Faith Leader Calls Out Influence of Big Money, Lobbyists

Last Friday, after a week of marching, attempting to meet with their Congressperson, and camping out on the Mall as part of the Labor Movement's The 99% Take Back the Capitol, a prayer vigil, organized by Faith Advocates for Jobs, was held in front of the capitol and attended by more than 1,000 people from around the country.

One faith leader, Patrick Carolan, a former CT labor leader who now directs the social justice arm of the Franciscan Action Network, gave a statement on the influence of money in politics and how that conflicts with faith.

From the statement:

"We should not kid ourselves in thinking that legislation and public policy is written by our elected officials with the interest of the common good. It is written by lobbyist on K Street whose only interest is corporations and the wealthy. The debate on immigration reform gives us a clear example.

Most of you are familiar with Arizona Senate bill 1070 which started the states movement towards a restrictive punitive immigration policy and away from our faith traditions of welcoming the stranger. That bill was not written in Arizona by legislators to affect public policy based on moral values and the common good. It was written on K Street by lobbyist representing the private prison industry working to create public policy that would financially benefit the private prison industry.

They then spent millions of dollars on a public relations campaign to create the myth and impression that millions upon millions of undocumented people and terrorists were flowing across the border to collect welfare take our jobs and destroy our nation. As a result we do not have public policy based on moral values and common good but based on providing hundreds of millions of dollar of profits for the private prisons."

See the whole statement here.