Let the People Decide, by Gavin Guerra. "Since the founding of this country, who gets to vote has been a contested issue. In 2013 a controversial Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act further inflamed the issue as photo ID requirements and other strict voting regulations spread to many states.... LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE will connect the dots across generations to illustrate how events from over 50 years ago are still reverberating in today’s heated political climate."
Suppressed 2020: The Fight To Vote, by Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films, "is a short, powerful documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression to our 2020 election. Deeply personal accounts from voters of color across the state of Georgia reveal deliberate, widespread voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election…. Polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and voter ID issues were in full effect again during the 2020 primaries and are on-going across the country right now, all disproportionately affecting Black Americans and minorities from casting their ballots…. Suppressed 2020 is a call to action against the calculated, unconstitutional and racist attacks intended to suppress the right to vote in America."
Dark Money, by Kimberly Reed, "takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide…. Dark Money uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold.” Speakers in this political thriller (2018) point out: “Americans are barraged by political advertisements that are funded by who knows whom. We don’t even know if they’re domestic”.... “Politics is just child’s play to business. They know how to manipulate the system. You can buy the politicians; you can buy the judges.”
Available to stream at Amazon Prime Video.
Made by Wolf-PAC for Get Money Out—Maryland, this video focuses on citizen action at the Maryland State House in 2017, featuring GMOM president Charlie Cooper and volunteers.
When U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin was a Maryland State Senator, he strongly supported GMOM’s Democracy Amendment Resolution. In this 2014 talk, he also pinpointed the disaster of Citizens United. "In the Supreme Court term right after Citizens United was decided," he said, "there were eight decisions where the corporate interest was lined up directly against the public interest. In every single one of them, the Court went with the corporations." Among those rulings—pharmaceutical companies won against doctors and patients on consumer privacy, Walmart won against millions of low-wage women workers, foreign multinational corporations won against injured American workers, and corporate wrongdoers prevailed against citizen whistleblowers "This is the Citizens United era that we’re in," he declared. "Everything is about corporate power…. And the Citizens United decision is just the most extreme example of empowering and transforming corporations."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and scholar Lawrence Lessig spoke at the Constitutional Accountability Center prior to the 2014 Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, which struck down limits on the amount an individual may contribute during a two-year period to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees combined. Sen. Warren traced the Chamber of Commerce’s rate of wins in the Supreme Court—from 43% during the last five terms of Warren Burger’s tenure as Chief Justice (1969-1986), to a 70% win rate under Chief Justice John Roberts. "Follow this pro-corporate tilt to its logical conclusion," she warned in 2013, "and pretty soon the United States Supreme Court will become a wholly owned subsidiary of big business."
"Have you ever felt like the government doesn’t really care what you think? Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) looked at more than 20 years worth of data [in 2014] to answer a simple question: Does the government represent the people?.... What they found was extremely unsettling: The opinions of 90% of Americans have essentially no impact at all."
Cenk Uygur, a political commentator and creator of The Young Turks online network, shows how to call your State legislator to support a resolution for a U.S. Constitutional amendment.
Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig speaks at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, arguing along with others on The Case for an Article V Convention…"an idea to fix a broken system."
Following publication of Dollarocracy in 2013, Bill Moyers talks with coauthors John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for the Nation magazine, and Robert McChesney, professor of communication at the University of Illinois. After more than $10 billion was spent in the 2012 elections, they discuss how big money combined with big media undermine democracy. "As you have this huge amount of money flowing in, we also have a stand-down of journalism—[losing] tens of thousands of journalists, news rooms closing down…the check-and-balance of journalism declining—you end up with almost a perfect situation for propagandizing the American people, for managing their debates into a narrow zone, where those with the money will invariably prevail."
GMOM President Charlie Cooper speaks at the Baltimore Ethical Society about the link between widening wealth inequality and the corruption of big money in politics. On the principle of democracy, he says, "use it or lose it."
Bill Moyers talks with legal scholar Lawrence Lessig about problems and solutions of corruption in government and the revolving door (starting at about 31:30 minutes on the time marker, following a discussion of privacy and Edward Snowden). Moyers refers to Lessig’s 2013 TED Talk, which has had more than 1.5 million views.
In a 1979 debate, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued vigorously for the states to convene an Article V Convention to propose a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "[When] the Congress is simply unwilling to give attention to many issues which it knows the people are concerned with—and which issues involve restrictions upon the federal government’s own power—I think the founders foresaw that and they provided this method in order to enable a convention to remedy that," he said. "This suggests that if the only way to clarify the law, if the only way to remove us from utter bondage to the Congress is to take what I think to be a minimal risk on this limited convention," he concluded, "then let’s take it."