April 7 is election day. That brings many things to mind, voting, signs, speeches, patriotism and the flag. When I was in school we had mock elections and students ran for office. They gave speeches and tried to convince us to vote for them. Posters and slogans covered the halls and students gathered in the gym to cheer their candidate on as they listened to the promises each offered. As kids, we took the ideals of our elections and put them into practice; we wanted to be model legislators.
Real elections do not have that childhood innocence and are steeped in money and political favors. Like most Americans, I want unbiased information about the candidates running for office. Since the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision that allows corporations and unions to make unlimited political contributions, that has become nearly impossible.
Over the last 100-plus years our Supreme Court has slowly given constitutional rights to corporations. They deemed that corporations were people and that money was equal to free speech. Our democracy is threatened by the influence of the monied interests of the wealthy, corporations and unions. Their financial leverage is felt through campaign propaganda rebuking their opponent’s political ideology.
Our state is divided on many political ideas, but one that I think we can all agree on is that we, the people, want to make the decision of who to vote for and have our politicians make decisions without the undue influence of special interest money. Move to Amend (MTA) is a nationwide, nonpartisan group working to get the money out of politics and elections.
On April 7 Watertown residents will have the opportunity to vote YES to a referendum to take money out of politics.