Monday, January 30, 2012

Digital Democracy’s Greatest Hits

The Next Big Thing?
The recent SOPA / PIPA protest was a milestone for the convergence of democracy and social networking. Let’s look at other important events along the path towards a breakthrough with American politics.

The Supply Side: Alternative Reform Approaches to Campaign Finance

Article On FairVote Blog About Election Reforms For The New Era.

by Joe WitteTyler Sadonis // Published January 26, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Citizens Unite To Engage Congress

"G is for Google"
It’s ironic that the biggest event during the two year anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling was citizens uniting with corporations to kill the SOPA / PIPA legislation in Congress. Do we really need to overturn Citizens United – a decision that lifted prohibitions on political advertising on television – when the information revolution is rapidly merging TV, computers, cell phones and other gizmos?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ads Should Reveal Individuals Funding Electioneering


The US Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010),
Citizens United [the group] argues that the disclaimer requirements in §311* are unconstitutional as applied to its ads. It contends that the governmental interest in providing information to the electorate does not justify requiring disclaimers for any commercial advertisements, including the ones at issue here. We [the court] disagree. . . . At the very least, the disclaimers avoid confusion by making clear that the ads are not funded by a candidate or political party.**
I wrote last week about new rules in Washington State regarding disclosure with electioneering and how recent court rulings can be guides for greater transparency. Washington State laws require the sponsor of political ads appear in the media. The sponsor needs to be an actual human being and not a happy-name smokescreen hiding big money donors. This week I suggest how disclosure rules with federal races need to be modeled on Washington law.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Open Government Conference

The Washington Coalition for Open Government presents the 3rd annual

Open Government: Past, Present and Future

Saturday, March 10, 2012
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Women’s University Club
1105 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bigmouths Funding Political Ads

By Krist Novoselic

Recent court decisions are providing a virtual template for increasing transparency in elections. If the courts say money is speech, and groups can make unlimited political contributions, these opinions support rules for election media to reveal the mouth behind the money.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Perspective: Parades and the Politics of the Street

Parades and the Politics of the Street
Festive Culture in the Early American Republic
Simon P. Newman, 1997 University of Pennsylvania Press


Freedom, democracy and equality — these are the basic ideals of the American way. They capture the imagination, yet also form the basis of our laws. These tenets dominated the struggle for American independence and endure in romantic notions of the revolutionary era. The reality of the period, however, reveals a discrepancy between principles and practice as freedom, democracy and equality were reserved for white men of means. In Parades and the Politics of the Street, Simon P. Newman’s research focuses on the 1790s and how social events and other rites of participation were an important forum of political activity for those excluded from the franchise of democracy.