Every Citizen Deserves to Know
Aloha, Friend: May 24, 2018
I wrote you in March about our ReFormers Caucus, former U.S. Senators and Representatives, Cabinet officials and governors serving as the largest bipartisan coalition ever to focus on making our democracy strong again. We are closing in on 200 strong, now including fellow former Hawai’i Congressman Charles Djou. I’m grateful to Charles for adding his energy and voice to our effort.
We have all been there, know what is broken, and believe we can contribute our experience to fixing it. We advocate for:
-Disclosure and Transparency. Real-time full disclosure of money and influence in politics.
-Effective Enforcement. Full accountability for candidates, elected officials, organizations and individuals.
-Ethics and Lobbying. Strengthened ethics and lobbying rules and enforcement.
-Citizen Participation. Support for state and local innovations to improve inclusion.
-Integrity and Accountability. Fully responsible and responsive government playing by the same rules.
Perhaps the most corrosive influence on our democracy today is dark money, often very large sums paid to influence elections and decisions while completely disguising the true source. One of the clearest examples has been carefully concealed foreign interference in our national elections through dark money-financed advertising on the largest internet platforms such as Facebook.
Unfortunately, this issue has been cast as yes it happened by those who oppose the winners and no it didn’t by those who support them. But take a step back from all that noise and look to the big picture and long-term. Should we allow any foreign government or player to influence our democratic right to elect our leaders in any election, especially by deceptive and secret means?
We agree with the vast majority of Americans that we must safeguard our elections at all cost. As just one fix, we support the Honest Ads Act which has been introduced in Congress by legislators of both parties. This critical measure would require large online platforms to identify and publicly disclose the purchasers of such advertising, the same as now required for political TV and radio ads. It is supported by the platforms themselves.
We are collectively urging our Congress to pass the Honest Ads Act, and I have signed on to our letter to all members of Congress as part of that effort. We need your help.
Please contact your members of Congress (for Hawai’i , Senators Schatz and Hirono and Congresswomen Gabbard and Hanabusa) and ask them to sign on to S. 1989 (in the Senate) and H.R. 4077 (in the House) and pass the Honest Ads Act.
But equally important, make fixing our democracy through this and other means your top priority with the candidates who want your vote in the critical elections just weeks away. Real solutions to all our other challenges depend on it.
Ed Case – Hawai'i