May 2015 Enews

THANK YOU...CAMPUS HIGHLIGHT...FAIR ELECTIONS NOW...MONEY ON MY MIND...QUOTES OF THE MONTH...STUDENT APATHY?...FACTS YOU CAN USE...CONGRATULATIONS! THANK YOU In this year’s last ENews, I want to send thanks to all the Democracy Matters students across the country for their hard work. I am humbled by your organizing skill, your creativity, and your dedication. By highlighting the promise of publicly funded elections, linking money in politics to other social justice movements, and demonstrating what student activism can accomplish, you have moved us ever closer to a real democracy, with a government that is truly of, by and for the people. See you next Fall!   CAMPUS HIGHLIGHT Like many DM chapters, Democracy Matters at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC uses the school’s newspaper to reach out to their campus. Last month, a long article entitled Democracy ... Read More

The Problem of Independent Expenditures

By making large campaign donations to candidates for office and political parties, rich people are able to gain disproportionate influence over the political process. But in the past that power was at least somewhat constrained. In the name of preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption, the Supreme Court allowed limitations to be imposed on direct campaign contributions. The rise of “independent expenditures” has however effectively dismantled those constraints. The combined effect of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court and the SpeechNow decision by US District Court for the District of Columbia, both handed down in 2010, was to free individuals and groups to make unlimited contributions to organizations without formal connections to candidates’ campaigns. Those organizations in turn were free to engage in political advertising and organizing without limit. The courts’ reasoning was that if political organizations are not explicitly linked to politicians, their expenditures on behalf of ... Read More