by Jeff Kurzon, candidate for Congress in New York’s 7th District
The best part of this campaign so far is the petitioning. Everyday I am out on the street and knocking on doors to meet voters. I give my message about Washington not working for the people and then ask for a signature to help me get on the ballot. After I get the signature, the fun part begins because then I ask, “What do you do?” You might imagine meeting over 100 people a day, I hear some pretty good and unique stories.
The story I remember most though today is from a man who did not sign my petition because he lived just outside our district. Jake told me “Perfect is the Enemy of Good.” Think about it yourself if you have a moment and how it might help your life. As an attorney, it means to me that you will not get anywhere if your goal is always to be perfect. As a writer, I know that an email, a contract or a brief will never get finished if the goal is to make it perfect.
As a politician, or a supporter of a politician, it means the goal (other than winning) should be to make progress. The challenge is making people believe that our government is working for us, which I believe is the source of its legitimacy. Under President Roosevelt in 1907 the Tillman Act prohibited direct campaign contributions from corporations. The Watergate Scandal led to the creation of the Federal Election Commission and contribution limits.
There will always be people who distrust government – so we will never have a perfect government. But we can have a good one. Today though, distrust is at such an all-time high, with the Congressional approval rating at an all-time low, we need a fix to make it better. My solution to restore trust in Washington is to enact a Grassroots Democracy Act so that citizens once again feel as though their voices are not being drowned out by the PACs, Super PACs and lobbyists. We also need to repeal Citizens United so that the fix is not dominated by unlimited spending by corporations such as what I saw in a recent City Council race here in New York City where a Super Pac spent three times as much as the candidates were allowed to spend under our publicly financed election law.
It cannot be done! You will never get a Constitutional Amendment! You have no qualifications to run for office!
My answers are:
Yes it can be done and it will be done,
We have in the past and we will again and
I am a Citizen over 25 years old.
This may not appeal to everyone in the district – but that would be too perfect. I just need it to be good enough to appeal to enough voters to go to the polls on June 24. And with your help, that is exactly what will happen. And when it does, my promise to you is that I will go to Washington with the goal of convincing two-thirds of my colleagues to send to the States for ratification an Amendment to our Constitution that states that for purposes of the First Amendment, corporations are not people. It may not be perfect, but it will be good enough to help restore trust in our government and help us better address many of the complex and urgent challenges of our time.
Of course, I would not be doing my job if our office did not provide excellent constituent services, fight to create jobs and living wages, help small businesses, build new schools, community centers and hospitals, protect our environment and work towards our greater welfare and safety.