Category Archives: Events

American Elections: The Challenge of Dark Money and Voting Machines

networkforresponsiblepublicpolicy
The Network for Responsible Public Policy Presents

American Elections: The Challenge of  Dark Money and Voting Machines  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Rose Memorial Library Lecture Hall*

Drew University

36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

The integrity of our American electoral process is being challenged from both outside and inside the voting machine. When large sums of dark money are funneled into state or local elections by special interests having an immediate economic stake in the outcome, the impact on state legislation and regulations can be even more influential than at the federal level. At the same time, because the majority of voting machines in use today are perilously outdated, their potential security and reliability flaws create significant risk of machine failures or loss of data. The speakers will discuss these two distinct challenges and recommend reforms to improve the fairness and security of our elections.

Douglas Keith is an attorney and the Katz Fellow in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. He has co-authored the Brennan Center report Secret Spending in the States.  Prior to joining the Brennan Center, he worked on voting rights litigation as a Ford Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow at Advancement Project and trained poll workers for the New York City Board of Elections.

Christopher Famighetti is a Voting Rights Researcher at the Brennan Center specializing in the impact of laws and policies on access to the polls. Chris is co-author of the Brennan Center report America’s Voting Machines at Risk.  He also contributes research on campaign fundraising and spending for the Center’s Money in Politics program.

 

SEATING IS LIMITED

PRE-REGISTER TODAY at  www.nfrpp.org

 

Network for Responsible Public Policy is a non-partisan, 501c3 organization committed to providing authoritative information on key public policy issues to its network and to the public.

* Building 16 on Campus Map at http://www.drew.edu/map/DrewCampusMap.pdf

From Route 124 (Madison Avenue) turn onto Lancaster Rd. and
drive to parking lot on right

Tomorrow Starts the American Promise

nclc_page_picture_cropTomorrow , people from around the country will gather in Washington DC to discuss how to secure our democracy from the corrupting influence of money by ratifying the 28th Amendment.

The National Citizen Leadership Conference

Bill Moyers will be the keynote speaker.

Not in the DC area?  Consider a membership.

American Promise

NJOCU and other New Jersey organizations will have representatives at the conference and we’ll be sure to offer updates right here in the next few weeks.

While the state of New Jersey is on record in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and restore our democracy , we will someday sooner or later be asked to consider and ratify some specific amendment(s).  That’s why we continue to advocate on this site and why we all should remain informed and engaged.

Thanks for sticking with us!

 

Call on the President to take executive action

It is reasonable, constitutional and appropriate for the president in his duties to the American Public as the ‘Administrator-in-Chief’ to make those companies seeking federal contracts disclose their political spending.  We have a right to know how they spend money politically.  Even the Citizens United v FEC majority decision cites DISCLOSURE as the first remedy.

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The president is expected to administer the government effectively. This disclosure is one of the simplest ways, not involving a constitutional amendment or the passage of new laws, to make governance more accountable. But it does still require the president to make the call and administer his spending programs with this requirement going forward.

You may have previously signed a petition on this matter.  If so, THANK YOU.  Petitions have been delivered from several organizations to the White House over the last year and they have moved the debate closer to victory.  But now we are approaching a moment of truth.  The president is expected to decide soon.  It’s time to make a direct appeal.

Like most of the ‘Clicktivism’ campaigns we have suggested to you before, this one is really quite easy.  You call a number; you’re routed to a Comments Line at the White House.  You speak your mind free form or simply read from the script.  For the author of this blog it took about two minutes to get through and then say, “I want the president to sign an executive order demanding that federal contractors disclose their political spending.”

Common Cause explains the Action Here.  <–Click the link

Common Cause will guide you through the action and help you then spread the word for others to join our effort.  Please note that the action STARTED on June 8th, but will remain active for the remainder of this week and into next week.  But the sooner you call, the more obvious our coordinated effort will be to those in White House.  It’s easy, so why not do it now?

 

 

Money Control of Politics: The Broken American Promise and How to Fix It

Just a quick blog today to mention an event in Morristown, NJ on Thursday evening of this week. These speakers are excellent and will take you to the heart of the money in politics question. I strongly recommend making this event. New Jersey Get Money Out groups will have people there as well.  Don’t miss it.

Details and Registration here.  NJPPN Money Control Program – or check out the details below:

CthenK
Thursday, April 28, 2016

7:30pm – 9:30pm

CONVENT OF SAINT ELIZABETH

2 Convent Rd *
Morristown, NJ 07960

 

The Citizens United decision has led to an unprecedented influx of money in our elections, causing a shift of political power away from ordinary citizens and toward the large money donors. Witnessing growing governmental dysfunction and the non-responsiveness of elected officials, too many Americans no longer trust the political process. Our democratic system includes powerful mechanisms for repair, but fixing the broken American promise will require concerted citizen action.

