Posts tagged corruption
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Coloradans are fed up with corruption and have chosen to fight back. Today, more than 100,000 signatures are being turned in to state officials from citizens who support a statewide ballot initiative. Initiative 82 calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and get corporate and wealthy donor money out of our elections.
Our elected officials are supposed to serve the voters, not the highest bidder. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, Super PACs and other independent groups have spent huge amounts, in some cases outspending individual campaigns by a ratio of 2-to-1. Citizens United-enabled outside group spending, much of it secret, is devoted overwhelmingly to negative attack ads. The funds come from a very small cluster of people; a recent report found that just 47 people, each giving at least $1 million to Super PACs, accounted for more than 57 percent of the money raised by Super PACs during this current election cycle.
Along with millions around the country, the people of Colorado are courageously reclaiming their elections and making sure that democracy is for people, not for corporations. State legislatures have called for an amendment in California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maryland; more than 280 communities across the country have done the same. Public Citizen is proud to continue partnering with groups like Common Cause and U.S. PIRG, as well as the people of Colorado, as they push forward toward restoring our democracy.
24 hours of protest.
First Rally: Noon at Municipal Building @ 201 West Colfax Avenue
Second Rally: 6PM @ The Greek Ampitheatre in Civic Center Park
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCCUPY DENVER
November 17: 60 Days of Action
We have reached a pivotal moment in history, as we find ourselves on the threshold of a great and lasting change. We at Occupy Denver stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and all occupations across the country and around the world. The accelerated and coordinated efforts to destroy the Occupy movement, evidenced by the forceful actions taken against the occupiers in Zucotti Park and other cities, are confirmation that the Occupy movement is working.
These actions will not stop us; they will only make us stronger. This has brought us to the precipice of tremendous change, a change for the better. We believe and know what is right and good and thus we will take that next step.
The Occupy movement stands in sharp contrast to the forces that are being marshaled against us. When they use force, we use nonviolence. When they try to isolate us, we build community. When they move against us, we call for peace and cooperation.
Together, we are standing up and speaking out for the rights guaranteed by our Constitution: the right of free assembly, the right of free speech, the right of free press. We affirm that all people are created equal and have the right to share in the prosperity of our great nation. Without such rights, then what have we? We are committed to ending the corruption of our government and restoring political power to the people. We believe that our country, and our world, can be a better place and that we must work together to make this happen. To those already standing with us: we ask that you continue to stand strong. You are making the difference. To all the rest: we need for you to join us. We need individuals and organizations from every corner of the country to join the Occupy movement now.
We call upon you who have been silent: Speak and be heard.
We call upon you who have not stood up for what you believe in: Stand and be seen.
We call upon you who have yet to put your needs on paper. Write and be counted.
Make the difference and bring about the change you want to see! Join us at noon tomorrow, November 17, at Civic Center Park as we celebrate the two month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and the nearly 2,000 Occupy movements that have sprung up around the world. There has been a coordinated effort to silence the voices of the 99%, Mayor Hancock and the Denver Police Department are scared of an awakened populace. We will call attention to the Mayor’s decision to violently crackdown on Occupy Denver. We will present alternatives and show the contrast with other communities around the country and how their local governments have supported the 99% rather than attempt to silence the voice of their constituents. There will then be a 6 p.m. rally at Occupy Denver after which we will conduct a General Assembly where we will discuss the Occupy movement as a whole and how we should progress over the coming months. So come out, have your voices heard and once again stand up for freedom, for justice, and for the future of our world. United we stand!
Conventional wisdom suggests that average citizens hate politics, loathe hyper-partisan gridlock, balk at voting even in presidential election years and are, incidentally, woefully ill-informed.
Given that, the thinking goes, it’s reasonable to conclude that citizens want less, not more, involvement in politics.
But that widely accepted theory does not survive empirical scrutiny, a team of researchers that includes a University of Colorado Boulder political scientist found.
Rather than rejecting political discourse, most people express strong interest in deliberating with real politicians, the team found. Further, when citizens are offered the chance to discuss political issues with their legislators, significant numbers do.
The view of the American public as desperate to avoid politics is “deeply misleading,” the team wrote in a recent edition of American Political Science Review. The work joins a growing number of studies applying empirical analysis to political theories of deliberative democracy.
The team was led by Michael Neblo of Ohio State University and included Kevin Esterling of the University of California, Riverside, Ryan Kennedy at the University of Houston, David Lazer of Northeastern University and Harvard University, and Anand Sokhey of CU-Boulder.
Sokhey and his colleagues suggest that some political theorists reached an erroneous conclusion because they started with the wrong question, namely, “Who actually deliberates?”
The answer, of course, is that few people engage in deliberative democracy.
But Sokhey’s team essentially posed a different question: “Who is willing to deliberate?” The team found that large majorities of citizens, even those disgusted by politics, are willing to participate—and, when given the chance, many do.
Sokhey puts it this way: “If people perceive politicians to be more responsive and less corrupt … would people be more willing to be involved?” The answer is yes. “They’re happy to be involved.”
That was surprising, he says, adding that the kinds of people who wanted to participate also was unexpected. The traditional view is that people who are older, wealthier, well-educated and white are more likely to become engaged in politics.
