Saturday, November 14, 2015

Declaration for 2016 Congressional candidates to make

I, _________, a candidate for the United States [House of Representatives in the __ Congressional district of __________] [Senate for the State of ______________] publicly declare that I believe the American people should use the 2016 elections to force Congress to face up to whether Congress is badly corrupt or not. The voters in every Congressional district and in every state should say to their incumbent Representatives and Senators, "You need to tell us whether you think Congress is badly corrupt or not, and, if you think it is badly corrupt, you need to press your colleagues in Congress to address this matter before the 2016 elections, to debate the matter in Congress, and to enact (or not enact) a reform for the American people to consider in how they cast their votes in the 2016 elections. If you do not do this, or if you pass reform that your constituents deem inadequate, your constituents will decide whether or not to vote you out of office on November 8, 2016." I, ________, will communicate this declaration to my national, state and local [Democratic] [Republican] parties and to [Democratic] [Republican] incumbents and candidates for Congress throughout the country.

UPDATE 11/20/15
This has been shifted to a separate blog 2016 Congressional candidates' Declarations.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

MAYDAY: Tweet and shout at #MD08

[UPDATE 5/13/16- See NY19]


To MAYDAY.US

Jamie Raskin is MAYDAY's first endorsed Congressional candidate in the 2016 elections.  He is a Democrat running in Maryland's 8th Congressional district.

In MAYDAY's October 27, 2015 blog post  Kicking off 2016 with Jamie Raskin for Congress, MAYDAY says
Most of Jamie Raskin’s grassroots donations come from his district voters.
His main opponent’s donations come from investment bankers, Fortune 500 executives, and DC insiders.
Kathleen Matthews, the leading opponent in the Democratic primary, thinks the way to do things is with a well-connected few. Matthews is a corporate lobbyist who represents powerful interests and politics as usual. Meanwhile, Jamie Raskin has been one of the most effective leaders in Maryland because he puts the people over special interests.
Now Matthews’s big lobbyist money is outpacing Jamie Raskin’s grassroots donors: she just outraised him by $200,000, primarily from special interests.
We’re kicking off the campaign by crowdfunding $100,000 to close the gap. Elect a leader for reform! Be part of the grassroots movement and donate now.Help kick-start in-district organizing and communications, and volunteers all over the country make calls, fundraise, and spread the word.
We also need 250 volunteers — including 40 in Maryland — to build a revolution that will carry us to victory.
Ballotpedia says there are seven declared candidates in this Democratic primary. They are
Jamie Raskin - State Senator[3]
William Jawando - Former Obama aide[4]
Kumar Barve - State Delegate[5]
Ana Sol Gutierrez - State Delegate[5]
Kathleen Matthews[6]
David Anderson - Nonprofit executive[7]
Joel Rubin[8]
http://ballotpedia.org/Maryland's_8th_Congressional_District_election,_2016

There is going to be a debate in Bethesda MD next Tuesday among the candidates. See Local Version Of ‘Undercard’ Forum Features Three Democrats Seeking Congressional Nod, Bethesda Magazine, November 10, 2015.

I have sent this open letter to Jamie Raskin: Some questions for Jamie Raskin.

I have tweeted to numerous Jamie Raskin followers this: "What do Jamie Raskin supporters think about his making an announcement as described at http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html ?" There have been over 450 page views of the link I have tweeted.

MAYDAY supporters should shout into the Maryland 8th Congressional district for the debate on Tuesday.

They should shout that all the candidates in #MD08 announce that they are going to contribute to forcing Congress to act on corruption before Election Day 2016. (For further explanation, please read Some questions for Jamie Raskin.)

UPDATE 11/12
To get the shouting going, I have sent the below tweets to five of the six candidates (other than Jamie Raskin to whom I previously sent my letter).





For you to contribute to the shouting, send your own tweets to the candidates.







If you want to do more, send tweets to followers of the candidates.

