A Letter from Arianna
If you listen, you can hear the rustle
of a movement coming to life in America -- a movement that will
dramatically alter the conduct of the two major parties and bring
about a new politics. This movement is about you, your neighbors,
your friends and all those who have been denied a seat at the table
of American politics. And make no mistake; the price we pay for
our absence is high.
Calls For Halt To Special Interest Money Events At Convention
Feingold told the opening night assembly of Shadow
Convention L.A. at the Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles that
the upcoming Democratic convention will join the lately concluded
Republican convention as "the worst display of money and corruption
in American history."
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Audio & Video Highlights Available
Come visit the indexed video transcript
for all the Monday festivities. You can view the event from the begining
or you may go directly to your favorite speaker!
Convention Continues With Calls For Reform, Stories From Victims of
Big Money Politics
Introducing a panel discussion by victims of the
current money-dominated political system, Common Cause President and
former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger stated: "Big
money in politics has real victims, now we will show you some of the
faces behind the numbers."
Finance Reform -- Eli Speaks Out
Financial contributions to politicians by individuals
with vested interests means the concerns of the wealthy outweigh
the needs of the whole. Are future American leaders conscious
of this problem? AntEye.com
explores the issue.
D Speaks out on Campaign Finance Reform
"Friends, we are at that difficult
time when we try to decide whether to support candidates who may not
represent all our reform goals, but who may have a chance of winning
and representing at least some of our goals."
Video Clips from Sunday's Event
2: Sen. McCain's speech
Keynote Speaker: Senator John McCain on Campaign Finance
3: Mr. Harshbarger's speech
Speaker: Scott Harshbarger, President and CEO, Common Cause,
with opening remarks on Campaign Finance Reform
4: Ellen Miller's speech
Speaker: Ellen Miller, Public Campaign, with opening remarks
on Campaign Finance Reform
Soft Money Report
The Democratic and Republican national
party committees raised a record $255,977,550 in soft money during
the first 18 months of the 2000 election cycle. Republicans raised
$137.4 million in soft money, while Democrats raised $118.6 million.
Day Schedule in Philadelphia
Schedule Now Available
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As we head into the 2000 campaign season, our nation's
campaign finance system continues to explode, as the major parties
and candidates aggressively compete for unprecedented sums from wealthy
special interests in a campaign fundraising arms race.
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Buy the Conventions
Jim Hightower, AlterNet
"Ready or not, heeeeere they come -- the Republican
and Democratic national conventions! You'll see the pageantry on TV,
but what they won't show you is the bald-faced corruption behind the
hoopla, the selling of the very conventions that formally choose the
nominees of the two big parties."
Wants To Eat With A Millionaire?
It's time to throw out the record books -- at least
until the people decide to throw out the record breakers. Last Wednesday
was a night to remember -- and forget -- in Washington. More money
was raised than on any single night in political history: $26.5 million
by the Democrats (the most ever raised by a political party in one
fell swoop) and $14 million by the Republicans a few blocks away.
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Message Outlives Messengers
It might have been tempting for those of us who care
deeply about campaign finance reform to be discouraged by the withdrawal
from the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain and former Senator
Bill Bradley. After all - they have been the standard-bearers on this
issue and made reform the cornerstone of their campaigns. Isn't a
loss for them a loss for the issue?
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Women Should Care About Money in Politics
women vote in greater numbers than men (they represent 53 percent
of the voting population) and make up over 50 percent of the total
population, the presence of women in elected office does not reflect
these majority numbers. Only 20 percent of state legislators are women
and 59 women out of a total of 535 members serve in the U.S. Congress.
Even in 1998, Congress still looks like an "old boys club." Why does
the face of the U.S. Congress not reflect the voting strength of women
or the proportion of women in American society? The answer has to
do with money: specifically a campaign finance system that favors
You Should Care About Campaign Finance Reform
Factsheets on why environmentalists, senior citizens,
consumers, and families should care about campaign finance reform.
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Public Interest Advocates Should Care about Money in Politics
Money has always played a role in American politics, but in the 1990's
big money has become the primary currency of democracy. Before the
public ever casts their ballots, wealthy campaign contributors vote
with their wallets, effectively deciding which candidates will have
the resources to run serious campaigns. Nearly all candidates for
office (except rich ones) are dependent on this funding. As a result,
well-heeled special interests shape public policy and determine limits
of political debate.
Working People Should Care About Money in Politics
The stunning performance
of the U.S. economy in the 1990s has translated into staggering corporate
profits. One essential ingredient in this success has been the labor
force. Yet, corporate prosperity has not translated into better working
conditions, wages, or job and retirement security for the rank and
file. Indeed, the business community has been lobbying Congress to
block expanded wage and safety protections.
Play the Big-Money Game
Harriet Woods, TomPaine.com (AlterNet)
Even as some women try to reform the campaign finance
system, other women are still trying to win a place in the existing
system. They have the illusion that they can catch up, and at the
very least, that they dare not stop trying.
Even Shake Down Their Own
Steven Hill & Rob Richie, AlterNet
Congressional leaders recently set a whole new standard
for raising campaign funds now they are shaking down their fellow
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits
* Pharmaceutical industry's profit margin in 1999: 18.6%.
* Fortune 500 median profit margin the same year: 5%.