February 2015 Enews

DM NATIONAL STUDENT SUMMIT...CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS...QUOTE OF THE MONTH...IDEA OF THE MONTH...MONEY ON MY MIND...FIGHTING BACK AGAINST BIG MONEY IN POLITICS...FACTS YOU CAN USE THE DEMOCRACY MATTERS NATIONAL STUDENT SUMMIT The fantastic Democracy Matters Summit drew activists from California, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and more. We spent two exciting days strategizing, sharing ideas, networking, and learning from experts and each other. A few highlights included a talk by DM founder Adonal Foyle, a luncheon keynote address by Fordham University Law Professor Zephyr Teachout who ran for NY Governor in 2014, as well as interactive workshops on lobbying, using social media, organizing S.M.A.R.T events, and building great DM chapters. Everyone left inspired to bring all the creative ideas that they had learned back to their campuses and continue to build the movement to get ... Read More

The Erosion of Democracy

The control of American politics, like so much in this country, has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite. This trend can be seen by comparing patterns of political expenditures and voter participation in the non-presidential elections of 2006 and 2014. Between these years, enough time has passed for trends to become clear, while they are not so distant from each other so as to make comparison inappropriate. The first thing to note is that between those years, private political contributions to candidates, adjusted for inflation, declined 8.9 percent. 1. Some have argued that this decline signifies recognition by potential donors that giving money is an ineffective way to influence politicians. 2. But it is likely that this view is erroneous, and what is going on instead is that the wealthy elite is increasing its grip on the political process. This inference is consistent with three recent developments. In ... Read More