To William Jawando followers, tweet this:
William Jawando needs to announce Congress shall be forced to act on corruption before 11/8/16. http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html
To Kumar Barve followers, tweet this:
Kumar Barve needs to announce Congress shall be forced to act on corruption before 11/8/16. http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html
To Ana Sol-Gutiérrez followers, tweet this:
Ana Sol-Gutiérrez needs to announce Congress shall be forced to act on corruption before 11/8/16. http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html
 To Kathleen Matthews followers, tweet this:
Kathleen Matthews needs to announce Congress shall be forced to act on corruption before 11/8/16. http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html
To Joel Rubin followers, tweet this:
Joel Rubin needs to announce Congress shall be forced to act on corruption before 11/8/16. http://campaignfinancereformers.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-questions-for-jamie-raskin.html

 UPDATE 5/13/16- See NY19

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some questions for Jamie Raskin

Dear Mr. Raskin,

You are MAYDAY's first (and right now only) endorsed Congressional candidate in MAYDAY's 2016 election campaign. See Kicking off 2016 with Jamie Raskin for Congress.

I would like to pose some questions for your consideration.

This starts with, just how is MAYDAY going to achieve its goal of obtaining a reform minded Congress that passes desired campaign finance reform legislation?

MAYDAY has on its front page this quotation:
The mortal struggle at hand today is not between the right and the left. It is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is not between the Congress and the president. It is between us (currently outsiders to our own government) voters and the Washington Insiders.
This mortal struggle diagnosis would seem to call for as much unity as possible of voters to elect Congressional candidates who will take action on behalf of reform.

This, however, presents a problem.

Voters have differing views on important issues, such as climate change, immigration, and privacy versus security in the war against terrorism and battling crime. If a Congressional candidate takes positions on other important issues, many voters may not support the candidate on that basis, and this undermines the needed unity in the struggle of us voter outsiders against Washington insiders.

On the other hand, a Congressional candidate who takes the position that Congress must be fixed first, that voter unity on that must not be undermined, and for that reason the candidate declines to take positions on other issues, in all likelihood, will attract little or no voter support.

The foregoing conundrum may have been a contributing factor in Larry Lessig's decision to leave MAYDAY and undertake his almost "Hail Mary" run for President and his idea of a trustee President whose only purpose is to get reform passed by Congress. Professor Lessig denominated this a "referendum Presidential candidacy."

That candidacy has now foundered, so focus may return to MAYDAY and its plan.

The conundrum continues, however.

Professor Lessig could not run a single issue Presidential campaign, and very likely no Congressional candidate can run a viable single issue Congressional campaign.

You are running a multiple issue campaign, as is likely you must.

No one can predict how much success MAYDAY will have in advancing the cause of reform in the 2016 Congressional elections.

Possibly there will be no meaningful success in the 2016 elections, reform will not get enacted by the next Congress, and the situation will remain unchanged until a next chance arises with the 2018 elections.

If unity of voters is critically important in order to force the passage of reform by Congress, and if Congressional candidates cannot run single issue candidacies, and if that can cause the reform issue to get lost in the mix in the 2016 elections, is there any alternative course of action for the 2016 elections?

Here is an idea: Can the current Congress be forced  by the American people to take action about reform before the 2016 elections, under the threat that the 2016 elections will be a referendum on how Congress, and individual Representatives and Senators, do in taking action to pass reform.

It would require massive public mobilization for such a threat to become credible. Incumbent Representatives and incumbent Senators who are up for election in 2016 would need to be put on notice by their constituents that they risk being voted out of office if they don't act to pass reform before the 2016 elections, or if they pass reform and the reform that is passed is judged by voters not to be adequate.

While there is widespread belief that Congress is "broken", there are numerous different things that might be done to try to "fix" Congress, and there will be differing ideas about what should be tried. These would be legitimately subjects of debate.

Indeed, that is exactly what should happen. Both Republican and Democratic incumbents in Congress should be forced to take a position about whether or not they think Congress is "broken."

They can take a position that they don't think Congress is "broken" and their constituents can decide whether the constituents agree or not.

Alternatively, an incumbent in Congress who says that Congress is "broken" can propose what he or she thinks should be done to try to "fix" the broken Congress.

Congressional debate should then ensue.

This debate would be subject to an overhanging threat that Congress must debate the subject and agree, or not agree, on something, and that something will be the subject of the 2016 elections referendum.

Voters can vote in favor of their incumbent if they think Congress has done a credible job in what Congress has proposed (or not proposed), or against their incumbent if voters are dissatisfied with what Congress has proposed (or not proposed).

What do you think about that, Mr. Raskin?

