Just returning from the coolest day I can remember, watching and working through strategy with the Mayday campaign team in DC. We’ve decided on the balance of the portfolio of races, and are working through the last steps of timing (of announcements, etc.). It is an amazing and exciting mix, which will allow us to evaluate whether a 2016 campaign is possible. Some incumbents, some challengers, some open seats, some surprises: all designed to produce the data necessary to convince a skeptic that voters can be moved on this issue. 

Given the timing of our fundraising, I am still convinced NH was an overly risky bet. But after reviewing the data about how both Republicans in particular (among the 37% of said money in politics was determinative in their vote, Rubens won by 18 points) and voters in NH generally (82% think the issue important, 61% say it will be determinative) have moved on our issue, I’m much much happier. We always knew this was an investment, not just in one race, but in a key state generally. Always, the aim has been to make corruption salient for New Hampshire in 2016. This was just the first round. 

Stay tuned for announcements. And for a very fun next 8 weeks. 


Ok, technically, Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu didn’t win the Democratic nomination on Tuesday. But we should not let this moment pass without recognize just how much they won. With no money, they took on a candidate with $30M. And with incredible grace and warmth, they garnered 34%/40% respectively. It is slowly sinking into the consciousness of everyone just what this means. But Zephyr put it better than anyone could: 

People say you can’t run on corruption and get any attention. Well, we ran on corruption and on public financing and we got a lot of attention. The received wisdom that voters don’t care about money in politics is getting upended.

"Upended."

I said that was the most important money in politics race in 2014, and I am proud of the support Mayday.US followers gave to her incredible campaign. 


In defense of Lessig's Mayday PAC and an electoral strategy on money in politics

campaignmoney:

By: David Donnelly, president of Every Voice and Every Voice Action

A lot has already been written about last night’s primary results in the New Hampshire Senate race. Mayday PAC, founded by Harvard Professor Larry Lessig, invested heavily to support Jim Rubens and oppose Scott Brown, and…

Wise words from our sister organization EveryVoice.


Kids fed and off to school. On a plane on my way to my favorite city. (That’s a joke). Here’s the “more” promised in my last post. 

My last post confessed this: That given the cost, and given the hyper-partisan environment of 2014, I think it was a mistake for me to push so hard to enter this race. With basically 3 weeks, starting at 9 points, up against two former senators, the climb was too steep. The next two months will be much harder because of this first misstep. I should have understood that more clearly. 

But that is a confession about the strategy of Mayday.US. Having looked at the first round of data, there were some interesting findings about the race notwithstanding. And when we have more data about the state generally (which we should have tomorrow), I’ll update this to confirm.

We were interested in New Hampshire both because of the uniqueness of Jim Rubens — the only Republican running for Senate in the nation who had offered a solution to the corrupting way campaigns are funded — and because of New Hampshire. Voters in New Hampshire set the agenda in 2016. The issues that are on their agenda matter. Thus while the main objective of our campaign was to move Republican primary voters, the side benefit is how it may have moved the state generally. We’ll have a good measure of that tomorrow.    

But even among Republican primary voters, there was important movement: 

Rubens’ gains in the race. In a July Global Strategy Group poll, Rubens earned 9% of the Republican primary vote and was familiar to just 36% of likely primary voters. Rubens ended the race with 23.5% of the vote and familiar to 58% of Republican primary voters.

Election reform was an important part of the primary landscape. More than a third (37%) of voters say that reducing the corrupting influence of money in politics was a major or deciding factor in their vote for Senate. Among Rubens voters, this number is 58%.

Reform voters were Rubens’ best audience. The Republican primary vote for Senate was tied (36% Rubens/22% Smith/37% Brown) among voters who say that reducing the influence of money in politics was a major or deciding factor in their vote.

Rubens was competitive on our issue. Voters are split (49% Rubens/51% Brown) on which candidate would do a better job reducing the corrupting influence of money in politics. Rubens has an 18-point edge on the question (59% Rubens/41% Brown) among those who say that reducing the influence of money in politics was a major or deciding factor in their vote.