Speakers:

 

Timothy K. Kuhner is associate professor of law at Georgia State University and author of Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution. He will discuss how the Supreme Court went wrong in applying a market-based analysis to the political sphere of our Constitution, and how this has caused the effective transformation of our form of government from a democracy to a plutocracy.

Jeffrey D. Clements is president of American Promise, co-founder of Free Speech for People and author of Corporations are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations. He will speak to how the political transformation has resulted in major legislative changes that benefit special interests rather than the public interest, and how this can be remedied by passage of the 28th amendment and other citizen action.

SEATING IS LIMITED

 

PRE-REGISTER TODAY at www.njppn.org or info@njppn.org

* Directions from Rt. 124/Madison Ave: turn off Madison Ave onto Convent Rd, cross tracks, make first right at guard station and park in front of large building w/portico.

 

North Jersey Public Policy Network is a non-partisan, 501c3 organization committed to providing authoritative information on key public policy issues to its network and to the public.

The State of Money in Politics – Star Panel at Lipton Hall

The Brennan Center for Justice presents

The State of Money in Politics

 

Thursday, May 7, 2015
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

6:00 p.m. Registration and Reception
6:30 p.m. Program

 

Lipton Hall, NYU School of Law
108 West Third Street
New York, NY 10012

 

featuring:

 

Jeff Clements
Board Chair, Free Speech for People
Author, Corporations Are Not People

 

Zephyr Teachout
Associate Professor, Fordham Law School
Author, Corruption in America

 

Ellen Weintraub
Commissioner, Federal Election Commission

 

moderated by:

 

Daniel Weiner
Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice

 

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC reshaped the American political landscape, giving the wealthy more power to influence elections than at any time since Watergate and opening the floodgates for dark money in U.S. elections. Five years after the Supreme Court decision that set these trends in motion, what is the state of money in politics today? What are the emerging issues and paths for reform going forward?

 

**Attendees will receive 1.5 CLE credits in the Areas of Professional Practice. Credit will be both transitional and non-transitional.**

 

Please RSVP at http://www.brennancenter.org/event/state-money-politics#RSVP

 

If you have any questions, please contact Brennan Center Events Manager, Jafreen Uddin, at jafreen.uddin@nyu.edu or 646.292.8345.

SJR19 – a reasonable bill to amend our constitution – Time for a Push

OverturningAfter three years of the NJOCU coalition actively pursuing an amendment-to-overturn, We Finally Have a FULL SENATE VOTE SCHEDULED for MONDAY, 9/8!  It is a vote on cloture, i.e. to close debate on S.J.Res.19.  It is not yet the vote to pass the amendment proposal.  But the cloture vote is significant (particular in this era of fillibusters in the Senate).  We see a vote for cloture as a show of support for the amendment outlined in S.J.Res.19.  Once debate ends, the actual bill may be voted on.

 

Despite broad voter approval of an amendment to overturn Citizens United, the two-party system has managed to divide on this bill.  Democrats are running on the issue in November, while Republicans with a pro-money faction led by Senator McConnell are fretting over the implications.  In this case, we have to side with Democrats.  SJR-19 is a narrowly written and very reasonable amendment proposal that enables Congress to regulate its own elections and thereby limit the corrupting influence of money in politics.  This is a reinforcement of Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.  While the amendment could have done more than that, its sponsors decided to proceed with care.  There is plenty of room for bipartisan support of SJR19.

 

SIGN THE PETITION in support of SJR19 to amend the constitution:  http://tinyurl.com/m9856ow

 

Acknowledging the partisan politics, we would hope to see ALL Senate Democrats vote YES for cloture on S.J.Res.19 on 9/8.  NJOCU gives a hat-tip to Sen. Menendez (202-224-4744) and Sen. Booker (202-224-3224) who have already cosponsored this bill.  We encourage you to thank them by phone or by email.  We also suggest that you call the remaining 5 Democratic Senators who have not yet gone on the record and ask for their support in some form.  Or call a friend in that state and ask them to get involved.  Some senate offices will accept input honestly presented as coming from a national constituency.  As a member/supporter of any national pro-amendment organization such as Public Citizen, Common Cause, Free Speech for People, People for the American Way, Rootstrikers or Wolf-PAC you have many voters in every state standing behind you.  Here are the non-sponsoring Democrats:

 

Pryor, Mark L. – (D – AR)

255 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-2353

Contact: www.pryor.senate.gov/contact

 

Donnelly, Joe – (D – IN)

720 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-4814

Contact: www.donnelly.senate.gov/contact/email-joe

 

Landrieu, Mary L. – (D – LA)

703 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-5824

Contact: www.landrieu.senate.gov/?p=contact

 

Kaine, Tim – (D – VA)

388 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-4024

Contact: www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

 

Warner, Mark R. – (D – VA)

475 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-2023

Contact: www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact

 

For Democrats not ready to co-sponsor – fine.  Ask them to commit to voting for cloture and then for the bill.  Remind them: You can’t stand for the little guy, as Democrats claim to do, if you can’t even run without the big guy’s money.  And we all know how that works.  End the arms race of money.  Many voters also see the gridlocked Congress as a product of dark money-driven, fear-based negative advertising.  And even while the ads assassinate character and work the wedge issues, the parties are amazingly indistinguishable where moneyed interests are concerned.

