This is the very first online announcement about our newest campaign about to launch. Consider yourself in-the-know! Support this new campaign by making a donation. Here’s Global Exchange Executive Director Carleen Pickard to explain:

Our politicians are playing with F.I.R.E., but we’re the ones getting burned.

Between 1998 and 2008 alone, the FIRE industries (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) spent more than $5 billion in political contributions and lobbying efforts. And with elections less than a year away, FIRE continues to top the list of corporate campaign contributors.

It’s no secret why the banks are so eager to donate. While Main Street is in foreclosure, it has been a year of record profits for bankers — and they want more!

Banks are putting a down payment on future profits, spending more freely than ever before on political parties, candidates, and Super PACs. They know come Election Day their investment will pay off and they’ll have the ear of those elected — a small price to pay to keep tax loopholes open, guarantee future bailouts and to stop regulations.

But we know Democracy belongs to the people, not the highest bidder. We must act now to ensure those who are elected represent the people’s interests, the interests of the majority, the interest of the 99%.

That’s why I am excited to announce a new Global Exchange campaign: Occupy Our Elections! This election year Global Exchange will arm the public with facts about the influence of money in politics and mobilize a people’s movement that calls on candidates to refuse campaign contributions from FIRE and other corporate interests.

We’re going up against some of the wealthiest, most powerful industries in the country. And we could use your help! Join us as we reclaim and rebuild our democracy and tell banks it is time to withdrawal from our elections. Together, we, the 99%, have the power to put out the FIRE this election year, and to remind our politicians that when you choose to play with FIRE you only get burned.

As Michael Moore stated last month, “Congress is bought and paid for by the 1%. Nothing— and I mean NOTHING—we want to accomplish, from creating jobs to protecting the environment to preventing wars, will happen as long as those who hold the purse strings are the ones who own our Congress.

Here’s more about what we’ll be doing in this Global Exchange Occupy Our Elections campaign:
• We’re digging deep into political contributions and their impact on voting records in the House and Senate. We’re going to single out the worst offenders, expose their records, and birddog them on the campaign trail.
• We’ll be calling on people across the nation to build centers of protest around their local banks, to draw the explicit link between banks, campaign spending, and policy decisions in Washington.
• We’ll be mobilizing people to put pressure on their candidates to say no to FIRE and other corporate campaign contributions.

We’ve seen what we can do when we band together to claim our democracy. Over the past decade our election campaigns investigated election fraud and disenfranchisement, highlighted close connections between politicians and the oil industry, and mobilized activists across the county to make peace and clean energy key election issues.

Creating the deep democracy that we all want is at the core of our work through programs like our Community Rights Program. But as we head into this critical election year, we must take immediate action to ensure our democracy is not bought by big banks.

It is time for us to stand up and say enough is enough and call on all those running for election to refuse FIRE funding.

During election years, people often feel compelled to donate to their favorite candidates, yet organizations like Global Exchange continue to be the creative, mobilizing force for true change. Election years are when our vibrant campaigns for democracy, justice, and human rights need your support the most. Please take a moment to make your campaign contribution this election season – make a gift to Global Exchange and our new and urgent campaign to Occupy Our Elections. Your gift ensures that we can make this the election season we douse the FIRE in democracy and send a clear message to our politicians that we will no longer allow Wall Street to dictate our future. Thank you.