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Russell Simmons Headshot

Mr. President, Take the Money!

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President Barack Obama in principle is committed to supporting the growing movement to get money out of politics.

But the reality today is that the president has to play by the same set of rules that all the other candidates running to defeat him are adhering to as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.

After President Obama is reelected in November of this year, he will have both the opportunity and a mandate from the people to get money out of manipulating the electoral process.

We all know that it will take a Constitutional Amendment to publicly finance elections across the United States.

The long term goal is to get money out of politics through building a grassroots movement like Occupy the Dream, that is organizing and engaging in consciousness-raising in each state in support of the ratification of a Constitutional Amendment that members of the U.S. Congress are now debating.

2012 is an election year, and much of the political debate thus far is now being shaped and determined by the predominance of money, rather than by the issues that affect the overall quality of life for 250 million Americans.

We see every day how money is determining who ultimately will be the Republican nominee. The primary distinguishing characteristic between Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul is the amount of money that they are acquiring.

Therefore, President Obama made the right decision several days ago that he was not going to let those who want to take the nation backward outspend him for the attention and public mindset of millions of people who will be influenced by super PACs.

I am very clear. President Obama should not surrender. The president should take the super PAC money, win the election and then lead the charge as president to take money out of politics through his active support and leadership to pass the Constitutional Amendment. Let's get to work. Let's make this happen.

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