 

—–

 

For Republicans, the arguments are remarkably similar.  Four quick points:

1) 80-90% of all voters want ALL the money out of politics

2) Small businesses want Citizens United overturned a disagree with money in politics almost 9-to-1

3) Congress’s do-nothing reputation is a direct result of the interference of BIG MONEY IN POLITICS

4) Most young voters, women and people of color believe the system is rigged against them, in large measure because they see how money corrupts the debate.  They want an amendment and reforms.

 

McCain, John – (R – AZ)

241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-2235

Contact: www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

 

Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK)

709 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-6665

Contact: www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact

 

Kirk, Mark – (R – IL)

524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-2854

Contact: www.kirk.senate.gov/?p=contact

 

Paul, Rand – (R – KY)

124 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-4343

Contact: www.paul.senate.gov/?p=contact

 

Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME)

413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-2523

Contact: www.collins.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

 

Cochran, Thad – (R – MS)

113 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-5054

Contact: www.cochran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me

 

Heller, Dean – (R – NV)

324 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-6244

Contact: www.heller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

 

Coburn, Tom – (R – OK)

172 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-5754

Contact: www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactsenatorcobu

 

Portman, Rob – (R – OH)

448 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-3353

Contact: www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=contact

 

Alexander, Lamar – (R – TN)

455 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-4944

Contact: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email

 

Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH)

144 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-3324

Contact: www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=contact

 

Republicans voters support reform.  Perhaps you’re one of them.  While some Republican members of Congress stand with their constituency on this issue, many seem better schooled in excuses for why addressing the problem should not be attempted.  A common narrative is that NOTHING will work.  Without ANY political leadership, they have a point (albeit a circular one).  Another argument is that we should wiggle and squiggle a partial fix into place.  Some of these ideas are remarkable good, but without an amendment to the constitution, new campaign reforms may be undermined with the next court case.  Stranger things have (already) happened.  WE MUST BOTH AMEND AND REFORM.

 

It’s okay to call on Monday.  We want a Thunderclap of activity to hit senate offices on the 8th. Join the Thunderclap:  http://bit.ly/1tOvyY0

 

Trans-partisan Opposition to Citizens United

http://freespeechforpeople.org/node/733

 

Everyone needs to understand that ALL other issues are being held hostage this issue, BY BIG MONEY.  Good governance is nearly impossible.  Voters have no confidence that their voices can be heard over the media volume of big money flooding elections at every level.  Each Senator needs to stand up and be counted on the right side of this issue and of history.  And all of our congress people need to stand with ordinary citizens, not with big money, to ensure a functioning democracy and free speech for ALL.

 

S.J.Res.19 and H.J.Res 119 (full text):
http://freespeechforpeople.org/node/526

 

If you live in New Jersey,

SIGN OURPETITION supporting SJR19 to amend the constitution:  http://tinyurl.com/m9856ow

 

WHEVER YOU LIVE

Several national groups have started new SJR-19-specific petitions.  We suggest you sign any and all.  Here’s one at CREDO Action:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/sjres_19

 

The Daily Kos gives some background on its petition and that of other groups as well, showing that several groups are working together.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/04/1327179/-Senate-to-vote-on-repealing-Citizens-United-Monday-Something-you-can-do-that-will-take-5-minutes

Here’s the Daily Kos petition.

https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/788

 

 

Susannah Newman contributed significantly to this article.

March Against Corruption

Just a reminder that this weekend is the first ever national demonstration against the corrupting influence of money in politics.  The March Against Corruption is happening on Saturday, November 2nd , in cities all across America (and even internationally).

If this is the first you’ve heard about this march, be sure to watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVrf7TmcfiE

In the New Jersey region there are Marches planned in NYC, Philadelphia, Allentown, PA and Wilmington, DE.

http://marchagainstcorruption.com/locations/

Starting at 12:00 noon

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

In New York City the event starts in Zuccotti Park at 12:00 noon.

In Philadelphia the event starts at 12:00 noon in the Independence Mall at the corner of 5th Street and Market Street (Liberty Bell park lawn). The march concludes at City Hall.