“We don’t find that a lot of that holds here,” Sokhey says.
The team found that younger people and non-whites were willing to join political deliberations.
The researchers set out to test two competing theories of political involvement. One theory, dubbed “stealth democracy,” holds that people are often disgusted by politics, believe politicians are generally corrupt, and that when they do join the political process, they do so largely to thwart political corruption.
If politics were less corrupt, the theory holds, citizens would happily retreat to their private lives and let government run quietly and efficiently in the background.
But the theory of stealth democracy contradicts one of the deliberative theory’s central claims: that citizen apathy is actually caused by frustration and disempowerment in the system. “If the political process could be rendered more rational and responsive in their eyes, then they would be moreinclined to engage in it robustly,” the authors write, adding:
“The disagreement between the stealth thesis and the deliberative thesis could hardly be clearer, and the stakes on which is right could hardly be higher.”
The research team began with hypothetical questions posed to 404 subjects.
For instance, they asked the following: “If politics were [less/more] influenced by self-serving officials and powerful special interests, do you think that you would be more or less interested in getting involved in politics?” Respondents indicated their interest on a 1-5 scale.
Those who would participate less if politics were less corrupt fit the stealth-democracy thesis. Those who would participate more fit the deliberative thesis.
The results were significant. Eight times more people fit the deliberative profile than the stealth profile, suggesting that the “stealth” view is not widely held.
But that was just the response to items about stealth vs. deliberative attitudes. When the researchers made a real offer to deliberate with a real member of Congress, 65 percent agreed.
The study’s participants were offered the chance to deliberate online with their congressional representative. The members of Congress came from 12 congressional districts spread across four major geographic regions. The politicians included five Republicans and seven Democrats who were ideologically diverse.
Most surprisingly, the authors note, both those holding “stealth” and “deliberative” views were eager to discuss politics with real politicians. But according to the stealth thesis, such eagerness should have been found mostly among deliberative democrats.
The explanation, the authors conclude, is that “People do not really hold stealth democracy as their first preference. Instead, they will settle for stealth democracy if the civics-textbook version of deliberative representative democracy is not achievable.”
The work of Neblo, Sokhey and the rest of the team was funded by a grant from the Digital Government Program of the National Science Foundation.
Read more on this story soon in Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine at http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine/.
by Jann Scott
Denver Police department has always had a reputation for system wide corruption and for officers who wear the badge but are thugs in reality. This is a department which cannot be trusted. This is a department when compared to Boulder PD does not come close to modern day policing.
This is a department who in the 1930s were mostly Klan members. In the 1940′s had unsolved murders of citizens attributed to them. In the 1970′s more than 1/2 the department were fired for taking bribes. In the 1980′s and 90s constant claims of police brutality. And now, this week we have two video cases of citizens being attacked and beaten nearly to death by patrol officers.
In both cases the Chief of police in Denver has said nothing .He needs to do something or be fired. The director of Public Safety a former Denver cop has backed his officers with a smirk and sneer on his face. He is attempting a cover up in the face of horrible video. He needs to go. Mayor Hickenlooper needs to clean up Denver PD or he needs top go too. His run for Governor is now in jeopardy. All four of those officers … I say that reservedly….they are jack ass cops who need some street justice from the community…… should have been fired immediately. They haven’t even been put on administrative leave. The message sent to the community is ” we’ll beat the crap out of whoever we want whenever we want”
If this situation is not put in check by the weekend, reprisals against Denver police officers will likely happen during this coming hot weekend. The Denver news media has gone after the Denver PD non-stop all week long. The community protests are at a peak shrill demanding resignations high and low. But the real threat is yet to come. That threat will come from frustrated citizens who will take up arms against the Denver PD. It has happened before. Los Angeles has seen daily shootings at passing police cars from atop buildings as has Oakland and San Francisco. It is time for Denver to arm yourselves to protect yourselves from the police. That is just my take on it. But the citizens of Denver are in no mood. I wouldn’t want to be a cop there right now.
Thank god I live in Boulder
ROB SMOKES OPINION
Latest on the Boulder City Council: They’re voting to grant themselves amenities like health coverage and free merchandise from the city, including
Laptops and I-Phones. The reader should now ask themselves, is there any
point in reading further?
I dunno’…what else is new and funky in Boulder these days? Uhmm…well, the city council all get their own I-Phones…it’s so cool…
that Ken Wilson…he’s always using it too, to call his paranoid hill neighbor friends, or the woman who seems to have harnessed control of his id…
Harnessed control of his WHAT?
His “id”, his “id”…it means his inner sex drive.
Really? As opposed to his outer sex drive.
Hey, let’s stay on topic…free stuff for council.
Yeah, isn’t it neat? Don’t you wish you could be on city council, so you
could get a lot of cool free stuff? (…I know, I do, I do…)
Special thanks to anonymous teenagers on a bus.
There’s a pattern: “decorum” rules for everyone else, goodies for us council folk;
We’re special. Because we’re special, we get free stuff.
Tell me that isn’t the pattern. What does that pattern signify regards
how our city is being run? You tell me.
Rob Smoke is glad he’s a gadfly (say it five times fast).