After a long night we finally validated the last version of the Moneyocracy documentary at dawn. 90 minutes at the heart of the campaign finance system in the U.S!
Thanks to everyone who believed in that project, thanks to our great team. This one is surely the first one of a long series of doco (at least for me).
Next step, a big party, an official release, and a lot of work to make it known by as many people as possible.
Moneyocracy transmedia documentary will feature:
Trevor Potter (Stephen Colbert lawyer), John Bonifaz (Free Speech For People), Bob Biersack ( OpenSecrets.org: Tracking Money In Politics), Lawrence Lessig ( United Republic ), Paul Blumenthal ( The Huffington Post), Walter Shapiro, Tom Sutton, Ford O’Connell
Very good read on the recent history of campaign finance by Craig Unger
Not long ago, Karl Rove seemed toxic: the brains of a disastrous presidency, tarred by scandal. Today, as the mastermind of a billion-dollar war chest—and with surrogates in place in the Romney campaign—he’s the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But in Rove’s long game, 2012 may be just the beginning.
The 2012 presidential and congressional elections will be the most expensive on record, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politicsestimates — though not by much. The Center predicts, based on data from 18 months of fundraising and spending, that the elections will cost $5.8 billion, an increase of 7 percent from the 2008 cost of $5.4 billion. But outside spending, which is soaring while presidential candidate spending declines, is a wild card that makes predictions tricky.
So far overall in the first 18 months of the 2012 cycle, $2.2 billion has been spent, compared with $2.4 billion in 2008.
Here’s a troubling video of Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) being asked about whether or not it would be fine for foreign corporations to influence elections in total secrecy - using the legal disposition created by Citizens United v. FEC and Speechnow v. FEC. Even if the Senator Blunt answer is not reflecting a clear stand for or against foreign influence in the general elections, his answer suggest that the disclosure act “isn’t a serious legislative issue”.
A Chinese, Russian, or Venezuelan corporation can legally influence American elections in secret, simply by setting up a corporation here, then funding a 501(c) group with some innocuous name to run attack ads. The ads could help elect lawmakers who support trade or foreign policy issues favorable to these countries, and the whole process would be perfectly legal and undisclosed under our current campaign finance system.
In the very same time, the Associated Press released a poll result showing that
63 percent believe corporations or unions should not be able to spend as much as they want supporting political candidates, while 30 percent said they should spend freely.
Read the post here.
More than $130 million in secret money sailed through this loophole and into the 2010 elections; hundreds of millions more are flowing into this year’s races for control of the White House and Congress.
(via the Huffington Post)
Following our interest in the campaign finance laws, Super PACs influence over the elections and money in politics, we’ve been looking for infographics about that subject.
If you come across some very interesting pieces, don’t hesitate to share them on that wall.
And because we love documentaries, we’ve also decided to share a list of our preferred docos.
Read this very interesting post by Professor Lawrence Lessig. In “Big Campaign Spending: Government by the 1%”, Lessig describes how big donors (and therefore the Citizens United supreme court decision) is a threat to american democracy and why a campaign finance reform is needed.
… “because of the way we fund the campaigns that determine our elections, we give the tiniest fraction of America the power to veto any meaningful policy change. Not just change on the left but also change on the right. Because of the structure of influence that we have allowed to develop, the tiniest fraction of the one percent have the effective power to block reform desired by the 99-plus percent.”
Read more on the Atlantic.
Lawyer and activist Lawrence Lessig, founders of the Creative Commons delivers his view to Science Po students about copyright laws in the U.S. Lessig is a director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining Harvard, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons.
(Photo Lawrence Lessig at Science Po Paris: Gerald Holubowicz/Laif)
Here’s a very interesting piece wrote by Matt Bai in the New York Times magazine section.
Citizens United and a couple of related court decisions changed all of this in two essential ways (…) First, the Supreme Court wiped away much of the rigmarole about “express advocacy” and “electioneering.” Now any outside group can use corporate money to make a direct case for who deserves your vote and why, and they can do so right up to Election Day. The second change is that the old 527s have now been made effectively obsolete, replaced by the super PAC. The main difference between a super PAC and a social-welfare group, practically speaking, is that a super PAC has to disclose the identity of its donors, while social-welfare groups generally do not.
Bill Moyers: The Hoax of Citizens United and Free Speech (Video)
Bill Moyers explains how last week’s Supreme Court decision not to reconsider Citizens United exposes the hoax that Citizens United was ever about “free” speech.
Does not having money indicate you don’t have a voice in democracy? Why do some people get to vote once, while others vote a million times?