Money is pouring into this year's mid-term election -- mostly from the pockets of right-wing billionaires. The total is projected to top $4 billion.
Thirteen states have annual budgets of $4 billion or less.
Try to wrap your mind around that fact. The money this small group of extremely wealthy people has to spend on politics is more than a state like Nevada, Delaware or Nebraska spends in an entire year.
We know what our state legislatures purchase. They debate public priorities, and then publicly spend our public money on things like roads, bridges, prisons, police officers, schools and other vital services.
Most of the $4 billion dumped into politics this year will purchase the exact opposite. It's being spent to advance private interests -- to elect candidates and buy policies that will enrich people who already have more money than they know what to do with while cutting services working families rely on.
Who will win in November? The interests and values of the vast majority of America -- the 99 percent -- are up against the 1 percent.
That's what's at stake this year.
If you're anything like me, you have grown exhausted by the political TV ads long ago. You probably tune them out. I know I do. And that reality points to the weak spot in the billionaires' plan. Their money can buy a lot of air time, and it can influence some people, but it doesn't buy our votes. We get to cast our ballots ourselves. And that's incredibly important.
Here's why you should care enough to cast your vote.
Republicans running for U.S. Senate have promised ultra-wealthy backers that they'll raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, cut benefits and privatize the whole system. They want to voucherize Medicare, hold down the minimum wage, kill investment in public roads and bridges and more. Some of those vying for state legislatures are trying to block earned sick leave, destroy workers' rights and deny us the right to vote.
These right-wing attacks on America won't create jobs or prosperity -- but they will restrict our democracy and redirect more wealth to those who need it least.
The ideas coming from extreme politicians in Washington are very unpopular with the large majority of Americans. We see it all the time. All across this country, in poll after poll after poll, we hear Democrats, Independents and Republicans say, "We want an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few."
Three out of every four voters think we should raise the minimum wage. Nearly 70 percent of working-class Republicans say, "It shouldn't be this hard to support a family."
The politicians funded by the right-wing billionaires don't share our values. They talk a lot about "liberty" and "free markets" while rigging our economic system for the wealthy few at the expense of the rest of us.
That's not the America I want, and I bet you don't want it, either.
As voters, each of us has a choice. You can choose good jobs and forward progress with candidates who support working families. Or you can stay home on Election Day and give another election to a politician who serves distant CEOs instead of hard-working people.
I'm asking you to join the growing movement of people who want America to work for the people who work. Make sure you're prepared to vote. Get all the information you need at myvotemyright.org, where you can register to vote and sign up to get text message reminders. Do it for yourself, do it for your family and do it for all the working people around you who want America's leaders to share our American values.