The Senate votes today on S.J.Res. 19, the constitutional amendment that will reverse the effects of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and allow our state and federal governments to make campaign finance laws again. So I have a number of action alerts with which you may tell your Senator to support it -- from the Peace Team, CREDO, and the League of Conservation Voters. But the best thing to do, at this late juncture, is call your Senators; you can find contact information for your Senators, as always, by using the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page. If your Senator holds a ludicrous position on S.J.Res. 19 (as one of mine does), you do not have to jaw with his phone aides about why his position is ludicrous; you need merely communicate your will. Chances are you do not have millions of dollars free that you could either wipe your butt with or give to a U.S. Senator's re-election campaign depending on your mood; our leaders will only change their opinions when they discover that no one outside of the corporate mediadome opposes this bill -- and when we the people remember, every moment of every day, that we are the ones who can put them out of a job. I sure hope saying so doesn't get me convicted for "terrorism" one day.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 3899/S. 1945, the Voting Rights Amendment Act, then Common Cause still helps you do that. As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Shelby County v. Holder, invalidated the Voting Rights Act's pre-clearance formula -- by which our federal government can determine where to stop anti-voting laws before they start -- on the grounds that the formula unfairly discriminated against Southern states, where the percentage of Black voters had generally shot up since the 1960s. But the Court never said Congress couldn't instill a different pre-clearance formula that wouldn't (in the Court's view) discriminate against states and localities unfairly; hence the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would subject states and localities to pre-clearance if they had demonstrated a consistent pattern of voting rights violations over the past 15 years. And if those states just so happen to be Southern states, well, tough toodles for those who make their living trying to prevent other good Americans from voting. I'm a little disturbed that, even with this bill's considerable bipartisan support, this Congress won't move on it, probably because Obama. But that's nothing a little people power can't solve.
Finally, an oil corporation named Enbridge wants to move tar sands crude through its pipes; in doing so would they'd double the amount of tar sands oil going through the Great Lakes area, which provides drinking water to millions of good folks in eight U.S. states. Just so happens a broken Enbridge oil pipe caused the most massive inland oil spill in American history, in Kalamazoo, MI in 2010. And Enbridge only has a permit to move some 450,000 barrels daily through its Alberta Clipper line, and as their attempts to get the U.S. State Department to change that permit have been unsuccessful, they want to divert tar sands oil to a nearby pipeline which goes into Minnesota and then back to the Clipper -- though this second pipeline isn't designed to carry the considerably more corrosive and toxic tar sands oil. Anyone see a disaster in the making? Shockingly, the State Department doesn't, as they've apparently decided to allow Enbridge to proceed, without public notice or a chance for public review, or even a "national interest" determination. The law requires all three of these things to happen, but I guess law and order is only for little people like us. So CREDO helps you tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to halt the Enbridge pipeline scheme.