The Michigan legislature: bought and sold by corporate money
Today at the Michigan House of Representatives, members of Represent.US and Restore Our American Democracy (ROAD) staged a demonstration, dumping hundreds of fake $1,000,000 bills from the gallery onto the House floor. One of those who threw the bills was Josh Silver, director of Represent.Us.
“Woefully inadequate or nonexistent campaign finance, lobbying, and financial disclosure laws make legalized bribery the law of the land in Michigan,” he said. “The state is among the most politically corrupt in the nation, and legislators should be ashamed. Instead, state lawmakers continue to block the most basic, common sense anti-corruption reforms that are strongly supported by conservative, liberal, and independent voters across the state. Money talks in Michigan, so we decided to speak to House members in the only language they seem to understand.”
Here’s video of the demonstration:
The protestors were quickly ushered from the gallery and their banner confiscated.
Stu Dowty of ROAD, one of those who participated in the money dump, told me, “I think it’s great to call attention to the fundamental problem of money in politics. Our statement today needs to be multiplied many times over so that people learn about the corrupting influence of money in our political system.”
UPDATE: Here is another video of the event from Represent.Us which is higher quality than the one I shot with my iPhone:
There’s another video available on the Facebook page of state Representative Jeff Irwin which shows how it looked from the House floor. In it you can here a House member saying, “Hey, man, I thought I was at the club, man!” Classy.
[Photos and first video by Chris Savage | Eclectablog]