Mayday.US advertisements had reach. More than a third (35%) of voters saw or heard advertising featuring Gordon Humphrey; 68% saw or heard advertising support Rubens; and 84% saw or heard advertising opposing Brown.

Voters who saw pro-Rubens advertising were more positive towards him on key metrics. Rubens did better than average on the vote (27% Rubens/23% Smith/46% Brown), personally popularity (48% favorable/21% unfavorable), and reducing corrupting influence of money in politics (55% Rubens/45% Brown) among voters who saw or heard pro-Rubens advertising.

The question now is how this support for reform will carry forward into the general election, and into 2016. 


(On the numbers from the race, see my second post)

There’s no spinning this. We tried something that others said couldn’t be done. So far, the evidence supports their theory. We went big in New Hampshire. Going big increased the salience of the issue among the citizens of New Hampshire. But among the 7% of New Hampshire who voted in the Republican Primary, another issue was even more salient: who could beat the Democrat in November.

The 50% of that 7% (those who voted for Scott Brown) may be right. Scott Brown is an attractive candidate; he was balanced and poised in the debates; I admire his willingness to acknowledge the complexity of the issues he is talking about. But our question wasn’t who could beat Shaheen; it was who would make salient what we believe to be the most important question we face: how to restore a representative democracy. I will always admire Jim Rubens for taking that question on.

Losing big means we change some things. But some things won’t change. Of necessity (we had essentially a month), we had to run a traditional media campaign. Among our advisors, this was the type that people were most skeptical of. We knew we would do it once, setting a baseline against which to measure the other, very different campaigns. Our decision to do it just once won’t change.

What will change, of necessity, is the scope of our ambition. We are building a Mayday.US community at the same time as we’re executing these campaigns. This defeat forces me to rethink how much we can do right now. As I’ve said many times before, the aim of our campaign in 2014 is to show we can move voters on the basis of this issue. Nothing else matters if we can’t do that. And so focusing on exactly that must now be our exclusive task. 

I am endlessly grateful to those who helped on this. In the last few days, scores of volunteers from across the country stepped up to help. Many in the state spent the last week doing nothing but trying to rally the New Hampshire primary voters to this cause. 

But in the end, the burden of this mistake rests with me, and me alone. Our first poll found our candidate with 9% of the vote. I knew we had to take on some unwinnable races — and win them. But by failing now, we have made the others harder. I should have accepted the advice not to take on that risk. 

More to come. A difficult day to face. Three kids who need someone to make them breakfast. 


I’ve been encouraged by the strong affirmance by many — including most prominently Senator Gordon Humphrey — of my use of the term “lobbyist.” But a really great interview with Jim Rubens by David Weigel on Slate gave me an idea for how this point could be best made: 

Jim Rubens has promised that if he served, after he left the Senate, he would not become “a lobbyist.”

So imagine Rubens were elected. Imagine he served only two terms (as he promised he would). And imagine after serving two terms, he

joined Nixon Peabody, a law and lobby firm, as counsel in the firm’s Boston office, concentrat[ing] his practice on “business and governmental affairs as they relate to the financial services industry as well as on commercial real estate matters.”

And imagine you read that news, and said to Jim Rubens, “hey Jim, what the heck?! You promised you’d never be as lobbyist!”

And finally, imagine Jim Rubens responded, 

Seriously, does anyone really believe that would be a fair and honest response?

And if you were one of those (many) who would find that response absurd, would you think of yourself as a “liar” (for thinking that Rubens was in fact a lobbyist even if he was not technically “registered as a lobbyist.”)? Or would you, like Techdirt, after Chris Dodd broke his “no lobbying” pledge by becoming the head of the MPAA (“hey, I’m not a lobbyist”), say that Jim Rubens would have “lied” when he promised not to become a lobbyist.

We have never said Scott Brown was a “registered lobbyist.” We have only said that he was “a lobbyist” in precisely the sense that Jim Rubens means when he pledges “not to accept any position lobbying for or against legislation in Washington.”

Which is why Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey could say, “Of course, Scott Brown was a lobbyist.”


