Democrats, Michigan — January 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

Grayson gets first co-sponsor: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)


Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Blogging For Michigan.

This one seems to have slipped a bit under the radar (though I did mention it briefly in blog entry yesterday.

In response to the odious decision by the U.S. Supreme Court this week, Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-08) has put together a package of bills he calls the “Save Our Democracy” Reform Package (H.R. 4431-4435).

On Friday, Rep. John Conyers (MI-14) from my fine state of Michigan signed on as the first co-sponsor of the Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433).

Now we’re getting somewhere.

From Rep. Grayson’s website:

Congressman Alan Grayson has introduced legislation to prevent a corporate takeover of government in America. His “Save Our Democracy” Reform Package (H.R. 4431-4435) aims to stave off the threat of “corpocracy” arising from today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision…

Here are the bills that Congressman Grayson has introduced, and what they aim to accomplish:

1. The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431)
Implements a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.
2. The Public Company Responsibility Act (H.R. 4435)
Prevents companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.
3. The End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434)
Prevents for-profit corporations that receive money from the government from making political contributions, and limits the amount that employees of those companies can contribute.
4. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act (H.R. 4432)
Requires publicly-traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than to promoting their products and services.
5.The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433)
Applies antitrust law to industry PACs.

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission legalizes the use of corporate funds in political campaigns, striking down campaign finance laws that date back more than a century. Congressman Grayson introduced the bills on January 13th, in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Each of the five Grayson bills is clear and concise; none is longer than four pages.

The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433) has been referred to Chairman Conyers’ Judiciary Committee for action. Here’s Rep. Conyers’ take on the SCOTUS decision:

“I am looking into any and all avenues to alleviate the harm to the American people that the Supreme Court has done with yesterday’s decision. I appreciate Mr. Grayson’s efforts to respond to the Court’s decision and am pleased to be working with him in finding the best means of protecting our political process from undue corporate influence.”

You can drop Rep. Conyers a line HERE to thank him for his co-sponsorship. You can also write him a note on his Facebook page. I just did both of these.

You can sign Rep. Grayson’s petition in support of the “Save Our Democracy” Reform Package HERE.

The petition language, like the bills themselves, is in simple succinct language:

I support the “Save Our Democracy” Platform:

We cannot have a government that is bought and paid for by huge multinational corporations. We need a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I’m just sayin’…

I just received an email from Rep. Grayson:

Dear Eclectablog,

Thanks to so many of you for contacting Chairman Conyers Friday and thanking him for helping to save our democracy. His office was overwhelmed with calls and e-mails. One of his staffers said that it was “like working the phones at a telethon.”

I’ve been thinking a little more about the Supreme Court’s decision. This ruling gives foreign powers more rights than U.S. citizens. Imagine that! Aramco, a corporation owned by the Saudi Arabian government, will have enormously more influence in choosing your senator than you will. That’s one thing that I meant when I said that “if we do nothing, you can kiss this country goodbye.”

This will not stand. It cannot stand. There are too many Americans who love this country and won’t allow it to happen. And you are one of them.

We are making a movement. If you have a moment, please forward this email to five of your friends, and ask them to sign our petition at And then a mighty voice will rise up from the land.


Alan Grayson
Member of Congress

UPDATE II: There are two other important petitions you can sign on to.

The first is from OFA. Click the image below:

The second is from Public Citizen. Click the image below: