December 2015 Enews

DM SUMMIT...CAMPUS HIGHLIGHT...MONEY ON MY MIND...DEMOCRACY SPRING...IDEA OF THE MONTH...QUOTE OF THE MONTH...FACTS YOU CAN USE... 15th DEMOCRACY MATTERS SUMMIT What a terrific time we all had sharing our organizing successes and failures, brainstorming new outreach and recruitment techniques, networking and making new friends. Our keynote speaker, Connecticut’s Senator Gary Winfield, was inspirational! He explained how running as a publicly financed candidate gave him the freedom to successfully champion “controversial” issues - the abolition of the death penalty, protection of transgender people from discrimination, racial profiling, educational reform, and more. Joan's talk updated us on recent public financing victories. On November 3rd, voters overwhelmingly supported public campaign financing in ballot referenda in Maine (“Accountable Elections”) and in Seattle, WA (“Honest Elections.”) Meanwhile in Connecticut, legislators reaffirmed their commitment to public campaign financing by ... Continue Reading

The Importance of Movement Disagreements

The need to drastically change the way political campaigns are financed is no longer a fringe issue. The private money-out-of-politics reform movement has succeeded in raising alarm bells about the damage the “pay-to-play” system inflicts on our democracy. Everyone but the willfully ignorant knows there is a problem, and there is an active discussion going on about how to solve it. The campaign finance reform movement has come a long way. But as a movement matures, it inevitably is forced to confront internal disagreements about strategy. Such differences can easily be papered over and ignored when no one outside the movement is paying attention. But that is no longer possible when its strategic decisions might well have long-term consequences. An op-ed in the Washington Post by Lawrence Noble, General Counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, made it clear there are differences within the reform community. In the article, he called out Hillary ... Continue Reading