So yesterday, even though it was my kids’ birthday, I responded promptly to the Brown campaign’s letter to me and my boss calling me a “liar.” Today, after another former Senator (also a Republican but this one actually from New Hampshire), Gordon Humphrey wrote “Of course Scott Brown was a lobbyist,” I challenged Mr. Brown to a debate. 

It’s like HOURS later. 

Nothing from Mr. Brown. 


Scott Brown’s campaign called me a “liar” because Mayday.US used the word “Washington lobbyist” in a way I thought ordinary people ordinarily understand it — to describe a person who sold his influence to a business in the business of changing legislative policy in Washington. 

Now former Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey has issued a statement confirming that at least he uses the English language as I do, and not just as the Senate rules dictate it should be used. 

Having called me a “liar,” Mr. Brown, and having challenged my conformity to the Harvard Honor Code, I would now challenge you to debate this question, openly and publicly, at any place you choose (we’d of course welcome you warmly back in Massachusetts): 

Resolved: When the American people demanded that Congress end the revolving door to K St, and the Senate responded by banning former Members from “lobbying” for two years — but built into that rule a loophole big enough for a pickup truck to drive through — it is appropriate to refer to former Members who sell their influence to a lobbying firm actively engaged in affecting legislation as “lobbyists.”

Having challenged my integrity, Mr. Brown, accepting this challenge is the least you could do. 


Of course Scott Brown was a lobbyist. It doesn’t matter how the Senate rules define the word, the American people know that anyone who advises clients on how to get special treatment in Washington is a lobbyist. That’s what Scott Brown did, after the voters of Massachusetts turned him out of office.

Former Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH), on the question, “Was Scott Brown a lobbyist.”

It’s kind of terrifying to watch the spin around this Brown story. Further down you can read the post I made about Scott Brown’s nastygram. In it I said this: 

So yes, according to the Senate, Scott Brown isn’t a “lobbyist.” But I submit to anyone else in the world, a former Senator joining a “law and lobbying firm” to help with Wall St’s “business and governmental affairs” is to make him a lobbyist. 

This quote is now being use to state that I’ve admitted the statement is a “lie.” 

Wow. 

So here’s the blog post where I insist that the honest reader admit that I have “admitted” no such thing. 

What I’ve said is this: According the ordinary way in which people understand the term, selling your influence to affect “business and governmental affairs” within government is lobbying. It is so even if it is not how the Senate’s rules define it. Ketchup is not a vegetable, even if Congress says it is. What Brown did is lobbying, even if Congress says it isn’t. 

So I don’t view the mailer created for our campaign as wrong, or as a “lie.” Instead, I view the whole idea that the Brown campaign wants to have an argument about whether the level of influence peddling that Brown has admitted to constitutes “lobbying” as just bizarre. Truly, absolutely bizarre. 


Is this better, Mr. Brown. (And what value did that influence have to those who bought it?)

I’ll believe Scott Brown is not a lobbyist just as soon as someone convinces me that ketchup is a vegetable


image

I received this nastygram (PDF) by email today from Scott Brown’s campaign manager — cc-ing my boss, the provost and president. 

I take it Mr. Reed’s outrage is triggered by the Senate’s regulations of what constitutes being a “lobbyist” for purposes of the Senate rules. I hadn’t received the memo that explained that the English language is now regulated by the rules of the United States Senate. If there is such a memo, they should send it to The Hill too. Here are a few snippets of what they reported last March

Brown has joined Nixon Peabody, a law and lobby firm, as counsel in the firm’s Boston office. The Massachusetts Republican, also a former state senator, will concentrate his practice on “business and governmental affairs as they relate to the financial services industry as well as on commercial real estate matters,” according to the firm.

Brown joins former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) at Nixon Peabody, one of the firm’s more prominent lobbyists. Brown has already signed on as a contributor to Fox News.

Nixon Peabody has a burgeoning K Street practice, having made more than $1.5 million in lobbying fees for all of 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

So yes, according to the Senate, Scott Brown isn’t a “lobbyist.” But I submit to anyone else in the world, a former Senator joining a “law and lobbying firm” to help with Wall St’s “business and governmental affairs” is to make him a lobbyist. Because to anyone else in the world, when you sell your influence to affect “business and governmental affairs,” you are a lobbyist. 