Worldwide Web March Against Corruption

http://marchagainstcorruption.com/

Facebook Headquarters

https://www.facebook.com/MarchAgainstCorruption

Going to the event – you can contact Mark Doenges at 856-906-4447

For an explanation of the underlying problems:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html

Anniversary of Citizens United Decision ~ Activities in New Jersey

New Jersey for the Overturn of Citizens United is joining other groups around the country in marking the third anniversary of the misguided and unfortunate Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United v F.E.C..

When:        Thursday, 1/17/2013, 10 a.m.     (! LAUNCH EVENT !)

Where:       NJ State House, 125 W State St, Trenton, NJ, Room 109

What:        A press conference at the State House in Trenton detailing the national, state and local fight to overturn Citizens United and get money out of politics.

————

When:        Thursday, 1/17/2013, 7:30 p.m.

Where:       Bergen Community College, Pitkin Building, Room A-113, Paramus, NJ

What:        A talk on Campaign Finance and Freedom of Speech (followed by Q&A)

————

When:        Saturday, 1/19/2013, 12:00 noon

Where:       Essex County Court House in Newark, NJ

What:        a rally-and-march in downtown Newark with the People’s Organization for Progress

See below for details on each event.

————

This anniversary is a chance for our coalition to show its strength and to highlight the great success we’ve had in the past half-year, for the whole state to see. It’s very important for as many of us to come to these events as possible, and to bring as much energy and excitement as we can.

Thursday, 1/17, at 10 a.m. – Our Launch Event.  Don’t miss this.

NJOCU Press Conference in Room 109, New Jersey Statehouse, Trenton, NJ

NJOCU is hosting this conference to remind people of the Citizens United decision from three years ago (as well as subsequent decisions and developments) and to talk about our work and our success in New Jersey in both raising public awareness and passing resolutions at the state AND local levels to counter the CU decision.  .

At time of this writing Assemblywoman Linda Stender (one of the primary sponsors of AR86) and Liz Lempert, the mayor of Princeton, have confirmed their attendance, as well as leaders and members of various NJOCU alliance groups.

State House:  http://goo.gl/maps/bs33I

We strongly encourage you to attend this event!

Come show your support for change in campaign finance.  Show your disapproval of the Citizens United decision.  Come help us GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS!

————

Thursday, 1/17/2013, 7:30 p.m.:  

A talk by Professor Roger Berkowitz of Bard College, “Why Free Speech is Corrupting Politics: Paradoxes & Problems in Campaign Finance Reform” presented by the New Jersey Public Policy Network (NJPPN) at Bergen Community College in Paramus (Pitkin Building, Room A-113).  NJOCU will make a statement about our coalition’s work during the Q&A session that will follow the presentation.

More Information:  NJPPN Events

Bergen County College:  http://goo.gl/maps/4vh1y

————

Saturday, 1/19/2013, 12-noon:    (PLEASE NOTE – ADDRESS CORRECTION)

People’s Organization for Progress (POP) in honor of Martin Luther King will be rallying and then marching on the issues of peace, jobs, economic justice, and the very important bipartisan issue of getting money out of politics.  The rally meets at 12:00 noon in front of the Essex County Courthouse in Newark, at the Lincoln Monument (West Market Street & Springfield Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07102).  Then at 1:00 p.m. participants will march to City Hall and back.

Lincoln Park:  http://goo.gl/maps/0Dw7e

City Hall:  http://goo.gl/maps/XRxEp

————

There are at least three planned Money Out /Voters In events in north Jersey on Saturday the 19th, each marking the anniversary of Citizens United.  Just click on the name of the city to see details and sign up.  Be a part of a nationwide effort to draw attention to this root problem.

Newark

and

Plainfield 

and

Kenilworth

Or go to a flagship event in Manhattan.

The Kimmel Center at NYU, Rosenthal Pavilion

Additionally, on Friday the 18th, (for our friends in Pennsylvania) there will be a Citizens United anniversary rally in Philadelphia.  Please follow the link for details:

Citizens United 3rd Anniversary Action in Philadelphia

————

To get involved in any of the above events:

Media please contact:

Peter Skopec
Program Associate, NJPIRG
143 East State Street, Suite 6
Trenton, NJ 08608
Office: (609) 394-8155 x 313
http://www.njpirg.org/staff

Committee Vote on bill calling for Overturn of Citizens United

Letting folks know!

AR86 is going before the Assembly’s State Government committee on Thursday of this week.
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/BillsForAgendaView.asp

We’re hoping ALL of you, who can be there to support this effort, WILL BE. It is powerfully important that we show legislators at every step that we stand behind the efforts to Get Money Out of Politics and for a constitutional amendment granting the people the right to ensure fair and free elections. That’s literally what’s at stake.

To coordinate with organizers, please send a message below to Susannah Newman.

Assembly State Government

Thursday, September 27, 2012 – 2:00 PM
Meeting – Committee Room 13, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, New Jersey

Thx,
Mark Doenges