One of John McCain’s many contributions was the bipartisan McCain-Feingold bill to reduce the corrupting influence of money on our political parties and processes. This bill was the vanguard of a broader and rapidly growing movement to get the government to work in the people’s interests, not the parties’ or donors’ interests.
I recently attended the Unite Summit, at which 250 leaders of this effort discussed how independent candidates, and other efforts on several fronts, can help break money’s stranglehold on our political process.
Progress is being made. There are dozens of independents in elected office across the country, with many more on the ballot this fall (including Ann Diamond, running for the state Legislature in Eastern Washington’s 12th District); rank-choice voting is gaining traction; efforts to reduce gerrymandering and improve ballot access are succeeding; and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is working toward rules changes to improve bipartisan legislation’s chances in the House of Representatives.
I encourage honoring Sen. McCain’s legacy through more press engagement on these issues, pressure on candidates and legislators to address them and support for organizations working for change.
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It is time to put the people’s interests before the parties’ interests.
Robert Z. Poore, Seattle