Will SB 75 end corruption in election cycles?
(Clinton, KY 2/16/17) - Frankfort politics often seems to be in a world apart from what we, as voters, would call reality.
To prove how just in touch our Kentucky State Senators are, just review one of the most pressing new legislative efforts to be offered up as law of the land during this session of the 2017 General Assembly.
That would be reform of our campaigns for political office. Experience and the national Citizens United law have proven that now modern elections are often for sale to the highest bidder.
The Kentucky Senate just passed Senate Bill 75 that would double the amount of money each political candidate could take for his or her campaign. Other details of their brain storming for ending corruption in the Kentucky election cycles include:
If passed by the House and signed by the Governor, the bill would:
Increase the current maximum individual and PAC contribution from $1,000 to $2,000 to a candidate per election.
- Increase from $2,500 to $5,000 the limit on individual annual contributions to caucus campaign committees and political parties.
- Establish a building account fund for party executive committees and allow a corporation to make unlimited donations to the fund but not for advocacy issues or to candidates.
- Allow individual $5,000-per-year contributions to affiliates of political parties such as Hickman County Republican or Democrat parties.
- Give political parties the power to make unlimited candidate contributions.
Kentucky Senate Republican leadership are in lockstep agreement with Senator Mitch McConnell that the Supreme Court case of Citizen United was a good thing. They applauded the rights of corporations to be treated as people and have the "right of free speech" for giving large amounts of funds for political races.
Sen. Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said during a hearing on his bill Wednesday that he favors the Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to make donations as a form of protected speech.
Senators Danny Carroll (R.- Paducah) and Stan Humphries (R.- Cadiz) both voted in the majority on the legislation.
Maybe it's something in the water of Frankfort. Good men and women of the Kentucky General Assembly often take leave of common sense and work against the good of the ordinary citizens of the Commonwealth.
Now, more than ever, local and state politics are being rocked by massive protest from Paducah to Murray to Louisville and Central Kentucky. People would hope that their leaders in the state capitol would stand up for the "little guy" in Kentucky.
This action to throw more corporate money into buying yet more political power over the will of the people is just the beginning stage. What is being written in history is one of those 100 year cycles of massive political and social change in Kentucky.
As we, the people become more involved in making change happen, there is no guarantied that the will of the people will prevail. Only time and the intensity of angry marshaling of street politics will secure the peoples right to live under their rule and not pure corporate rules.