Government By the People

Washington, DC Comedian and Stay-at-Home Dad Enlists the Help of Infant Daughter to Protest Big Money in Politics

Viral Video Encourages Americans to Take Action and Support Democracy For All Movement

WASHINGTON – Washington, D.C.-based comedian and stay-at-home dad Matt Dundas knows no one can resist a cute baby, and, with the help of his irresistible baby daughter, won best viral video of the week in the Democracy For All Video Challenge, which encourages people to speak out on big money in politics. The Democracy For All Video Challenge, spearheaded by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way, selects a different best video every week from submissions made by people across the country.

The video created by Dundas, “Money in Politics is Out of Control,” shows the comedian pleading with Americans to support campaign finance reform and to fight against big money in politics while holding his adorable 5-month-old daughter in a baby carrier strapped to his body.

“This is the most important issue in America right now,” said Dundas. “While other issues might be more important substantively, no progress seems possible on those issues until we solve how our elected officials are motivated and influenced. I want my daughter to grow up in a true democracy governed by people that represent the people’s interests, not special interests.”

The video can be viewed at http://democracyforall.com/entries/money-in-politics-is-out-of-control. All of the winning videos to-date are available to view at www.democracyforall.com/winners. People can enter the video challenge by submitting 30-90 second videos between now and Dec. 2. Full details are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com.

“Despite Matt’s video being humorous, it communicates a very serious concern among the people of this country who want equal representation,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No To Big Money which created the video challenge. “And those of us, like Matt, who are parents want our children to grow up in a country that will give them fair representation and the ability to lead successful lives.”

The Democracy For All Video Challenge was created by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way to tap into the creative potential of people in the United States who support a constitutional amendment that would allow for reasonable limits to be set on money in elections. A panel of judges selects the most impactful videos with $1,000 being awarded to the best video each week. At the conclusion of the video challenge, five best in category videos will be awarded $5,000 each, with $25,000 being awarded to the best overall video. Rather than hire an advertising agency to produce the spots, the sponsor organizations developed the Video Challenge to enable the true voice of Americans to be heard and give people across the country a chance to earn money for their efforts.

The Democracy For All Amendment, currently being considered by Congress with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, would overturn decisions such as Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 

People For the American Way (PFAW) is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American. That means equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. More information is available at www.PFAW.org.

Say No To Big Money is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation for the public benefit with the mission of supporting the ratification of the Democracy For All Amendment that will regulate campaign contributions. Say No To Big Money is nonpartisan and does not promote or take sides on any political issues nor endorse candidates or elections. More information is available at www.SayNoToBigMoney.com.

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Coalition Nearly 200-Strong Takes a Stand and Says "NO" to Harmful Policy Riders

Far-right members of Congress take a dislike to something, say . . . the critical reproductive and preventive healthcare services offered by Planned Parenthood, and they write a line or two into an appropriations bill that says that government money cannot be used for that purpose. All kinds of programs and laws are subject to this kind of indirect assault: Just prohibit any money from being spent on it.
PFAW

Los Angeles Marketing Professional Creates Video Spoof About the Dangers of Big Money in Politics to Support Campaign Finance Reform

Democracy For All Video Challenge Gives Americans Platform to Protest Billions of Dollars Spent on Elections

WASHINGTON – The effect of money on politics is powerfully and entertainingly presented in a viral video spoof making its way around the Internet as part of an online video competition encouraging people to express their views on big money in politics. The Democracy For All Video Challenge, spearheaded by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way, selects a different best video every week from submissions made by people across the country.

The video, “War on Democracy,” was created and produced by Clarke Watson, a native of Colorado Springs, CO now living in Los Angeles. The 90-second spot is a farcical version of the anti-drug campaign that told Americans “this is your brain… this is your brain on drugs” while showing an egg being fried. The video is meant to depict how average Americans no longer have a say in politics because of the impact of big money on the political process.

“I had kind of given up on politics until recently,” said Watson. “I’ve become re-energized now with the upcoming presidential election, which is why I feel resolving the issue of money in politics is paramount to our country being able to move forward in a way that truly embraces the democratic principles on which this country was founded.”

