The Huffington Post reported that in the White House there is a “We the People” website. “We the People,” is the White House’s official online petitioning platform. It has increased the number of signatures needed for a response from the administration from 25,000 to 100,000, citing huge surges in users and petitions as a reason for the change.
When the website was created, it required 5,000 signatures. After 2011 when the website became popular, 25,000 was the threshold. The website has raised the threshold again to 100,000.
One novel petition desired forcing congressional lawmakers to prominently show who their financial backers are. The petition wants lawmakers to display on their shirts as NASCAR drivers do who their monetary support comes from. The petitioners believe the public has a need to know the lobbies that lawmakers are helping.
Because most politicians’ campaigns for office are funded by companies and people who have money rather than the politicians themselves, the idea of making lawmakers indicate who is supporting them would give registered voters a more transparent sense of who the politicians are really representing when they are in office.
The people behind the petition want the political candidates to put on their logos of the companies or individuals so the public knows their names. The petitioners want lawmakers to wear clothing at all public appearances and debates and other campaign happenings. Once put in office, the politicians would have to continue to put on the names of the contributors or sponsors during all official activities as NASCAR drivers do when they drive around racetracks and attend racing press events.
The petitioners want the lawmakers to make it known to the voters who helped them into office when they do tours to constituents. The size of a logo on the clothing and marketing collateral would not be the same size depending on the amount of donation. For instance, a $1 million dollar contribution may lead to a name that is around 4″ by 8″ on the chest. A free meal from a lobbyist may garner a quarter-sized button. Donations from individual such as contributions from a politician’s family and friends under $1000 are exempt.
The executive branch may not cheer on such a change in clothing. The dress code rules may be broken if lawmakers wore the names of their sponsors. The petitioners are an example of the reasons for why the White House increased the signature threshold 25,000 to 100,000 for changes in laws.
Another example of a novel petition is one asking for the construction of a Star Wars-style “Death Star.” There was also jokster type petition on asking President Barack Obama to make R. Kelly’s 2003 hit “Ignition (Remix) the national anthem.
Legitimate petitions have met the new 1000,000 benchmark. There is the petition asking the White House to prevent a cybersecurity bill. There is a petition against the suspension of the military’s tuition assistance program which has helped online colleges get a boost in admissions. This particular petition went past 100,000 signatures recently.