A group of protesters in California took a stand against the influence of money in politics Wednesday by imagining what it would look like if lawmakers had to publicly advertise their campaign donors on their clothes à la professional stock car drivers.
The protesters placed cardboard cutouts of all 120 California state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in front of the state capitol in Sacramento. Each legislator wore the logos of the corporations that back them in the style of NASCAR drivers' brand-filled uniforms.
The protest was arranged by Neighborhood Legislature, a group aiming to curb the influence of special interests and big money in politics via the Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act. The proposed legislation would reduce California's electoral districts to the size of neighborhoods, with the hope of minimizing the importance of donations by reducing the cost of campaigning.
"Everyone knows politics are corrupt, but no one knows what to do about it. We wanted to go to California's seat of power and say, 'the system is broken, these politicians have been bought, and we are serious about changing things,'" Neighborhood Leigslature's Andrew Sears wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "Hundreds of people saw it yesterday and many were actually emotionally moved by it. It's a powerful image to see -- those people charged with safeguarding our state in the pockets of powerful special interests. Who is looking after us?"
Sears says the group plans to stage similar protests across the state in coming months.
In 2013, a White House "We The People" petition proposed requiring members of Congress to wear NASCAR-style clothing displaying their donors' logos.
"Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events," read the petition.
That petition, however, did not receive enough support to require an official White House response.
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