all political stripes realize our elected officials today are working within a system that requires them to appeal to big-money donors over their constituents—and they are coming together to demand an end to this corrupt system by joining the grassroots movement for the 28th Amendment.

“Millions across partisan lines have voted for a Constitutional amendment to end unlimited election spending and secure free speech and representation for all,” Jeff writes. 

Read the full op-ed here.

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