The video can be viewed at http://democracyforall.com/entries/the-war-on-democracy. All of the winning videos to-date are available to view at www.democracyforall.com/winners. People can enter the video challenge by submitting 30-90 second videos between now and Dec. 2. Full details are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com.

“Our objective with this video challenge is to get people across the country to express their frustration with the political process and their inability to have a fair say in government,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No To Big Money which created the video challenge. “This is a call to action for people to let their representatives know they object to the imbalance of influence that exists today.”

The Democracy For All Video Challenge was created by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way to tap into the creative potential of people in the United States who support a constitutional amendment that would allow for reasonable limits to be set on money in elections. A panel of judges selects the most impactful videos with $1,000 being awarded to the best video each week. At the conclusion of the video challenge, five best in category videos will be awarded $5,000 each, with $25,000 being awarded to the best overall video. Rather than hire an advertising agency to produce the spots, the sponsor organizations developed the Video Challenge to enable the true voice of Americans to be heard and give people across the country a chance to earn money for their efforts.

The Democracy For All Amendment, currently being considered by Congress with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, would overturn decisions such as Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 

People For the American Way (PFAW) is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American. That means equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. More information is available at www.PFAW.org.

Say No To Big Money is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation for the public benefit with the mission of supporting the ratification of the Democracy For All Amendment that will regulate campaign contributions. Say No To Big Money is nonpartisan and does not promote or take sides on any political issues nor endorse candidates or elections. More information is available at www.SayNoToBigMoney.com.

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Student Uses Online Video to Help Get Big Money Out of Politics and Spread the Word About Campaign Finance Reform

Democracy For All Video Challenge Gives Americans Platform to Protest Billions of Dollars Spent on Elections

WASHINGTON – With the 2016 presidential race in full swing and more than 85 percent of Americans wanting to see a change in the way political campaigns are funded, an online video competition is encouraging people to express their views on big money in politics. The Democracy For All Video Challenge, spearheaded by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way, selects a different best video every week from submissions made by people across the country.

The video selected this week was made by Tomas Gaspar, a sophomore at Lake Michigan College majoring in pre-nursing. Gaspar’s video shows voters being turned away from the ballot box unless they have money to donate and highlights the frustration felt by Americans who feel they are being shut out of the political process.

“I decided to produce a video because it gave me the opportunity to express my own views as well as providing a chance to influence other people, and I found that to be very powerful,” said Gaspar. “We have so many tools at our disposal to reach others; I think people need to take a more active role in communicating about important issues."

The video can be viewed at www.democracyforall.com/entries/greedy_ballot_box. All of the winning videos to-date are available to view at www.democracyforall.com/winners. People can enter the video challenge by submitting 30-90 second videos between now and Dec. 2. Full details are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com.

“Instead of telling people how they should think, we are letting people tell us what they think,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No To Big Money which created the video challenge. “We want to engage people in the political process and not preach to them; this video challenge gives people an opportunity to express how they feel with the hope that it will be a call to action for others.”

The Democracy For All Video Challenge was created by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way to tap into the creative potential of people in the United States who support a constitutional amendment that would allow for reasonable limits to be set on money in elections. A panel of judges selects the most impactful videos with $1,000 being awarded to the best video each week. At the conclusion of the video challenge, five best in category videos will be awarded $5,000 each, with $25,000 being awarded to the best overall video. Rather than hire an advertising agency to produce the spots, the sponsor organizations developed the Video Challenge to enable the true voice of Americans to be heard and give people across the country a chance to earn money for their efforts.

The Democracy For All Amendment, currently being considered by Congress with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, would overturn decisions such as Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 

People For the American Way (PFAW) is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American. That means equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. More information is available at www.PFAW.org.

Say No To Big Money is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation for the public benefit with the mission of supporting the ratification of the Democracy For All Amendment that will regulate campaign contributions. Say No To Big Money is nonpartisan and does not promote or take sides on any political issues nor endorse candidates or elections. More information is available at www.SayNoToBigMoney.com.

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Citizens United and the Supreme Court

Big money in politics has become an existential threat to our democracy. So how did we get here? Short answer: The Supreme Court.