Are you willing to incorporate in your Congressional campaign a public announcement to the effect of:
I, Jamie Raskin, publicly announce that I believe the American people should use the 2016 elections to force Congress to face up to whether Congress is broken or not. The voters in every Congressional district and in every state should say to their incumbent Representatives and Senators, "You need to tell us whether you think Congress is broken or not, and, if you do think it is broken, you need to get your colleagues in Congress to address this matter before the 2016 elections, to debate the matter in Congress, and enact a reform for the American people to consider in how they cast their votes in the 2016 elections. If you do not do this, or if you pass reform that your constituents deem inadequate, your constituents will vote you out of office." I, Jamie Raskin, will do the utmost to communicate this announcement to my Democratic party, to the Democratic National Committee, and to Democratic incumbents and candidates for Congress throughout the country.
I hope, Mr. Raskin, that you, as MAYDAY's first endorsed candidate, will do that.

Thank you very much.

UPDATE 11/14/16:  See MAYDAY: Tweet and shout at #MD08.

Friday, November 6, 2015

What would you do if you were Larry Lessig?

This is Larry Lessig.

It appears a hugely daunting question of what he should do next.

How daunting is revealed by some of the things you would probably review in trying to answer the question.

You would consider whether you should campaign for Bernie Sanders, who has become very publicly identified with getting big money out of politics. If he is not the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton has a plank in her platform re Campaign finance reform, and possibly you would have influence about that by campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

You would consider MAYDAY.US, the organization you started in 2014, having the goal of electing a reform minded Congress by 2016. You would ask yourself what you think are the prospects for MAYDAY's efforts at this point.

You would consider what the prospects would be if you ran for President as an independent or third party candidate.

You would look at historical precedents, including the Presidential runs of George Wallace, Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader.

You would survey the status, sizes and platforms of the numerous minority political parties in the United States. A good start for information and Internet links could be  Ballotpedia List of political parties in the United States and Wikipedia List of political parties in the United States.

You would review the platforms and activities of the political parties to determine which would present the best potential for melding with your plan of achieving enactment of the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 (as that plan might be modified by you in the changed circumstances of your not running for President as a Democrat).

Probably you would look closely at the Green Party and its Four Pillars-Ten Key Values .

Although Coffee Party USA does not appear on the Ballotpedia and Wikipedia lists, you would probably look at that party's activities and its End State Goals.

You would consider the onerous ballot access difficulties if you tried to run as an independent or third party candidate.

You would survey the organizations that have sprung up in the past several years, such as MoveToAmend, Represent.Us, WolfPAC, NHRebellion, and Stamp Stampede, as well as MAYDAY, and which have attracted a lot of support and interest, much of it in reaction to the Citizens United decision in 2010.

You would consider how these organizations have disparate focii for their efforts.

Among them, MoveToAmend has been pressing for a specific constitutional amendment saying corporations are not people and money is not speech. MoveToAmend's strategy has been to build pressure from the bottom up, in the form of getting local governing bodies and the like to pass resolutions urging the adoption of their constitutional amendment.

WolfPAC is seeking a Free and Fair Elections Amendment to the constitution. WolfPAC's method is the targeting of state legislatures to get them to call for a convention of the states.

Represent.Us is seeking to end corruption nationally by getting local governing bodies to pass anti-corruption laws that meet the standards of the American Anti-Corruption Act.

You would consider the successes that are beginning to be achieved at the state and local level, including in Maine and Seattle in this past Tuesday's elections. See Maine, Seattle Pave Next Path For Campaign Finance Reform.

A commentator in the Nonprofit Quarterly is already urging you to dedicate yourself to reform at state and local levels. See Lessig’s Out of the 2016 Race: Here’s His Next Campaign Finance Reform Job.

The foregoing makes for a lot to think about in trying to decide what you would do if you were Larry Lessig, and there would be a lot more as you proceeded with your thinking.

I would have to do a lot more thinking before I pretended to decide what I would do if I was Larry Lessig.

There is a google group of Lessig volunteers who have been discussing what he should do. You might want to join the discussion at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/team-lessig-volunteers/WxFd33P0zPc.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

You should tweet into SC for Lessig

As you probably know, the Democratic National Party changed the rules and therefore absolutely prevented Larry Lessig from getting into the Democratic debates. See https://lessig2016.us/

This has caused Professor Lessig to suspend his campaign.

In a message conveying this to his supporters, Professor Lessig included a P.S., which said:
P.S. Would I return to the race if invited to the debate? OF COURSE! So please feel free to raise some hell by tweeting, forwarding this email to a friend or watching and sharing this 45-second video from supporter Jordan Leigh. I can’t help but believe the Democrats will do the right thing — eventually. Maybe you can make that happen.
Lessig volunteers are trying to raise some hell.

