People For the American Way

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


Contact: Layne Amerikaner or Alec Saslow at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

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:   

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:

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 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 [email protected] or 720-319-4948.

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