Animated Video Wins $1,000 Cash in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Video with Splashy Animated Graphics from Student in Pittsburgh Is Seventh Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy For All Video Challenge

$57,000 in Cash Prizes Still Available With New Winners Announced Weekly

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the seventh of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

This week’s winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is an animated video from a student based in Pittsburgh that highlights the need for a constitutional amendment to reform our campaign finance system so other pressing matters can be solved.  The short video mixes animation and music with a written script on screen.  The video explains: “We cannot solve the urgent problems of our time from catastrophic climate change to historic economic inequality without a government that works for the people…The time for change is now. A healthy democracy needs all of our voices.”

Click here to see End Corruption, Restore Democracy: http://www.democracyforall.com/entries/end-corruption-restore-democracy/

Previous contest winners include videos tying a lack of campaign finance regulations to student loan debt and the excessive political influence of the chemical industry.  Last week’s winner was a video honoring the improbable flight of Florida postman Doug Hughes – who flew a gyrocopter onto the US Capitol in April in order to bring awareness to the need to fix our country’s broken campaign finance system.

From its August launch through December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries. 



“This video captures the urgency of the reforming our broken campaign finance laws in a way that is concise, engaging and ultimately uplifting,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money.

“I believe we need nothing short of a mass movement of civil resistance to get money out of politics, and I saw this video contest as another way to build that movement,” added winner Kyle Amsler. “I know that accessible, quality education and healthcare services are blocked by corporate interests in this country due to their ability to influence and ultimately corrupt our government for their own personal and business gain. That is fundamentally wrong and I intend to fight it.”

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/



The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 



Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations. 

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com.

PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker and Say No to Big Money President Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please contact Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.

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Despite Lack of Questions, Money in Politics a Constant Theme of Democratic Debate

This piece originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

When CNN asked for input from the public on topics for last night’s Democratic debate, they were flooded with hundreds, possibly thousands, of questions about getting big money out of politics. But none of the moderators asked a single question about it, either unaware of or indifferent to the groundswell of people who wanted to hear more from the candidates on this issue.

Even without a question posed, money in politics was a pervasive theme throughout the night. Jim Webb kicked off the debate by acknowledging that “people are disgusted with the way that money has corrupted our political process” and painting himself as a leader who hasn’t been “coopted” by the system. Bernie Sanders wove the issue throughout his comments, connecting it to everything from climate change to Wall Street regulation. He brought up the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens Uniteddecision more than once, saying that Americans rightly “want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United.”

The candidates are not only right to bring up the big-money takeover of our democracy -- they’re smart to do so.  Polling consistently shows that this is a top issue for voters and that Americans are looking for leaders who will fight for reform. More than nine in ten voters want to see their elected leaders work to lessen big money’s influence in elections.

But we want to hear more from candidates about how they will actually make reform happen. The leading candidates have laid out agendas on money in politics reform that include a range of solutions, from a constitutional amendment to overturn cases like Citizens United, to disclosure of secret political spending, to small donor empowerment measures. The CNN moderators missed a ripe opportunity to ask the candidates how they would put these plans in place if they become the next president.

At the next debate, it’s time to move from talking about the problem of big money to talking about the solutions.

PFAW

PFAW Statement on NH House Committee Vote on Amendment to Get Big Money Out of Politics

House Committee Tries to Bury the Proposed Bill

This morning the New Hampshire House Legislative Administration Committee voted for “interim study” on SB 136 – a bill in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and allow lawmakers to set reasonable limits on money in elections – which serves to delay the bill in moving forward. Despite this disappointing committee action, the bill, which already passed unanimously in the state Senate, will be considered by the full House at the beginning of January.

Citizens United has wreaked havoc on our political process,” said People For the American Way New Hampshire Campaign Organizer Lindsay Jakows. “Granite Staters have made clear again and again that getting big money out of politics is a top priority. By using this delay tactic rather than supporting the bill outright, committee members have ignored the voices of their constituents on this issue. But rest assured, grassroots activists across the state will continue the push to reclaim our democracy from wealthy special interests.”

Sixteen other states have called for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of elections. People For the American Way has been on the ground in New Hampshire working with allied organizations to support the groundswell of organizing in the state around this issue. Local activism has pushed 69 towns to pass resolutions in support of an amendment, more than a dozen of which have passed this year alone.

In New Hampshire and across the country, reversing Citizens United is supported by a strong majority of Americans. A national Bloomberg Politics poll found that 78 percent of Americans believe the decision should be overturned.