By contrast, Jim Rubens has promised not to be a “lobbyist” after he leaves government (if indeed he is elected). I take it, by that, Mr. Rubens means he would not accept a position like Scott Brown did either. 

And finally, as for those “legal options” that Mr. Reed says he’s “leaving on the table,” let me offer the words of Harry Callahan: “Go ahead. Make my day.”


I apologize for the brevity of this, and more is coming in the morning. Today is the birthday of two of my 3 kids (Willem, 11, Tess, 5), and I’ve promised a day away. 

There’s been a bunch of frustration and anger about reports that Mayday.US is “supporting” Stark360 in New Hampshire. Stark360 is a New Hampshire based libertarian superPAC. It supports candidates at the state level who don’t support campaign finance reform. Supporters of Mayday.US are RIGHTLY asking the question why we would be “supporting” an organization that doesn’t support campaign finance reform.

The question is correct. The premise is not. We are not supporting the organization at all. We are supporting joint activities designed to benefit the common ground we have found — support for Jim Rubens in the Republican primary — and only that common ground.

That means that while we have supported messaging supporting Rubens, and voterID projects to identify Rubens supporters, and canvassers to support Rubens, we have not supported activities that might also be said to support people who our backers don’t support. So, for example, we turned down an offer to help fund a common suggested ballot, because we believed it might be read to be support for people we don’t also support. And we refused to permit canvassers that we have jointly supported canvass beyond the candidate we have common agreement on (and again, there’s only one: Jim Rubens). 

I made the decision to do this — in this way — both because I thought it could advance the campaign, and because I believe it is important to practice working together where there’s genuine common ground for working together. The Stark360 folks came to me after we announced our support for Rubens. They too had endorsed Rubens. We both thought it was a chance to work for a common objective, recognizing the other areas in which we don’t share a common end. I get that there are people who wouldn’t even do that — people who think the best way to deal with the other side is scorn and shun. I don’t agree with that strategy because I don’t believe in the ethics it makes manifest. We are a democracy, not a sports team. What being citizens in a democracy means is we must find ways peacefully to work with people with whom we don’t agree. 

Finally, some have called this “compromise.” But that’s a confusion of the word. Compromise is accepting less than what you want, in order to get at least some of what you want. So, e.g., Obamacare was a compromise for Obama, since it got him something but not everything he wanted. 

But working with people you generally disagree with ON ISSUES ON WHICH THERE IS COMMON GROUND is not to compromise anything (except the “principle” that you should scorn the other side, a principle I don’t accept). It isn’t “compromise,” because it isn’t about getting less of what you want so that you get something. It is about getting precisely what you want, from a coalition that includes a more diverse, maybe surprisingly diverse, mix. 

So, in the corruption reform space, “compromise” in my view would be to give up reforms aimed at changing the way elections are funded, in exchange for a deal that gave us better disclosure. That’s the sort of compromise I will never support. But it is not “compromise” to find a way to craft a small dollar public funding bill that includes ideas from the Democrats (matching funds) and ideas from the Republicans (like Rubens’ tax credits to support vouchers). Such a deal gives us exactly what we’re fighting for, even if it includes more than just liberals signing up. 

So again: We are supporting Stark360 to help advance our common goal — to have Rubens win the Republican primary. We are not supporting Stark to help it advance a goal we don’t share — to elect other candidates, including those who don’t support corruption reform. I’ve seen no actual evidence that what’s happening on the ground is different from what has been decided by me and agreed to by our manager on the ground — Ryan Clayton — and the people at Stark360. If there is, I’m eager to hear about it. 

Thanks again to the people who have raise this, and especially those who have raised it in a way that is conducive to reasoned discussion. They in particular have given me hope. 


There’s a meme spreading fast through the tubes of the Internets about what explains Governor Cuomo’s refusal to debate Zephyr Teachout. Here’s one tweet: 

It’s a fun way to be angry about the outrage of the Governor refusing to debate. But I don’t think this is really about sexism. It’s about money-ism: Zephyr is not entitled to debate the Governor not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a woman without money. (Of course that’s not unrelated). And in this democracy, not to have money is not to be qualified. 

