By Linn Washington, Jr.
They worked many late night hours since this past spring creating a unique vehicle -- part grassroots initiative and part cutting-edge technology -- for countering the most corrupting force in American politics today: corporate dominance now controlling too many elected leaders on Capitol Hill.
Months before the Occupy Wall Street movement captured attention, inspiring millions across America while alarming this nation's political/corporate class, they began fashioning plans to enable honest people to run for elected office.
A problem was how to get those honest, regular people to run for Congressional office without the need for those candidates to seek or accept money from lobbyists just so as to be able to afford the purchase of the TV ads traditionally presumed to be neccessary for effective campaigning.
Their solution: new open source software that affords candidates opportunities to get their messages to voters with full transparency, in tandem with social media, thereby circumventing the staged manipulation of traditional televised political debates.
Recently they launched OccupyGovernment.org during an informational activity at ground zero of the Occupy Wall Street effort: the former Liberty Plaza Park now known as Zuccotti Park in New York City.
The immediate goal of the non-partisan OccupyGovernment.org is to elect a majority of new corporate-money-free representatives in Congress next year, thus flushing-out those members on both sides of the political isle who are beholden to the interests of corporations and private wealth, including the Tea Party- aligned representatives awash in Koch Brothers cash.
Interestingly, that launch occurred not too far from the kitchen of the Greenwich Village townhouse where planning for this campaign began this past spring under the umbrella entity BeYourGovernment.org.
"Take the buck out of the ballot" was a call to action voiced at the activity by OccupyGovernment.org co-founder Liz Abzug, the director of the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute -- the entity furthering the work of late Congresswoman, feminist and social activist Bella Abzug.
"The reason we are creating BeYourGovernment.org is that the corruption of our political system by large corporations, lobbyists and billionaires has grown so extreme that our nation's democratic process has been transformed," said Liz Abzug, daughter of the famous Bella.
"As a result, the U.S. has experienced the largest redistribution of wealth upward in modern history, while our nation's middle class is under assault like never before," explained Abzug, who teaches Urban Studies at Barnard College in New York City.
A press statement issued by the non-partisan OccupyGovernment.org states:
"We, the people, can take back our corrupt government if millions stand up and use our social networks to replace the multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns, financed by corporate bribes, that members of Congress in both parties rely on to get elected and re-elected."
Perverse policies emerging from the corrupted Congress include naked favoritism to corporations and billionaires, resulting in their paying the lowest level of taxes ever while corporate profits soar to an all time high, the press release notes.
"Let's Occupy our corrupt government now!" the OccupyGovernment.org release urges. "Not by shutting it down, but by opening it up to the 99% of us that it has been stolen from."