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Compelling Video on Gyrocopter Pilot’s Fight for Campaign Finance Solutions Wins $1,000 Cash in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

New Video Highlighting Doug Hughes’ April Flight onto US Capitol Lawn Is Sixth Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy For All Video Challenge

$58,000 in Cash Prizes Still Available With New Winners Announced Weekly

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the sixth of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. 

This week’s winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is a video highlighting the improbable flight of Florida postman Doug Hughes – who flew a gyrocopter onto the US Capitol in April in order to bring awareness to the need to fix our country’s broken campaign finance system, including through a constitutional amendment. The video, An American Mailman’s Flight for Freedom, was created by filmmaker Mara Ditchfield of Los Angeles and tells Hughes’ story through news clips of his flight to the Capitol in the style of a movie trailer.

Click here to see An American Mailman’s Flight for Freedom: http://democracyforall.com/entries/american-mailman-flight/   

Previous contest winners include videos tying a lack of campaign finance regulations to student loan debt and the excessive political influence of the chemical industry.  Last week’s winner was a satirical video in the format of a PSA which goaded corporations to increase their political spending.

From its August launch through December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries. 

“This video captures a moment in time that sparked a debate about our broken campaign finance system that allows for the virtually unchecked political influence of corporations,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “The Democracy For All Video Challenge is about making sure lawmakers understand the public is focused on this issue in a sustained, persistent manner.”

“Doug Hughes' story has this very powerful, modern day ‘Mr. Smith goes to Washington’ kind of appeal,” said contest winner Mara Ditchfield. “He flew into Washington not just to highlight the problem in a dramatic way, but also to highlight solutions.” 

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker and Say No to Big Money President Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please contact Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.

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PFAW Statement on O’Malley Plan to Address Money in Politics

WASHINGON – Yesterday presidential candidate Martin O’Malley released his agenda for taking on the destructive effects of big money in our democracy. In July, People For the American Way and twelve other organizations released a comprehensive platform on fighting big money in politics and called on each presidential candidate to endorse the set of policies, many of which are included in O’Malley’s plan.

People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“Martin O’Malley has released a strong proposal aimed at fixing our broken campaign finance system. In particular, his support for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United echoes the calls for reform across the country, and should be applauded.

“There are some aspects in which O’Malley’s agenda falls short of the comprehensive policy platform released by leading democracy groups. But his proposal is a strong step in the right direction, and we look forward to hearing more from his campaign going forward.”

Reforming our money in politics system is a top concern for Americans across the board. New national polling released this week by Bloomberg Politics found that 78 percent of Americans believe that the Supreme Court Citizens United decision should be overturned. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this summer found that when ranking top concerns about the 2016 election, a third of respondents highlighted “the sway that companies and wealthy individuals may have over the outcome” – more than any other issue asked about in the poll.

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New Satirical Video Wins $1,000 Cash in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

“PSA” Urging Corporations to Spend More Money Is Fifth Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy For All Video Challenge

$59,000 in Cash Prizes Still Available With New Winners Announced Weekly

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the fifth of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. 

This week’s winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is a satirical video in the format of a PSA titled “The Citizens United PSA” by James Parker of Southern California.

The video uses satire to highlight the dysfunction of the American political system and the undue influence of corporations in elections.  The narrator goads corporations to increase their political spending, saying: “Have a law you need crushed or a bill you need rushed? Simply pay for it… America, government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation. Freedom!”

Click here to see “The Citizens United PSA:” http://www.democracyforall.com/entries/the-citizens-united-psa/

Previous contest winners include videos tying a lack of campaign finance regulations to student loan debt and the excessive political influence of the chemical industry.  Last week’s winner was an original song from a rapper who uses activism to communicate on hot-button issues.

From its August launch through December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries. 

“Satire has great power to point out what pure outrage sometimes cannot,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “This video is a great example of the type of creative message that can help drive Americans to contact their lawmakers to convey the urgency of the need to fix our broken campaign finance system.”

“I entered this contest to show support in the effort to reverse Citizens United and join voices with the overwhelming number of citizens in the U.S. who oppose unchecked corporate participation in our democratic system,” added winner James Parker, a documentary filmmaker. “It seems so illogical to give corporate interests the same power as an individual citizen, and I think it's pretty clear where the public opinion lies.”

