July 2015 Enews

This summer, a select group of Democracy Matters students are working the grassroots in both Iowa and New Hampshire in our "Restore Democracy" project. Their goal is to elevate campaign finance reform and particularly the public financing of elections as important topics in the 2016 presidential elections. As the first caucus and primary states, both Iowa and New Hampshire are critical in setting the agenda for the election. Our students are "bird-dogging" all the candidates - attending the numerous campaign events, asking questions about campaign finance reform, and getting each candidate on record concerning public campaign financing. In addition, they plan to send copies of the hundreds of signatures they are collecting on our DM "Democracy Pledge" to each candidate to demonstrate the strong grassroots support for public financing of elections. They ... Continue Reading

“Black Lives Matter”

The political financing system we have in this country empowers rich donors. But it also disempowers those who do not provide large donations. Unfairness exists on both sides. One has too much political power; the other too little. The difference is that political weakness can be life-threatening. Data on political contributions by race are hard to come by. But a recent analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics demonstrates that the country’s Black population is almost entirely unrepresented within the political donor class. Not a single Black person was listed as one of the top 200 political contributors, and only 1 was among the top 500 contributors. (1) The consequences are devastating. The Black community’s political clout is far less than the 13 percent that its share of the population would accord it in a political system of equality. Because of that, it has been unable to beat back federal legislation that ... Continue Reading