PITTSBURGH–(ENEWSPF)–November 3, 2012. The United Steelworkers (USW) union has joined allies from more than 50 other groups to fight back against the corporate influence in elections and against laws and official actions designed to suppress the vote. Under the banner “Money Out, Voters In,” the organizations issued a joint statement pledging to fight corporate money in politics and to support the rights of all voters.
“We deserve a democracy that works for every single citizen, no matter where they live, how much money they have, or what their background might be,” said USW International Vice President Fred Redmond. “Right now, we have an unequal system in which the rich can use their millions to flood the airwaves with inaccurate attack ads or, worse, to bully voters into staying home on Election Day. These efforts are a direct assault on our democracy.”
The joint statement reads:
“Within the next week, citizens in every state will come together to cast their votes for President, Congress, and other state and local offices. The right to cast those votes – to elect leaders who represent us – is at the heart of our democratic system. But this year, that right is in danger.
Our system of fair and free elections is under attack on multiple fronts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for special interest money and corporate influence in politics. At the same time, a rash of voter suppression laws in more than 30 states has threatened to make voting difficult, if not impossible, for millions of Americans.
Throughout the history of our nation, powerful politicians and interest groups have tried to block eligible voters from casting a ballot. For much of the 20th century, they used literacy tests or demanded poll taxes. Today they ask for photo voter ID, or create restrictive voter registration schemes. These laws, combined with the challenge posed by limitless corporate influence, strike at the very core of our democracy.
Our nation’s history has been a journey towards true equality and the promise of a government of, by and for the people. Just as we have overcome many obstacles to achieve that promise, we are now committed to standing up against the pervasive, corrupting influence of an electoral system that auctions offices to the highest bidder and suppresses the vote of millions of Americans.
No matter what happens on November 6th, these threats must be addressed on November 7th and beyond. Together with our allies across the political spectrum, we pledge to fight for the rights of all voters in our nation and to move that much closer to creating a more perfect union. The future of our democracy depends on it.”
The statement is being released jointly by the USW and the following organizations: 350.org; AFL-CIO; AIDS United; All Education Matters; Alliance for a Just Society; Alliance for Justice; American Sustainable Business Council; American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote; Ben & Jerry’s; Center for Media and Democracy; CODEPINK; Common Cause; Communications Workers of America; Constitutional Accountability Center; Consumer Action; CREDO Action; DC Vote; Democracy 21; Democracy Unlimited; Democrats.com; Demos; Ethical Markets Media, Florida; Food & Water Watch; Franciscan Action Network; Free Speech For People; Greenpeace; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Main Street Alliance; Move to Amend Coalition; MoveOn.org Political Action; NAACP; National Center for Transgender Equality; National Congress of Black Women, Inc.; National Council of Jewish Women; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; The New Bottom Line; New Progressive Alliance; People For the American Way; Pesticide Action Network North America; Project Vote; Public Campaign; Public Citizen; Rock the Vote; RootsAction.org; Sierra Club; U.S. PIRG; United for a Fair Economy; United Steelworkers International Union; unPAC; WarIsACrime.org; and We the People Campaign.
The statement also is available at http://www.moneyout-votersin.com.
The USW represents about 850,000 workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glassmaking to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber to the public sector, service and health care industries.