IN THIS ISSUE:
CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS...CITIZENS UNITED VIDEO...EXCITING ACTIVISM EVERYWHERE...MONEY ON MY MIND...JOIN DM'S SOCIAL MEDIA...FACTS YOU CAN USE...
CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS – DM MAKES NEWS!
Each month, the Democracy Matters chapter at Gustavus Adolphus University in St. Peter, MN prints a version of its "POTTY POLITICS." The specific themes of their one page newsletter -- distributed throughout the campus -- range from war, to the recent protests in Wisconsin, to the burden of student debt. This vibrant DM chapter tables and organizes events around these themes as well. On April 14 they are holding a major "Pizza and Politics Teach-in" involving both students and faculty. Congratulations to DM campus coordinator, Cydni Smith, and her terrific group of activists!
Other DM chapters make news as well, publishing letters to editors, writing articles about DM events, producing op-eds, and using campus radio and TV stations to spread the word. Not only Gustavus, but also Vassar College, Indiana University, Brown University and others have printed their own versions of "Potty Politics." And a long article in Colgate University's "Maroon News" recently featured Professor Jay Mandle's involvement in Democracy Matters, as well as his new book about deepening democracy, Creating Political Equality:American Elections as a Public Good.
Click here to see a list of Democracy Matters articles.
CITIZENS' UNITED VIDEO GOES VIRAL
A terrific short video by Allison Cook, the creator of the award-winning "Story of Stuff," this time focuses on money and politics. Check it out and send it to your Facebook friends, DM members, faculty, everyone!
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC.
EXCITING ACTIVISM EVERYWHERE
Democracy Matters is coordinating hundreds of campus actions and events in celebration of the April Week of Action. The annual "DM Week of Action" focuses attention on issues of money and politics. This year's theme is "Stopping the Corporate Take-Over of Democracy." Campus chapters nation-wide are planning teach-ins, rallies, poster campaigns, improv theater and more. But of course the political activism of Democracy Matters students and our national allies is not confined to a single week:
Democracy Matters students from Notre Dame and Indiana University met up in Chicago last month to protest the 8th anniversary of the use of military action by the U.S. in Iraq. Thanks for the report from Brianna Dines of IU. She writes "One of the best signs at the rally was Notre Dame's "War is Un-Bear-Able" (with a bear on it, of course)."
Public Campaign played a leading role in a successful protest last month at a $1,000-a-head fundraiser for Wisconsin's Republican lawmakers sponsored by one of the country's largest corporate lobbying firms. As Jonathan Backer, a protester from Wisconsin, told ABC News: "This fundraiser is a good representation of what's wrong with our democracy right now." And David Donnelly of the Public Campaign Action Fund added: "This is our pay-to-play political system at its worst."
And our allies at Common Cause, in addition to organizing the California anti-Koch brothers rally in February, continue to protest Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas' involvement with organizations that funnel millions of dollars to Tea Party and other conservative candidates.
Read coverage of the Wisconsin GOP D.C. Corporate Lobbyist Fundraiser Protest.
MONEY ON MY MIND
Jay Mandle's column this month connects the dots between Japan's nuclear disaster, the continued repression of protest by Middle Eastern authoritarian regimes, and the failure of the American government to support the transition to renewable energy, "the only realistic hope." Not surprisingly, the dots are linked by the huge campaign contributions of fossil fuel and nuclear energy producers. It is they who have shaped the disastrous energy policy that continues today.
Read the full article and explore other issues of MOMM.
JOIN DM'S SOCIAL MEDIA
Over 1,000 people have joined Democracy Matters online. Now you should too! If you have not already done so, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Jumo. Stopping the corporate takeover is more crucial now than ever -- help us spread this movement!
Like our Facebook page today, and then in the right hand column click on suggest to friends and forward our page to all of your friends on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter today! Then retweet our tweets, and tweet a link to our Twitter page.
Jumo is fairly new and not many people are using it yet, but it is a social network for non-profit organizations, if you do use Jumo, check us out.
FACTS YOU CAN USE
Adding Insult to Injury: Governor Walker of Wisconsin has proposed to cut funding for Wisconsin's successful public financing support for its Supreme Court Judges. The "Impartial Justice Law" passed in 2009 gives candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court the option to run without depending on private donations, including those from trial lawyers. We can only suppose that Walker wants justice to be purchased by the highest bidders.
Millionaire politicians: While 1% of the American population can be classified as millionaires, for Freshmen U.S. Senators it is 60%, and 40% for members of the House of Representatives elected for the first time. Not only is the Congress shamefully influenced by the campaign donations of millionaires; its members are millionaires themselves!
Women Donors Lagging: Despite the fact that women are a majority of the U.S. population, only 31% of big campaign donations in 2010 were made by women; almost 70% by men. Women may have an equal vote, but they clearly lack equal influence as long as big money drives our political system.
To honor our 2011 DMers we list 10 DM chapters in each E-News.
St. Michaels College...St. Olaf College...St. Rose College...SUNY Geneseo...SUNY Oneonta...Syracuse University...Towson University...Union College...University at Albany...University of California at Berkeley...
More Campus Chapters.