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Intro: "Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the American electoral process Tuesday, saying it is shot through with 'financial corruption' that threatens democracy."

Former president Jimmy Carter, seen here speaking in Washington last week, warned against the 'excessive influx of money' in U.S. politics, particularly because of the Citizens United ruling. (photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Former president Jimmy Carter, seen here speaking in Washington last week, warned against the 'excessive influx of money' in U.S. politics, particularly because of the Citizens United ruling. (photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)


Jimmy Carter: Citizens United, 'Financial Corruption' Threaten Democracy

By Associated Press

13 September 12

 

'We have one of the worst election processes in the world,' Former President Says.

ormer U.S. president Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the American electoral process Tuesday, saying it is shot through with "financial corruption" that threatens democracy.

Speaking at the international human rights centre that bears his name, Carter said "we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it's almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money."

The dynamic is fed, Carter said, by an income tax code that exacerbates the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the electorate, allowing the rich even greater influence over public discourse and electioneering.

The 39th president lamented a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited contributions to third-party groups that don't have to disclose their donors.

He added that he hopes the "Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling," referring to the case known as Citizens United.

Carter praised Mexico and several countries where staff at his centre have monitored publicly financed elections, and he said the United States should return to publicly financed elections for president. The system technically is still in place, but it is voluntary and both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have chosen to bypass the taxpayer money because they can amass far more on their own.

"You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero," Carter said, referring to his 1976 general election opponent. "You know how much I raised to run against Ronald Reagan? Zero. You know how much will be raised this year by all presidential, Senate and House campaigns? $6 billion. That's 6,000 millions."

The 87-year-old Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, appeared at The Carter Center to deliver a report on their human rights and public health initiatives around the world. They took questions from those in attendance and online viewers watching a webcast.

U.S. has 'less influence' in Middle East

Carter, a Democrat who left office in 1981, held forth on a range of foreign policy matters, nearly all of them situations where The Carter Center and the former president himself have been involved.

The United States, Carter said, has "less influence" over Middle East nations and diplomacy in that region than it has had at any time since Israel was established as a nation-state in 1948. "Our country's government has basically abandoned the effort," Carter said, adding that he still supports a two-state solution.

He said he hopes Israel resists any urge to strike Iran "on its own," and he discouraged President Obama from drawing a "line in the sand" that Iran would almost certainly cross.

In Syria, Carter said the civil war will worsen as other nations in the region flood the participants with weapons. "There is little hope of good things coming out of Syria any time soon," he said.

He praised the Venezuelan election process. He described a touch-screen voting system that immediately records a vote in a centralized location, while also printing out a ballot receipt that allows a voter to check the accuracy of the vote. He noted "criticism of the outcome" of recent elections there but said President Hugo Chavez won "fairly and squarely."

While the former president clearly relishes the detailed discussions of world political affairs, he and his wife emphasized that the centre's public health programs have had the greatest individual effects of their post-White House work.

Rosalynn Carter, who concentrates much of her work on mental health access and education, highlighted an ongoing effort to educate mental health professionals in Liberia. After three years of Carter Center involvement, three classes of nurses and other medical professionals have received advanced training in treating behavioural health concerns. The former first lady said the need is acute in the war-torn nation, which had just one practicing psychiatrist three years ago.


 

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+68 # ConcernedConserv 2012-09-13 06:54
Thank you, President and Mrs Carter.
 
 
+24 # MidwestTom 2012-09-13 07:28
Until we "level the playing field" in wealth, big money will control who we get to vote for; and since both parties actually act the same (even though they campaign differently), money is in control. The poster child should be Ron Paul this year; big media and the Rep. party saw to ut that he got little coverage, and made him out to be an idiot when he was mentioned. Maybe that is because media is controlled from NYC, and he wants to pull all troops from, and stop sending money to all middle east countries.
 
 
+4 # brux 2012-09-15 05:59
If you think Ron Paul is going to control money in elections I think you had better think again.
 
 
+3 # Hey There 2012-09-16 10:20
Ron Paul also wants to do away with social security.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/ron-paul-social-security_n_1612117.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4D1yeMfRBk
 
 
+66 # Citizen Mike 2012-09-13 08:22
Here is our Greatest Living American, the most morally upright President in our entire history. He continues to be a sincere man of principle, that is why as President he did not fit in well with our established political structure. He refused to compromise his clear vision of what is right and what is wrong!
 
 
+27 # Glen 2012-09-13 10:28
I watched the Ronald Reagan speech concerning Carter this morning. Watched him lie through HIS "big white teeth" one more time. It did not even occur to most Americans how much of a lie it was. That era began what has become a leadership of liars, not to mention all those surrounding those leaders.