We have started with the South Carolina Democratic Party in connection with its First In The South Candidates Forum scheduled for this Friday. We are tweeting to South Carolina Democratic Party followers individually. The tweet we are sending says: 
Secretary Hillary Clinton is a DemocracyDenier. LetLessigDebate. https://lessig2016.us/
You can help us send these individual tweets. Get the above tweet message on your mouse clipboard, go to the South Carolina Democratic Party followers page, scroll down to a random place on the page and pick a follower to start with. Then:

1. Right click on person's Twitter name.
2. Choose "open in new tab"
3. Go to the new tab.
4. Click on the "Tweet to" button.
5. Paste the tweet message in the box.
6. Hit the "Tweet" button.
7. Close the tab, which takes you back to the list
8. Go on to next follower, and repeat above steps.

You should be able to send 30 to 40 tweets in a half hour. Send as many tweets as you are willing to. Don't worry about any duplication that may arise.

CAVEAT: Anyone tweeting should first read Spamming on Twitter and To Twitter @Support. I have not received any response from Twitter. I believe in the arguments on my side for what I am doing. I hope others do too. Anyone who does tweeting here needs to make their own decision regarding risk to the their Twitter account.

Monday, November 2, 2015

We are tweeting like hell

The Democratic National Party has changed the rules, preventing Larry Lessig from getting into the Democratic debates.

We are tweeting like hell to protest this, starting with the South Carolina Democratic Party and its First In The South Forum this Friday.

Below is a message that Professor Lessig has written to his supporters (if you click on Prof. Lessig's photo blow, there is a video):

From Larry:
As you know, the critical step in this improbable campaign has been to get into the debates. Though we raised more money than almost half of the field, and with you, built a vibrant campaign for reform, the party was slow to welcome us to this race. The polls have been slow to include me on the list of candidates. 
But last week, we were making progress. A national poll by Monmouth found me at 1%. Three days ago, an NBC poll found the same. HuffPost Pollster now lists three polls at 1%. Since the Monmouth poll, no poll that included my name found me with less than 1%.
Under the rules for the debate announced by the DNC in August — and upon which we relied when we launched our campaign — the standard was 3 polls “in the six weeks prior to the debate.” Depending on which polls CBS counted, we either have qualified or could be just one poll away from qualifying for the debate.
But at the end of last week, I learned from my team that the DNC has now changed the rules. The standard is no longer the rule announced by the DNC Chair — 3 polls “in the six weeks prior to the debate.” The standard is now 3 polls “at least six weeks before the debate.” That means, for me to qualify, I had to have had 3 polls at 1% before October 10! You can read the full and sad story as described by the leader of my campaign, Steve Jarding. The consequence of this change is that it is now impossible for me to get into the second debate.
I cannot ask you to support a campaign for the Democratic nomination that can’t even get before the members of the Democratic party. And I can’t ask my family or my team to make any further sacrifices for a cause that has no opportunity to earn the support that the nomination will require. The uncertainty around my inclusion in the debates has understandably slowed support for the campaign. Without a commitment from the party that I would be included, we cannot afford to continue the campaign. 
So today the campaign will announce that I am no longer running for the Democratic nomination. You can see my video making this announcement here.



I have given this campaign every ounce of my energy. I wish I could have given more. We knew this would be difficult. I knew it would be personally costly. But the chance to help trigger a movement to fix the crippled and corrupted institution at the core of our democracy — Congress — is worth any burden. If I had been a better candidate, no doubt we could have carried this message further. But all any of us can do is to give everything we can. I have tried to do that. 
You will never know how grateful I am for your support of this campaign. This fight continues, and your dedication has renewed my commitment to this cause for as long as I can serve. Thank you for your help and your support. 
With gratitude,
Lessig
P.S. Would I return to the race if invited to the debate? OF COURSE! So please feel free to raise some hell by tweeting, forwarding this email to a friend or watching and sharing this 45-second video from supporter Jordan Leigh. I can’t help but believe the Democrats will do the right thing — eventually. Maybe you can make that happen.
Tweet
Forward

Saturday, October 31, 2015

1st in South Candidates Forum: Calling out HRC and DWS

The South Carolina Democratic Party is hosting a First In The South Candidates Forum this Friday, November 6th, at Winthrop University. It will be moderated by Rachel Maddow. The candidates who have been invited and will attend, and whose photos are on the front page of the SCDP website, are Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders. Democratic Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig has not been invited to the Forum.

Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz need to be called out about this.

Rachel Maddow should take a public stand.


Calling out Secretary Clinton:

Secretary Clinton, here is what you say on your website about campaign finance reform:
Campaign finance reform
Our democracy should work for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.“We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political system, and drowning out the voices of too many everyday Americans. Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee."
HILLARY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
Hillary is calling for aggressive campaign finance reform to end the stranglehold that wealthy interests have over our political system and restore a government of, by, and for the people—not just the wealthy and well-connected. Her proposals will will curb the outsized influence of big money in American politics, shine a light on secret spending and institute real reforms to raise the voices of regular voters.
Hillary will:
Overturn Citizens United. Hillary will appoint Supreme Court justices who value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections. She’ll push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United in order to restore the role of everyday voters in elections.
End secret, unaccountable money in politics. Hillary will push for legislation to require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending. And until Congress acts, she'll sign an executive order requiring federal government contractors to do the same. Hillary will also promote an SEC rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
Amplify the voices of everyday Americans. Hillary will establish a small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections to incentivize small donors to participate in elections, and encourage candidates to spend more time engaging a representative cross-section of voters. 

Secretary Clinton, I think think you have no credibility in what you say you will do about the corrupting influence of money in politics.

This is not the venue for that case to be made against you. The venue for that is Friday's First In The South Candidates Forum to which Lawrence Lessig needs to be invited to attend.


Calling out Debbie Wasserman Schultz 

Representative Wasserman Schultz: MAYDAY.US lists you as one of the members of Congress who are leaders supporting fundamental reform.

You are in charge of which candidates are being allowed to participate in the Democratic debates. You are standing in the way of Lawrence Lessig's participation in the debates, and it is believed you are standing in the way of Lawrence Lessig's being invited to Friday's First In The South Candidates Forum

You may believe that Secretary Clinton is credible and trustworthy on what she says she will do about the corrupting influence of money in politics.

As stated above, I believe Secretary Clinton has no credibility in what she says she will do, and that this calls for a debate in which she and Lawrence Lessig are participants. This can start with Friday's First In The South Candidates Forum.

If Lawrence Lessig is not invited to the Forum, you need to be called out on the matter.


Rachel Maddow

Ms. Maddow:

If the failure to invite Lawrence Lessig to Friday's  Forum  is due to influence and control exerted by Secretary Clinton and Rep. Wasserman Schultz, you should take a public stand against that exclusion.

Call to arms for Lawrence Lessig in AL

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is running for President, in order to Fix Our Broken Democracy - First. See Lessig2016.

He is running as a Democrat.

Professor Lessig wants to get on the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary Ballot in Alabama.

To do this, he needs to get signatures from 500 registered Alabama voters by this Friday, November 6th. See Presidential Candidate Ballot Access Election 2016.

Will you send tweets into Alabama to help Professor Lessig get the 500 signatures?

Here is a tweet message for you to send:
Please help Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig get 500 signatures in AL by 11/6. http://al6thcongdist-ihaveuntiljan13.blogspot.com/2015/10/help-larry-lessig-get-500-signatures-in.html
It is very easy for you to send 30 to 40 tweets in a half hour.

Here's how:

1. Get the above tweet message on your mouse clipboard.

2. Go to one of the below suggested Twitter follower lists.

3. Proceed through the list, looking for persons who indicate they live in Alabama.

4. Right click on the person's Twitter name.

5. Choose "open in new tab"

6. Go to the new tab.

7. Click on the "Tweet to" button.

8. Paste the tweet message in the box.

9. Hit the "Tweet" button.

10. Close the tab, which takes you back to the list.

11. Find the next person to tweet to.

Suggested follower lists to choose from

Followers of  Rep. Terri Sewell (Terri Sewell is a Democrat, representing ALth Cong'l district)

Followers of Unite Women Alabama

Followers of Alabama Democratic Party

Followers of Tuscaloosa Democrats

Friday, October 30, 2015

Larry Lessig Supporters Section

Professor Lawrence Lessig's Presidential candidacy affords a special opportunity for messaging to advance the campaign finance reform movement.

I have done such messaging.

I wish to offer Lessig2016 volunteers a place where they can post messaging for advancing Professor Lessig's campaign.

The volunteers might create their own blog for doing such messaging, but until they do, I offer this.

