Issue One is fighting for campaign reform, including separating campaign finance from special interests.
In spite of the fact that citizens see massive numbers of mailings and commercials every election season, the fact is that they truly do not think about how much that costs politicians. More often than not, they express annoyance at the junk mail, robo-calls, and repeated television commercials well before election day. It doesn’t often occur to them that the politicians they actually would like to stay in office are devoting far too much time on the task of raising funds to keep their seats.
When people think about transparency in government, they usually conjure up images of bureaucrats locking information away from the public eye. If they are a little politically savvy, they envision investigative journalists filing FOIA requests for their latest reports. Except for when scandals are in the headlines, they don’t tend to think about monies being raised by lobbyists for re-election campaigns. At most, voters might concern themselves with what favors are expected in return when they see trade unions donating funds to a campaign.
At Issue One, activists are working to close loopholes used by lobbyists and special interest groups to curry favor with politicians. They understand that the real problem lies in the fact that there is more money spent on lobbying Congress than there is on running it. We have reached the point where members of Congress are spending more than half their time raising funds to stay in office, instead of actually working. The vast majority of the money moving around in this broken system of being in office comes from just over one quarter of the population.
Occasionally, it has been said that most politicians would not need to take money from groups that expect favors in return if all their constituents would give just a dollar or two each election season to keep them in office. That’s not far from the truth, and Issue One wants to help the people reclaim their representatives in Washington by encouraging that kind of donating. Whether anyone loves or hates Bernie Sanders, he managed to prove that it is possible to mount a nationwide campaign almost solely on small dollar donations. That’s far more difficult than the campaigns to remain on the Hill.
If this all smacks of rampant idealism, even Jack Abramoff, one of the most notorious lobbyists in the nation, believes that Issue One is on the right track. He is working with them to fix the system, and you can hear him talk about it on the Practical Politicking Profiles Podcast. Just knowing that is enough for us to be impressed. If you haven’t already, take a closer look at Issue One, and see if their work interests you.
This has been a Grassroots Organization Profile. While Practical Politicking and its staff does not endorse any political activist organization, we do encourage our readers to be active politically. We offer these profiles for informational purposes only.