The Honorable Nancy Boyda
1711 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Boyda,
Before I say anything else, I want to thank you for taking a stand against immunity for the telecommunications companies in the FISA bill. That means a lot to me—I know the kind of political pressure that was put on you by the people running those terrible fearmongering television ads.
I am writing about the Change Congress movement (http://change- congress.org), started by Lawrence Lessig, a Professor at Stanford Law School and a leading thinker on technology and Internet policy. Change Congress was started to help the American people take back a legislature that has become increasingly dominated by the money of special interests, especially PACs and lobbyists. Many of us see the influence of PAC and lobbyist money on politics as extremely suspect, while others see it as nothing short of bribery. We seek to elect candidates who are willing to take a pledge to do the following four things:
1. Refuse money from lobbyists and PACs. Congresspeople should be beholden to citizens, not special interests. By committing not to accept money from lobbyists or PACs, candidates give us confidence that their votes won’t be swayed by big money.
2. Vote to end earmarks. Earmarks allow congresspeople to explicitly decide who should get the money our government spends. Money that is supposed to go to our schools, our soldiers, and our citizens is instead diverted to political donors and pork-barrel projects.
3. Support publicly-financed campaigns. It’s not enough for particular candidates to stay out of the system of corruption; we have to reform the system itself. Publicly-financed campaigns will stop the cycle of campaign finance reform loopholes and ensure that big money stays out of Congress forever.
4. Support reform to increase Congressional transparency. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we would all benefit from a cleaner Congress if more of its proceedings, and the proceedings of its members, were public.
I am personally asking you to join this movement. According to the figures posted on the Change Congress website (http://change-congress.org), roughly 17% of your 2008 campaign contributions came from PACs. I ask you to make that the last PAC money you take. That 17% will be more than made up for by citizens who support your stand against big money in Washington. Please visit the website, take the pledge, and join the movement. While I was not a resident of Kansas when you ran for office and thus did not contribute to your campaign, I would be proud to support a candidate that is willing to take a principled stand to Change Congress.
With gratitude and hope,