I will call this the "Larry Lessig Supporters Section" and entries that come from volunteers will be designated in some fashion to be part of this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why should anyone believe HRC on CFR?

This is what Hillary Clinton says about campaign finance reform on her campaign website 
Campaign finance reform
 Our democracy should work for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
“We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political system, and drowning out the voices of too many everyday Americans. Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee.”
HILLARY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
Hillary is calling for aggressive campaign finance reform to end the stranglehold that wealthy interests have over our political system and restore a government of, by, and for the people—not just the wealthy and well-connected. Her proposals will will curb the outsized influence of big money in American politics, shine a light on secret spending and institute real reforms to raise the voices of regular voters. 
Hillary will:
Overturn Citizens United. Hillary will appoint Supreme Court justices who value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections. She’ll push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United in order to restore the role of everyday voters in elections.
End secret, unaccountable money in politics. Hillary will push for legislation to require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending. And until Congress acts, she'll sign an executive order requiring federal government contractors to do the same. Hillary will also promote an SEC rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
Amplify the voices of everyday Americans. Hillary will establish a small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections to incentivize small donors to participate in elections, and encourage candidates to spend more time engaging a representative cross-section of voters.


What does the history of Bill and Hillary Clinton show?

It is submitted that the history of Bill and Hillary Clinton shows that they have been master practitioners and supreme beneficiaries of the corrupting influence of money in politics, which Hillary Clinton's campaign website now condemns and says she is going to change.

It is predicted that the story of the Clinton Foundation for the past 15 years, as that story comes increasingly to light in the next 12 months, will reveal how the Clintons have appallingly nourished and further ingrained the corruption of money in politics in the United States, as well as globally. For more discussion, please see Should CFR make an example of Clinton Cash?

It can be expected that, in her campaign, Hillary Clinton will be called on to answer about how the Clintons have benefited from the corrupting influence of money in politics, and to explain why the American people should put any trust in her to make the changes she says she will make.


Note: Hillary Clinton will be speaking tomorrow (Oct. 28th) at "Politics and Eggs" put on by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the New England Council.

Update 1/17/16
If you received a tweet from me giving a link to this blog entry, and you want to learn what #DeclareForDemocracy is about, please go to  2016 Congressional candidates' Declarations.


Update 4/4/16
See this Browsings, Harpers Blog, Nov. 17, 2015 posting Shaky Foundations (The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.) By Ken Silverstein
Also this November 19, 2015 Washington Post article  Two Clintons, 41 years, $3 billion.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hey CFR'ers, get Lessig in the debates

To all Campaign Finance Reformers (organizations and their supporters alike):

Whatever the focus of your efforts, Lawrence Lessig's Presidential candidacy in the Democratic primary is a grand opportunity for advancing the cause of campaign finance reform.

The Democratic debates can provide a national audience and publicity for our issue.

But first Lawrence Lessig must get into the debates.

There is reason to think the Democratic National Committee is deliberately keeping Professor Lessig out, possibly because of a concern that his presence could unsettle the coronation of Secretary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

Read this October 23, 2015 Lessig2016 press release Do They Want Hillary To Debate Herself. Then investigate further on your own, as you wish.

If you think Lawrence Lessig should be included in the debates, sign this Petition.
And send a tweet to Debbie Wasserman Schultz  by clicking on this link:    

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Something for Saturday's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

The Iowa Democratic Party posted on its Facebook page  and on its website the below article "Rod Blum Touts Dysfunction and Gridlock in Washington as 'Democracy at its best'". 

Iowa Democrats, as well as Iowa Republicans and all Americans, should rightfully demand of their President and of their Representatives and Senators in Washington that those elected officials own up and tell us: Does our country have in Washington "Democracy at its best"? Or does our country have a broken Congress that is not properly doing its job for the American people?

Those elected officials who believe the latter is the case owe it to the American people to trumpet that Congress is broken and they should publicly call out their colleagues who contend the country has "Democracy at its best."

Then let there be debate.