Every good deed of Jimmy Carter's was wiped off the charts during that speech and then an administration that began a propaganda machine to ruin Carter with citizens and then divide those citizens.
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2012-09-13 13:52
Quoting Glen:
I watched the Ronald Reagan speech concerning Carter this morning. Watched him lie through HIS "big white teeth" one more time. It did not even occur to most Americans how much of a lie it was. That era began what has become a leadership of liars, not to mention all those surrounding those leaders.

Every good deed of Jimmy Carter's was wiped off the charts during that speech and then an administration that began a propaganda machine to ruin Carter with citizens and then divide those citizens.


Agreed Glen, but it wasn't just Reagan. Carter was effectively put in office by the international wing of american capital which at the time was represented first and foremost by the Tri-Lateral Commission (which is why Brezinski winds up in the 1st administration) . They commissioned a study to see what type of candidate had the best chance in 1976 and the answer was essentially a not to conservative southerner. Carter had been courting international businesses to come into georgia while gov. so he was perfect for the Trilateralists) . The question is why did they also dump him in 1980 (and why we got Bush senior as Reagan's pick for VP)?
 
 
+7 # Glen 2012-09-14 06:29
Yes. Nothing is simple. The background of each and every administration has been more complicated and corrupt. It would not surprise me if Carter was put up as a one term president, that he was also aware of. At least there was a side to him that attempted good stuff while he had the chance. Too many powerful men got their start under Reagan to dismiss the overall plan of the coming neo-cons and neo-liberals.

Brezinski has been overlooked as a choreographer of much in foreign policy. He is no innocent.
 
 
-3 # brux 2012-09-15 06:01
Carter was another Conservative Democrat placeholder to take the Presidency when times are crummy and the Republicans do not want to take the heat for it.
 
 
+43 # MJnevetS 2012-09-13 09:34
It's a shame that most Americans don't know, or want to forget that Carter's loss in his run for a 2nd term was due (at least in part) to the treasonous conduct of Ronald Reagan, G.H.W.Bush and Reagan's campaign manager, William Casey (who was rewarded by being made head of the CIA).
Casey negotiated an agreement with the Iran to hold the American hostages, which Carter had been attempting to get released, until after the election. In exchange Reagan would release frozen Iranian assets and begin shipping arms and military spare parts which were needed by Iran for its war against Iraq. Within minutes of Reagan's inauguration 52 hostages being held in Iran were released and weapons and spare parts began to be shipped to Iran via Israel. For a private citizen to purposely thwart the release of American citizens and then offer weapons to continue to hold said citizens is "adhering to their [The U.S. Gov't.'s] Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (Definition of Treason in the U.S. Constitution) There you have it; the most revered Republican president (more so than Lincoln!) is a treasonous traitor of the American people. Not surprising from Bush, as his father, Preston Scott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer/sup porter.
 
 
+25 # dkonstruction 2012-09-13 12:10
Quoting MJnevetS:
Preston Scott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer/supporter.


He was also part of the small group that was planning a military coup to overthrow FDR until it was exposed by Major General Smedley Butler (who went on to write "War Is A Racket")
 
 
+1 # Hey There 2012-09-16 10:24
I read a re issue of "War Is A Racket"
interesting.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2012-09-13 09:45
"He said he hopes Israel resists any urge to strike Iran "on its own,"

This implies that Carter's position is that he would be ok with a coalition attack on Iran.

We shouldn't have gone into Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria so there sure as hell is no justification for going into Iran a country that hasn't attacked another country in more than 200 years (when they were still Persia).
 
 
+15 # pbbrodie 2012-09-13 15:32
I don't believe President Carter meant that at all. If you read anything he says or about anything he does, you will know without doubt that he does not advocate war with Iran or for Israel to strike Iran on its own or with ANY coalition. It was simply a poor choice of words.
 
 
+1 # brux 2012-09-15 06:03
Those countries are not going to change from the corrupt festering holes they are not without some pressure coming from somewhere.
 
 
+27 # seeuingoa 2012-09-13 10:07
let us have hundreds of thumbs-up
for Citizen Mike in respect to
President Carter
 
 
+41 # Kayjay 2012-09-13 10:19
Thanks to President Carter for standing on his soapbox and pointing out the glaring inadequacies of America's democracy to the highest bidders. We need more people to realize "Citizens" can be overturned, and thus sever the money pipeline to our democracy. Undoubtedly, the Koch brothers will squeal that this infringes on their "free speech." Tooooo bad for them. What gives the Koch's the right to BUY a louder voice in our democracy? Their money-based megaphone antics only serve their own agenda, and more prosperity for the one percent.
 
 
0 # brux 2012-09-15 06:05
> We need more people to realize "Citizens" can be overturned

Not really, it's not so easy, this is legislating from the Judicial Bench, and there is ZERO chance of a Constitutional Amendment, and probably nothing that will not get bent out of shape by the court, at least how it is now, that will come down in an legislation. This is the new America - one dollar on vote. It's bullish*t, we all know it, but by the structure of the argument it all hinges around the Constitution and Free Speech.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-09-16 10:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJNrdnfwrLI
 
 
+30 # tabonsell 2012-09-13 14:49
If Carter or other Americans want a better electoral system, they would be advised to look at one proposed in the book "Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly." (Algora Publishing of New York City)

By the way; Carter had a better economic record than the sainted Ronald Reagan.

