Fix Democracy

More than 20 organisations ask presidential candidates to sign a 'Fix Democracy' pledge

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 15 January 2016

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

  

Bernie Sanders was the first presidential candidate to sign a new pledge launched this week, asking all major candidates to support a people-powered democracy and reject campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

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Constituents before corporations

More than 20 organisations and individuals from advocacy and academia to business have signed the letter to all the major presidential candidates asking they take the pledge.

‘From the halls of Congress to the presidential campaign trail, politicians are taking money from mega industries like the fossil fuel industry, and prioritizing corporations over constituents.

‘At the same time, many in power are making it harder for the poor, communities of color, the elderly and students to vote in the first place. We need to get money out and people into our democracy.’

Annie Leonard, Executive Director at Greenpeace USA

Greenpeace to Ben & Jerry’s

Organisations include Greenpeace, 350.org, Climate Justice Alliance, Common Cause, Energy Action Coalition, Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network and US Rebel Alliance.

Individuals signatories include activist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, author Colin Beavan, former Dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Gus Speth and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Given Governor Martin O’Malley’s previous statements on shifting to 100% renewable energy and his call for a constitutional amendment to protect voting rights, he is expected to be the next candidate to sign the pledge.

Dirty money

Nearly every Republican presidential candidate receives a substantial contribution from the fossil fuel industry – either directly or via a super PAC.

On the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton receives money connected to the fossil fuel industry via industry lobbyists who have bundled contributions to the campaign.

GOP hopefuls Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton are the top three beneficiaries of contributions from oil and gas employees.

‘A critical way for candidates to show they support a people-powered democracy is by rejecting fossil fuel money and supporting voters’ rights.

‘So far only Bernie Sanders has agreed to fossil fuel-free funding and protection of voters rights. It’s time for Hillary Clinton and anyone with serious White House aspirations to match Sanders’s leadership. Our democracy has to stop being sold at auction to the highest bidders.’

Annie Leonard, Executive Director at Greenpeace USA

Click here to read the full letter sent to the presidential candidates.

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