Participants at the Iowa Democrats Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday should lay out their views about the foregoing, and what they will do to trumpet the matter and what they will do to call out Senators and Representatives in Washington and force debate about this in the 2016 elections.
   October 19th, 2015  Posted In: NewsPress Release

DES MOINES – Over the weekend, Rod Blum touted the recent dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, in two separate interviews (here and here), going as far as to say “this is democracy at its best” and “I think the Founding Fathers are smiling right now for the first time in a long time.”
Seriously?
Given Blum’s affiliation in the pro-gridlock and pro-shutdown House Freedom Caucus, it’s no surprise that he would view Washington, DC dysfunction as a positive. What’s clear, however, is that the recent chaos in Washington, DC caused by Congressional Republicans is nothing to brag about and far from our democracy at its finest; in fact, it could have lasting harmful effects on our country and our economy.
See for yourself below:
Omaha World-Herald

Congress’ inaction on a host of important issues — its inability to deal with our problems — is doing real damage to our country. It undermines our ability to lead in the world and causes undue economic and social hardship at home.

Financial Times

The US is two weeks from hitting its debt limit, raising the spectre for the third time in four years of what Jack Lew, Treasury secretary, has warned would be a “catastrophic” debt default. When Congress flirted with the issue in 2011 it resulted in the US losing its prized triple-A credit rating.

The issue is complicated by politics on Capitol Hill where the Republican-controlled House is in chaos since the resignation of Mr Boehner and an aborted bid to replace him with Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader. Both events were forced by the Freedom Caucus, a small but powerful faction that opposes raising the $18.1tn borrowing cap without a corresponding cut in government spending.

Wall Street Journal | Gerald Seib

Meanwhile, Washington remains stuck in the partisan mud. That stopgap bill, passed to at least keep road and bridge repairs and improvements moving along during the summer months, expires at the end of this month. It will surprise nobody to learn that Congress still hasn’t come up with a plan to keep funds moving.
CBS News

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision on Thursday to withdraw from the race for speaker has thrown the majority’s leadership into disarray, but it does not change the fact that Congress has a packed agenda for the rest of the year.

Lawmakers face several looming deadlines, including the need to raise the debt ceiling by early November and another government funding battle in early December.
Baltimore Sun Editorial

Whether the next House speaker is Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Florida’s Rep. Dan Webster or somebody else who both the extremists in the Republican Party’s Freedom Caucus and the more rational, establishment-oriented party members can back, the immediate future for that chamber looks bleak. The tea party wing doesn’t have the votes to impose its will on the federal government — at least not while Mr. Obama is still in office and the Democrats hold enough seats to block a 60-vote majority in the U.S. Senate — but it does have enough power to make the House majority hopelessly dysfunctional.
USA TODAY

But budget drama looms. Lawmakers are facing an Oct. 29 deadline to renew highway spending and a Nov. 3 deadline to lift the debt limit so the government can continue borrowing money to pay its bills. Congressional leaders plan to negotiate with the White House on a long-term budget deal that will keep federal agencies open past Dec. 11. For the House, the most pressing business continues to be choosing a new speaker to replace John Boehner, R-Ohio, who plans to leave Congress at the end of this month unless Republicans fail to choose a new leader. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to announce soon whether he will run for the top job. Ryan is being pushed to run by Republican colleagues who see him as the best hope to unite the fractured GOP caucus.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A suggestion for Prof. Lessig

Dear Professor Lessig,

Here's what I think you should do, now that you have dropped the resignation component of your referendum Presidential candidacy.

With MAYDAY, you started at the Congressional level. When MAYDAY got going in 2014, your plan was to elect a reform minded Congress by 2016.

MAYDAY involved itself in a few 2014 Congressional elections.

Your idea was  to learn what you could from those elections, and then proceed to devise a plan of action looking towards the 2016 Congressional elections.

The problem was, in the months following the 2014 elections, I think you came to the conclusion nothing you could devise for MAYDAY at the Congressional level was going to cut it.

As you found yourself increasingly dubious about MAYDAY's prospects, you brainstormed for something else.

You discovered your concept of the referendum Presidency, and you included a commitment to resign as soon as Congress passed reform.

When MAYDAY launched, you said it was  a "moonshot."

If MAYDAY was a moonshot, I think you might fairly well say that your referendum Presidency concept was a "Hail Mary."

OK, it took about six weeks for you to conclude that the resignation component of your  concept would make your campaign an impossibility, and so you have dropped that component.

Instead of a "Hail Mary" play, you might say things have now shifted to a 1000 to 1 long shot.

With your 1000 to 1 long shot, here's what I think you should do.

The Presidential election has good news and bad news.

The good news is the Presidential election sucks up most of the political oxygen, and you very much want your issue to partake of that oxygen and catch hold of national public attention.

