Borowitz Report: Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky is the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2052. #satire
I recently joined Lawrence Lessig’s citizen-funded MAYDAY.US campaign – an ambitious experiment to win a Congress committed to ending corruption in 2016 – and we did something amazing: We raised $1 million in 12 days in May. Matching funds brought that up to $2 million and that’s a ton of money, but it’s not enough.
So, what’s the plan?
We have launched an experiment to see whether we can kick-start a campaign for fundamental reform.
That campaign will occur across at least two election cycles.
If we raise our funding targets, in 2014, we will launch a small campaign in at least 5 congressional districts. Based on what we learn in those 5 districts, we will launch a much larger campaign to get us to 218 votes in the House, and 60 votes in the United States Senate.
We will set a series of targets two in 2014, more for the 2016 cycle in which we announce a fundraising goal, and ask people to commit to that goal.
People “commit” by pledging a contribution anywhere between $5 and $10,000 to the Mayday PAC. Those funds are kept only if we reach the target by the target date. If we don’t meet the goal, no pledges are kept by Mayday PAC.
Our next goal is to raise $5 million more by July 4, and I’m writing this post to my friends and family to ask if you can help us get the rest of the way there. If all of us who have supported the campaign so far each recruit just five matching pledges, we’d easily hit that goal. But I’d like to see if I can recruit ten of my friends to donate. So my question is: will you be one of those ten?
I don’t pledge to much but I pledged to this. MayOne.us is attempting to kickstart fundamental reform by reducing the influence of money in politics. They are creating a publicly funded SuperPAC to support candidates that will fight for campaign finance reform.
Government has failed us. More than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics.
Yet the politicians ignore this influence. While America founders, they spend endless time with their funders.
These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom, and get it back.
We’re going to kickstart a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.
Or at least we’re going to try.
MayOne.us will meet their first goal of raising $1 million during the month of May. Next is a goal of $5 million by July 1st. If these goals are not met, no one will have to pay their pledge. However, it’s now 13 days into May and the total stands at $956,268, including my measly $25. So, the support is there. Watch this video by Lawrence Lessig to learn more. Then spread the word.
Photo and video courtesy of mayone.us
In late August 2013, Tuolumne County became host to the third largest wildfire in California history. The Rim Fire went on to consume almost 257,000 acres or over 400 square miles of forest. At this writing, full containment is not expected before October 1st and there were times when the fire threatened over 4,500 homes. Residents of those homes were under an evacuation “advisory” and many people, including me and my family, chose to leave the area for a time. To many it was a catastrophe of biblical proportions.
On Saturday, August 24th, I attended a town hall meeting at the Sierra Bible Church, one of the largest meeting places in the area. Officials from the Forest Service, Cal Fire, the Tuolumne County Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors briefed the public on what what known and what we might expect in the coming days. At that meeting, District 5 Supervisor Karl Rodefer led the meeting in prayer. He prayed for the safety of the firefighters and other emergency workers. He prayed that those who had been put out of their homes and were facing hardship would have a safe return. He prayed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Listening to this, I had several conflicting reactions. I tried to connect with the words and empathize with the people around me. However, as the prayer continued, I became dismayed that an elected official was going so far into the realm of the church. I’m sure that this view put me in the minority. Many, if not most of people in the hall found the act appropriate and probably drew comfort from it. Supervisor Rodefer obviously offered the prayer in all sincerity and with the intent of supporting his community.
And yet, by doing so, he stopped representing me. I am a non-religious person who does not pray in the traditional sense. If I followed the religion of my heritage, as a Jew I would not pray to Jesus. Supervisor Rodefer’s job at this event was to represent the interests of everyone in Tuolumne County, including the non-believers. By voicing his deepest hopes and strongest concerns in the form of a denominational prayer, he chose to excluded some small portion of us. No matter how strong his personal beliefs, this is not what he was elected to do.
On September 3rd, the evacuation advisory was lifted and everyday life has since returned to normal. The fire still burns in wilderness areas of the Stanislaus National Forest but it will remain contained until the rains come and douse it completely. I hope that in future times of crisis – which will surely come – our elected officials will recognize their obligation to speak in words that are accessible to everyone they represent, regardless of their faith or level of belief.