In 1996, voters in Maine passed a law based on a simple idea: that the amount of people supporting a candidate should matter more than the amount of dollars a candidate could raise. Adam talks to David Donnelly, the president of Every Voice and the campaign manager of that campaign 19 years ago. David recalls the inspiring people he met on the campaign, the strategy they used to win, the nail biter on election day -- there's even a love story! This is the first of a three-part series on Maine.
This week, Adam talks to Rio Tazewell, the campaign coordinator at People For The American Way. Rio breaks down the Citizens United decision -- what exactly it does, how things have changed since, and how the Democracy For All amendment can fix it. Then they talk about Rio's latest project -- a video contest where you can win up to $25,000 for submitting a video about Democracy For All and money in politics!
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Adam is on vacation this week, so Francoise usurps his hosting duties once again and welcomes Rahna Epting to the show. Rahna is the chief of staff at Every Voice, and has been working to get the presidential campaigns to commit to a specific and meaningful agenda to fight big money and empower people in politics. They go over the five main principles of the agenda, the specific policies that candidates should commit to, and the progress of getting the candidates to endorse this agenda. No Beyonce references this week, but we do learn where Rahna would live if she could pick any place in the world.
From the episode:
Adam speaks with Tam Doan, the research director at our sister organization, Every Voice Center. They talk about the findings from Tam's latest research about who, exactly, the big donors are to the presidential campaigns. And you'll never guess what happens next! Actually, you probably will: they're mostly white and super rich. But Tam does drop a few bombshells, like that HALF of the $74 million raised in large individual donations came from 1 percent of the country's zip codes, or that 19 super PAC donors EACH gave more money than all the majority black areas in the country COMBINED! Adam also finds a way to work Beyonce into the conversation, and we find out the one question Tam would ask at the GOP presidential debate.
To read the report they're talking about, visit: http://www.everyvoicecenter.org/the-issue/. To read the Demos Stacked Deck report they reference in the episode, visit http://www.demos.org/stacked-deck-how-dominance-politics-affluent-business-undermines-economic-mobility-america.