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Life Arts    H2'ed 4/9/14

Who Will Be The Next US Senator To Hear The American People On Reversing Citizens United?

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If you are a busy person, who does not have time to call during the workday, there is still absolutely no reason why you cannot leave a phone message anytime at your leisure.  They all have answering machines and the congressional operators are on duty around the clock.

JB: Good point, PEN. Is there anything to be learned by examining the geographic distribution of the cosponsors to know where to best apply the pressure or are you simply calling for a full-court press? And what's the time-frame here?

PEN: A full-court press absolutely, and here is why: In the house, the 34 cosponsors are the usual most liberal Democrats.  But their seats are not the ones in danger.  Take a look at Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas.  Nate Silver (the ultimate election forecasting guru) is predicting a 70% chance he is going down.  What's going to change that dynamic?  It is precisely in the most conservative states that this is the one issue that can turn things around for Democrats, if they will accept the lifeline we are throwing them.  

As far as time frame, we are in this for the long haul.  A constitutional amendment initiative will require not just congressional passage but ratification in three-quarters of the states, over multiple elections.  And here is the incredible bonus: The same thing works at the state level too.  

JB: What are you referring to specifically?

PEN: "Elect more Democrats so we can reverse Citizens United."  It's a strategic opportunity to transform our government at all levels in a fundamental way.  And that is why we are throwing everything we have behind this.  As you know, we are hard at work on a new full length feature dramatic movie precisely about all this, Citizens United, The Movie, and the response so far has been tremendous.  We launched a Kickstarter project just 13 days ago, and already we have pledges for more than 200% of our initial goal.  Last time I checked, we were the number three most popular film/video project there out of 30,000 total such projects on the Kickstarter site.

JB: Third place in a field of 30,000: impressive. And a very good sign.

PEN: People REALLY want this to happen.  And all the politicians have to do is notice this and we WIN.  Do you want to know how much support there is for this?  We posted a video asking for help to put professional narration on a video sequence that was otherwise finished of a faux defense contractor ad, to make a political point of the extent to which special interest corporations have taken over the concept of "the People."  Well . . . we immediately started hearing from top level voiceover artists literally from all over the world, volunteering to record parts in their own studios, and they did, and we already have those parts edited and you can hear the amazing result on the Kickstarter page now .  

JB: Cool! I'm going to go to the site and see for myself. Anything you'd like to add before we close, PEN?

PEN: We are dearly hoping that the Democratic party gets this for their own sake, and for our own, all of us.  Yes, make phone calls, but also be sure that you submit the regular action page on this . It it could not be more easy.  One click and you speak out to all your three members of Congress at once.

JB: Thanks for talking with me again. It's always a pleasure. As you say, this is going to be an ongoing battle so we need to be ratcheted up for the long term. So glad you've made getting involved and being heard so painless.  And, unless our readers are part of the very, very small slice of our society who actually benefit from the Citizens United decision and its aftermath, we can all unite on the importance of overturning this democracy-eating decision through an overwhelming show of people power.

PEN: Thank you again, for your time, Joan.  You are yourself making an amazing difference by what you do.

JB: Back atcha.


link to Citizens United, the Movie at Kickstarter

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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