The bad news is that the Presidential election is where money holds maximum sway. A billion or so dollars is going to be invested on the Republican side of the Presidential election, and a billion or so dollars is going to be invested on the Democratic side.

The reason you are a 1000 to 1 long shot is because it is virtually impossible to imagine you becoming competitive without huge amounts of campaign donations, and it is virtually impossible to imagine such amounts being forthcoming to you.

Bernie Sanders has established a viable and competitive Presidential candidacy with high public recognition of carrying the banner on your issue. Just about anyone who believes in your issue, and who wants to make a small donation with a view to making a small difference, will donate to Bernie Sanders and not to you.

So, what can you do with your 1000 to 1 long shot Presidential candidacy?

You should campaign as hard as you can on your issue.

You should use your campaign to get your issue played up as much as you can with Bernie Sanders supporters, and with Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina supporters.

You should even say, while you want people to donate to you, if they think you have no chance and they don't want to donate to you because you have no chance, then they should donate to Bernie Sanders.

You should get back to your MAYDAY roots, and work on making your issue an important issue in as many Congressional districts as you can. You should work on finding people who are willing to put themselves forward as Congressional candidates on your issue and do as much as they can to elevate the issue in their Congressional districts.

You should devise a plan for trying to force Congress to act before the 2016 elections, with the 2016 Congressional elections being a referendum on how well incumbent Senators and Representatives have done relative to contributing to, or failing to contribute to, Congress acting before the 2016 elections.

That's what I think you should do.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

To Twitter @Support

Dear Twitter @Support,

I am writing to obtain clarification about Twitter's terms of service for sending unsolicited directed tweets.

I am a political activist against the corrupting influence of money in politics.

There are two Presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Larry Lessig, who are strenuously endeavoring to press this matter with the American people and to bring about meaningful change.

This is ultimately a battle of people power versus money power.

In pursuing its agenda, the money power has access to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the money power deploys its financial resources to buy hugely expensive advertising campaigns, including TV and radio commercials, billboards, phone banks, and the U.S. mail, to put on elaborate entertainment events, and to obtain costly professional consultation and fundraising services to assist in the same.

These advertising campaigns make massive, unsolicited communications to voters. Voters can turn off their TV or radio, throw away mail unopened, and hang up the phone on a campaign caller, but they cannot stop the advertising and stop it from going to other voters.

On the other side, there are the vast majority of the people who don't have the financial resources that the money power has. These people are limited to inexpensive ways for participating in political campaigns, such as by going door to door, or setting up tables and handing out leaflets in public places, or parading in public places with signs.

With the advent of the Internet and social media, these people have a new, inexpensive way to participate in political campaigns.

The question I have for Twitter is the extent to which Twitter users are allowed to send unsolicited directed tweets.

Should users be prevented from sending unsolicited directed political tweets merely because some recipients object to the unsolicited tweets?

Keep in mind what happens with the advertising campaigns of the money power, such as TV ads and that viewers who find TV political ads objectionable can turn off their TV but they cannot stop the ads from airing and cannot prevent communication or attempted communication to other TV viewers.

I acknowledge the widespread abuses of the social media, and I condemn those abuses.

I also acknowledge that unsolicited political communications in any form can be extremely annoying and unweclome. They are, however, allowed as an important adjunct of our democracy.

Just as objections to TV political ads don't get translated into shutting off the ads, complaints about unsolicited tweets should not result in Twitter suspending user accounts.

As I understand, Twitter has a daily limit on the number of tweets a user can send, and, if that daily limit is exceeded, the user is prevented from sending further tweets for a few hours to get the user back under the limit.

That limit should also suffice concerning the sending of unsolicited directed tweets.

If Twitter thinks a lower daily limit should be applied to the sending of unsolicited directed tweets, Twitter should say what that limit is and should apply the same remedy as when the general daily limit is exceeded, i.e., the user is prevented from sending unsolicited directed tweets for a few hours to get the user back below the limit.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I very much hope Twitter will act in an accommodating way about this.

Update 11/2
Update 1/1/16 



Update 1/24/16


Update 2/12/16 

Addendum  2/14/16 to above letter
Twitter @Support: In my campaign efforts, I am sending tweets to people for a second time, and, in doing that, I am seeing that some have blocked me. For the reasons stated in my letter, I hope Twitter does not suspend my account because a few people choose to block me. I continue to await guidance from Twitter. Thank you.


Update 5/4/16



Update 2/8/17

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tweet for Larry Lessig tonight