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy. 

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker and Say No to Big Money President Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please contact Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.

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Citizens United and the Court: How the Supreme Court Created Our Current Money in Politics System, and How it Can Fix It

Big money in politics has become an existential threat to our democracy. So how did we get here?

Short answer: The Supreme Court.

 

Citizens United v. FEC is one of several Supreme Court decisions that have opened the floodgates for unlimited big money in our elections and are now preventing even the most common-sense campaign finance regulations. 

The judicial philosophy that has enabled these decisions is one that is hostile to democratic principles and disproportionately favorable to the rich and powerful. That philosophy is currently held by a slim five-justice majority on the Roberts Court.

A different Court majority, one acknowledging the disastrous errors in the reasoning behind Citizens United and related cases, could eventually overturn those decisions.  However, that couldn’t happen overnight.

Citizens United itself undermined a century of established law allowing for certain limits on campaign spending, but that decision and even more recent ones, like McCutcheon v. FEC and Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, have now established their own precedents that could take several cases and many years to overturn fully.

While a more democracy-friendly Supreme Court majority is essential for so many reasons, the long and daunting road to a Court decision overturning Citizens United shows the persisting need to pursue permanent constitutional remedies, driven by a popular national movement and legislation to pass and ratify a 28th constitutional amendment. 

Rap Activist Wins $1,000 Cash in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Original Song “Freedom Ain’t Free” Is Fourth Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy For All Video Challenge

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the fourth of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

This week’s winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is an original rap titled “Freedom Ain’t Free” by Maurice "Macarone" Bradford, a Los Angeles-based activist who uses rap to communicate on hot-button political issues. The rap highlights the problems of a political system hijacked by business interests that leaves everyday Americans disenfranchised. Amidst fast paced rhymes, Bradford says: “Politics is business…Rich get their wish list; poor don’t get no Christmas; middle class is dismissed; I guess you must’ve missed this.”

Click here to see “Freedom Ain’t Free:” http://www.democracyforall.com/entries/freedom-aint-free-by-macarone/

Previous contest winners include videos tying a lack of campaign finance regulations to student loan debt and the undue political influence of the chemical industry.

From its August launch through December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.

“This rap embodies the elements of creativity and dynamism that have made the Democracy For All Video Challenge exciting to be a part of,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “It’s vital for talented artists and musicians to engage in pushing for reasonable campaign finance regulations – and we’re thrilled Mr. Bradford is part of our fight.”

“We use our music as a weapon in the fight to make this country a better place for everyone,” added contest winner Maurice Bradford of his band, D.O.P, Inc. “No matter what your issue is, it will never be cured as long as we have billionaires and corporations buying up our political system.”

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker and Say No to Big Money President Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please contact Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.

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Student Debt Crisis Advocate Wins $1,000 Cash in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Engaging Video Focused on Student Loan Debt Is Third Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy for All Video Contest

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the third of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

The winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge provides an explanation of the current problems surrounding student loan debt and outlines how changing campaign finance regulations could provide students with much-needed relief.  The winning video was submitted by Natalia Abrams, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis in Sherman Oaks, California.

Click here to see the video: http://www.democracyforall.com/entries/getmoneyout-of-politics-and-help-student-loan-borrowers-2/

Previously, a spoken-word rap tying corruption in the chemical industry to lobbying and campaign contributions and a student parody video titled ‘Democramole’ won the first two weekly prizes.

From when the contest launched in August until December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.

“Natalia’s video highlights how our country’s broken campaign finance system has far-ranging repercussions – for student loan debt and across the policy spectrum,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money.  “We’re excited to see the creative and diverse range of video submissions and the broad support for the Democracy for All Amendment.”

“We entered the contest because we feel strongly that we need to get money out of politics in order to fix the $1.3 trillion student debt crisis,” said Natalia Abrams, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis. “Removing the powerful grip of billionaires and corporations on our political system is the only way we can move on to helping 43 million struggling borrowers.”

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 137 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. Marge Baker and Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.