In three terms of Reaganomics (2 by Reagan 1 by Poppa Bush) the economy added 18 million new jobs: 6 million per term. In Carter's one term, the economy added more than 10 million jobs. Carter did 67% better than Reagan.

Carter lowered the debt to GDP ratio to 32,2% by growing the economy more than growing the debt. Reagan-Bush raised the debt past 68% of GDP.

Carter lowed poverty in America to 11.4%. Reagan-Bush raised it to 15.1%.

Carter began a program to find alternative sources of energy and wean America off imported oil. Reagan killed the search.

Carter put human rights high on his foreign-policy agenda. Mass murder in Latin America was primary in Reagan's policy.
 
 
+11 # Activista 2012-09-13 22:10
Perfect FACTUAL Carter analysis - tabonsell PLEASE try to post more -
Reagan's started militaristic deficit death spiral.
America was better under the Carter, was heading in the right direction:
"Carter began a program to find alternative sources of energy and wean America off imported oil. Reagan killed the search.
Carter put human rights high on his foreign-policy agenda. Mass murder in Latin America was primary in Reagan's policy"
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 09:16
Quoting tabonsell:
If Carter or other Americans want a better electoral system, they would be advised to look at one proposed in the book "Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly." (Algora Publishing of New York City)

By the way; Carter had a better economic record than the sainted Ronald Reagan.

In three terms of Reaganomics (2 by Reagan 1 by Poppa Bush) the economy added 18 million new jobs: 6 million per term. In Carter's one term, the economy added more than 10 million jobs. Carter did 67% better than Reagan.

Carter lowered the debt to GDP ratio to 32,2% by growing the economy more than growing the debt. Reagan-Bush raised the debt past 68% of GDP.

Carter lowed poverty in America to 11.4%. Reagan-Bush raised it to 15.1%.

Carter began a program to find alternative sources of energy and wean America off imported oil. Reagan killed the search.

Carter put human rights high on his foreign-policy agenda. Mass murder in Latin America was primary in Reagan's policy.


and he put solar panels on the white house that Reagan immediately took down upon coming into office. good, informative post tabonsell.
 
 
+2 # Jim Young 2012-09-16 10:35
Though I liked Ford better than many others, he was the first President of either party to increase our debt to GDP ratio, not much, to be sure, but then he only served about 3/5ths of a normal term. His actual performance of spending cuts (like Grover Norquist pushes, but Reagan and Cheney/Bush totally ignored) seem to have worked less well than what it actually takes to be growing the real productive economy more than a speculators' tax advantaged gluttony of notional "value" of derivative bets.
 
 
+12 # Activista 2012-09-13 22:02
Agree with ALL above. Carter is/was/will be moral and rational man - moral American.
He understood limits to growth and proposed limits on energy waste.
Hope that the trend from South America (Brazil ...) will reach Washington DC.
 
 
+10 # Guy 2012-09-14 04:09
President Carter was/is a good man.He certainly has my thumbs up even though I am Canadian.
Down with Stephen Harper.
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2012-09-14 08:44
What "Democracy" would that be?
In spite of his seriously-flawe d friendship with the appalling former Shah of Iran, he is the president with the most understanding of the world as it relates to the US and has chosen to grow and try to contribute to the US and Global common good since his term in office rather than sit on his hands and accept lucrative speaking engagements to "Safe" audiences like most of his successors with the possible succession of Billy-Bob Clinton.
His problem was that he didn't play the "Beltway-inside r" game sufficiently, and paid the price.
He just doesn't fit the dumber and dumber infotainment profile so embedded in the US sub-consciousne ss now.
A good man (and his wife is great too).
 
 
-9 # brux 2012-09-15 05:57
Funny how you ignore all that stuff with the Shah and the other stuff that happened under Carter as well as the dismal economy, he set the stage for Reagan and practically propelled him into the White House.

His problem is that he had an outmoded way of thinking and tried to be Mr. Deeds or pretend he was. He's just like every other President. Until years after they are out of office we never know why they are in there for and who put them in.
 
 
+6 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2012-09-15 13:48
Carter did not fire one missle at anyone. Therefore, he did not "fit in" with the military industrial complex. The powers "had to" do what ever it took to kick his (something) out of office.
 
 
-9 # brux 2012-09-15 05:54
Gee President Carter, it's been almost 3 years now, you are a little slow on the uptake.
 
 
+4 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2012-09-15 13:46
Think the Supreme Court, the law firm of the Republican Party, got nervous when Obama was elected. "Worried about minority rights." Concerned that Obama would "push back" too much against social injustice,
 

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