On April 13, a forum was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which discussed the influence of corporate special interests and big money on public policy and United States democracy.
The event—in honor of Thomas Jefferson’s 267th birthday—was sponsored by the People’s Lobby Coalition for Public Funding Only of All Elections and the Green Party of Florida. Some of the topics discussed by the attendees included the effect of corporate money on healthcare, energy and the economy. They also analyzed the issue of military expenditures in light of campaign contributions from defense contractors.
"[We talked] about the correlation between the influence of the 13,000 plus special interest lobbyists and our elected officials’ voting trends in relation to these issues," said Jennifer Sullivan, organizer of the event.
She added that the outcome of the event will lead the group to propose "necessary changes to our election system to restore democracy."
Speakers at the event included Dr. Margaret Flowers, congressional Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, filmmaker Jesse Johnson, chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party, and Pat LaMarche, weekly columnist for the Bangor Daily News and the 2004 vice-presidential nominee of the Green Party of the United States.