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Student Video Awarded $1,000 Prize in Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Parody Video from 9th Grader Marks Second Weekly
Prize Winner in Democracy for All Video Contest

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the second of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

The winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is a parody video titled ‘Democramole’ submitted by 9th grade student Simon Lundquist from Falls Church, Virginia.  The video highlights the inequity in our country’s campaign finance system by telling the fictitious story of two brothers, one of whom is working to control the price of guacamole through campaign contributions to the disadvantage of the other.

Click here to see ‘Democramole’: http://democracyforall.com/entries/democramole/

Last week, a spoken-word rap tying corruption in the chemical industry to lobbying and campaign contributions that hijack the political system from everyday Americans won the first weekly, 1,000 prize.

From when the contest launched in August until December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.

“Simon’s video boils down our broken and complex campaign finance system in a way that is creative, fun and accessible,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money.  “Humor and creativity are an important part of this contest - and vital parts of making sure legislators know the public is ready for the Democracy for All Amendment.”

“The videos in this contest have the capability to influence the future of our democracy and give the next generation's activists, innovators, and dreamers a chance to get their voices heard,” added contest winner, Simon Lundquist, who hopes to make videos professionally in the future.

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 137 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. Marge Baker and Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Drew Courtney at media@pfaw.org.

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PFAW Statement on Clinton Plan To Address Money in Politics

Today, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her agenda for taking on the corrosive effects of money in our democracy. People For the American Way president Michael Keegan issued the following statement.

"Hillary Clinton should be applauded for putting out a comprehensive plan to address the disastrous effects of money in our elections. This is the kind of leadership we need to take on this challenge, and this is the kind of plan that Americans are demanding. I look forward to seeing Secretary Clinton talking with voters about her agenda for reforming our elections as a centerpiece of her campaign.

"All across the political spectrum, Americans are sick and tired of a system that serves the needs of big donors instead of ordinary people. 85 percent of Americans believe we need major reforms in the way money impacts our elections. Republicans, Democrats and independents support taking strong action, including amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United. And they want judges who will put the rights of individual Americans over the interests of corporations and special interests. Candidates on both sides of the aisle would be wise to follow her lead and speak out for a broad range of solutions that can put voters back in charge of our democracy. “

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Current Legislative Remedies to Fix Money in Politics

There are no silver bullets in the fight to get big money out of politics -- we need a comprehensive set of policy solutions that can help reclaim our democracy for everyday Americans. As we fight to enact the Democracy For All Amendment, which would overturn decisions like Citizens United and permit commonsense campaign finance legislation in the future, we must also work to enact reforms that could have meaningful impact right now.

Amending the Constitution to Overturn Citizens United: Why an Amendment is Necessary

Under the Court’s flawed interpretation of the First Amendment, our elected representatives in Congress and the states are hamstrung in their ability to control the excesses of election spending that we are currently seeing.

First $1,000 Weekly Winner Announced in Video Contest to Get Big Money Out of Politics

‘Campaign Finance Rap’ Marks First Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy for All Video Contest

Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the first of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

The first winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge is a spoken-word rap that ties corruption in the chemical industry to lobbying and campaign contributions that hijack the political system from everyday Americans and was submitted by Ruben Diaz of Oakland, California, also known by the name “Chemical Free Papi.”

Click here to see the winning video: http://www.democracyforall.com/entries/its-a-wrap-for-citizens-united-the-rap/

From when the contest launched in August until December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.

“This video is a great example of the type of creativity and passion that’s vital for Americans everywhere to see,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “We’re thrilled to provide a platform for engaging and important messages like these and look forward to more entries that tap into everyone’s potential to tell lawmakers in their own words why it’s time to fix our broken system and restore our democracy.” 

“I don't have millions of dollars, but my voice is louder than any CEO or politician’s will ever be,”  added contest winner, Ruben Diaz, who raps as a hobby and decided to enter the contest in order to voice his frustration about campaign finance regulations.

Click here to see more about the contest and additional entries: http://democracyforall.com/

The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 137 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.

Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.

Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. Marge Baker and Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Layne Amerikaner at media@pfaw.org.

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Beyond Citizens United: Bennett, McCutcheon, and Other Ominous Signs for the Future

After Citizens United, the conservatives on the Supreme Court continued to erode campaign finance regulation by using the principles of free speech to allow wealthy special interests to spend unlimited money in elections.
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