Below is a modified version of what I sent to them. I sent similar letters, last year, to several national organizations (some included below), but have, as yet, received no replies.
If we are serious about cleaning up Washington and politics in general, as well as eliminating media monopoly and corporate corruption, we must do something like the following, or we are just placing band-aids on cancer.
First, let me just say, that my suggestions below will not only create pandemonium in Washington DC, in every state house across America, in corporate offices worldwide and among media giants, but such efforts will also be a huge task for you (Public Citizen) to manage. Don't get me wrong, you will find overwhelming support from the taxpayers - I am suggesting you will have millions of supporters within days of beginning such a campaign. The response will be so enormous and so fast, that you will likely need to bring in organizations like the ACLU, MoveOn.org, Common Cause, PIRG, FAIR and the Union of Concerned Scientists just to maintain control.
Nevertheless, I believe that the below efforts, if resolved would end most of the stagnation in government, put the people back in charge and force elected representatives (over all other interests) to actually represent the constituent voters who elected them.
I'd like to see national petitions that demand binding referenda issues be placed on the ballot - similar to "truth in advertising," but way more demanding - much like the ban on cigarette ads - all backed by strong mandatory enforcement and regulated by ordinary citizen watchdog groups. EXAMPLE: There is a little group called Citizen's Utility Board, here in Illinois, that has grown into a formidable advocate for consumers in this state.
An elected official who violates the public trust should be considered to have committed a capitol offense and, in fact, is guilty of treason. That official did, after all, take a sworn oath. When a politician takes contributions from any business or corporation in exchange for advocating a particular position that contradicts the public interest (as defined by public law - not by politicians), they should be immediately yanked from office and dealt with. Fines that bankrupt the guilty, life in prison and/or execution come to mind. And anyone found to have committed such an offense, must surrender all government pensions and income. No mitigating circumstances should be tolerated and no exceptions should be allowed. There should be no plea bargaining that allows such an individual to continue to drink from the public trough.
Here are my suggestions to put America back on track:
#1 - Ban negative campaign ads and force the media to get fully on board. That means threatening loss of licenses and huge, meaningful fines for even the slightest violations. Campaigns must be publicly financed and all legitimate candidates must be given equal time. Someone like Ralph Nader or Ross Perot must be allowed to participate in the process, regardless of their chances for success. Public debates must be mandatory and the debate issues will be decided by the public.
#2 - Eliminate corporate PACs. Corporations are not voters and they have no business in politics. Only registered voters, who are US citizens should be allowed to contribute hard and/or soft dollars to any and all political campaigns and that amount must be strictly limited, as well, to what is affordable to the average voter.
#3 - The media must report ALL the news. That means that we need to hear the stuff the corporate sponsors and corrupt politicians don't want us to hear. And that means these media monopolies must be busted up. GE, Disney, Rupert Murdock, Clear Channel and others should not be allowed to decide what is news. A news operation should not be able to clear the way for Swift Boat commercials, while censoring MoveOn.org, because the news outlet owner has a personal political bias on any particular issue.
#4 - No taxation, without representation! Boxes should be placed on all tax forms, whereby taxpayers shall designate what percentage of their tax dollars should be placed into health care, education, defense, etc. This is a no-brainer
When this sort of corruption is removed, issues like Global Warming can take precedence, as it should! All of these resolutions should be strongly monitored and enforced by citizens with no corporate agenda. The little people - the average Americans need to be in charge and given the power to remove those who fail to investigate such violations to the fullest extent. The language must be crafted carefully to insure that there are no loopholes or misunderstandings and they should be based on Constitutional law. The premise being - bring back a government "of the people, by the people and for the people." Energy, pharmaceutical, insurance and other such industries must be managed and regulated by citizen groups. Minimum wage, Immigration, civil unions, etc., will all be easier to resolve, once the above primary rules are instituted.
This is a huge objective. But, the resolution of these issues, as described, would be monumental in saving this country and the planet from political and corporate interest that typically in no way resemble anything the public wants. Without addressing these issues, we are simply spinning our wheels. Politicians are using fear to justify trampling our rights. Freedom is being compromised in the name of security. Before too long, it will be out of control and we will be looking at a permanent police state. We need to change the directions we are heading in and we need to do it now. The best way to do that, is by allowing the people to dictate the rules.
We need to develop petitions with clear language that forces elected officials to act in our best interest.