Making Democracy Work

Re: Legislative leader urges withdrawal of troops, 05/24/19

I was very heartened to see Rep. Tyler Lindholm, R-Sundance, step out and challenge Rep. Liz Cheney about never-ending actions of war across the globe.

In our recent Sheridan event, Making Democracy Work, the Friends Committee on National Legislation Advocacy Team shared our efforts to lobby the Wyoming Congressional Delegation to reclaim their oversight over war declaration. We would like Rep. Cheney, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, to support H.R. 1274, a Bill to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

A similar effort in an Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act is expected to be up for vote in the House during the month of June, so the momentum to repeal the AUMF is happening right now.

Since the passage of the AUMF in 2001, the US has engaged in military operations in 40 countries, according to the Congressional Research Service. Both Republican and Democratic Presidents have used the AUMF to initiate acts of war without full Congressional approval, costing billions of dollars and countless lives.

We understand the need to protect US safety and interests, but not without the fiscal responsibility and collective wisdom of Congress, as had always been done prior to 2001. Like Rep. Lindholm, we encourage Rep. Cheney to take bold leadership to conserve our resources and minimize actions of war.

Dawn Sopron, Chair FCNL Wyoming Advocacy Team

Sheridan

 

We need you to act

Re: Open Letter to Wyoming Senators Enzi and Barrasso and Wyoming Representative Cheney

We need you to act.

When the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case it overturned much of the existing campaign finance law that was inadequate to begin with. Apparently the court’s majority intended spending to be freer as long as it was transparent. Unfortunately the decision caused more deceitful spending by creating new opportunities to hide financing sources.

Honest, direct donations are still disclosed but there are now legal anonymous donations to organizations that support candidates and political causes — dark money.

A substantial majority of citizens correctly conclude that money corrupts our politics and that it is getting worse so someone should do something about it.

Last summer Wyoming Promise decided to “be someone” and “do something about it.” We circulated a ballot initiative petition to amend the Constitution to make clear that corporations are not people and that money is not speech.

Falling short of our goal this year we decided neither to give up nor do another petition drive.

We will go directly to legislators with the facts because elected representatives have the most direct course for a constitutional amendment and only a constitutional amendment can fully restore the idea of government for the people and by the people.

When the Supreme Court decided that corporations have the same right to free speech as citizens and that money is the same as protected speech they were not only wrong but ridiculous and fantastic. Some manipulating mind tortured that idea seeking a particular goal. It did not come from the words of the constitution, the intent of founders, or even a change in public expectations.

In spite of America’s foundation of representative government, in spite of positive changes, we know that we are neither heeded nor heard. Campaign finance reform has a 70% plus majority approval of voters in most states, including Wyoming; yet reform is unlikely to come to a vote in congress, will be ineffective if passed, and will even be subject to court challenge without a Constitutional amendment that states directly that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

When we write to you in the Senate or House to express our concerns your replies are usually polite, say that you are aware of the issue, and perhaps say something about the status of the issue in Congress, and that you will keep our opinions in mind. Yet when these popular vital issues come up you vote with a majority of representatives against us — even though poling time and time again shows that a majority of Americans are with us on the issues.

We want you to address this issue. We want you to champion this cause; sponsor and fight for a bill that calls for a constitutional amendment to say that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. We want you to represent we the people of America, not special interests or nefarious donors from wherever in the world.

Mel Logan, volunteer at Sheridan Wyoming Promise

Sheridan