This is the same reality Buddy Roemer confronted in 2012. Roemer was the most qualified Republican running for President. He had been a Governor, he had served three terms in the House of Representatives, and he had run a successful community bank — kind of a Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain wrapped in one. But Roemer had made money the issue in his campaign, refusing to accept contributions of greater than $100, and refusing PAC money. He was therefore not qualified to even debate the other candidates. Literally. At first, he was told he had to have 1% national name recognition to be allowed to debate. When he got that, he was told he needed 2%. When he got that, he was told he had to have raised $500k in the prior 6 weeks. Not to have money means not to be qualified.

For Cuomo, the disdain goes even deeper. If this campaign has shown us anything, it has shown us Andrew Cuomo as Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, he believes the word “independent” only ever appears in scare quotes: Nixon appointed an “independent” prosecutor, and then demanded the special prosecutor take direction from Nixon; Cuomo appointed an “independent” corruption commission and then insisted it was “absurd” to say the governor had no power to stop it from investigating him.

But the likeness is even deeper. There’s a meanness that wasn’t as obvious before. And a pettiness. If there’s one thing great politicians are great at, it is the ability to step outside the fight, and treat each other decently. Watch this from the Labor Day Parade:

The man can’t even look her in the face. She’s smiling and open, persistent in her effort to engage him. He acts as if he doesn’t even see her — forgetting that as humans, and all recognize the ‘I’m pretending I don’t see you’ look. 

But even that’s not enough for the Nixon of New York. When asked about the encounter, he just can’t stop himself from playing the part to a tee.

"Why tell the truth? It’s not like she’s rich enough to check me."

There’s a fundamental line that has been crossed, and I fear we’re going to get really angry about it, but not in time. As the story slowly spreads, as the recognition becomes unavoidable, frustration with this “system” is going to overflow. And while the ever-optimists will say, “that’s great, because then we can channel that passion into change later,” I, unavoidably focused, think we should be channeling that passion right now. 

He is our (Democrats) Nixon. Why can’t we make him our Eric Cantor? Because to revive this democracy enough to give anyone under 40 a reason to care would require as much. 

In a literal sense of the word, it is possible. There are more than enough New York Democrats connected to these tubes to defeat Cuomo. And while there isn’t the money in Zephyr’s campaign to orchestrate the television commercials that would rally those Democrats, there is the free and still basically open Internet that Tim Wu defends. That platform is still effectively neutral, and it is still possible for everyone touched by these words to reach ten others, and they ten others, and so on. Until it becomes as obvious as Lincoln that in a democracy, this behavior is unacceptable. Money is not the measure of a citizen. Or a candidate. And anyone who doesn’t get that shouldn’t get the chance to call himself the nominee of the Democratic Party. Again. 

You know 10 New Yorkers. “Talk” to them — while the tubes are still open and basically free. 


Mayday.US has made it to the big time (for us law geeks, at least). Bob Bauer, one of the truly great lawyers of our time, has written a very thoughtful if critical piece about us on his blog. Please read it (and look, I’m making it really easy by linking to it again). Three thoughts in response: 

First: Bob’s piece accurately describes the strategy of Mayday.US — to enter races in a way that demonstrates that the issue of corruption reform can motivate voters. As he writes, “it will strike the impartial observer that [Mayday ads] don’t seem to advance an appreciably richer argument than the run-of-the-mill variety.” That’s certainly true, at least so far. We’re kicking around a plan to incubate content that is much better than the run-of-the-mill variety (so stay tuned to the Mayday.US page). But the single most striking lesson this experience has taught me so far is just how insanely constrain the context of political speech is. A 30 second ad is like 60, maybe 80 words. That is a real and powerful constraint, not necessarily bad, but hard.

But the premise of the enterprise is not so much that we need to persuade, as that we need to mobilize. One the of the truly great memes that the renamed Every Voice has helped push is that the argument is over; people get the corrupting influence of money in politics; and that the only important question now is how to organize to bring about change. So the ads in a particular district aren’t (because they can’t be) in the business of convincing people of something they don’t already believe; the ads are instead about signaling the possibility of reform, as a way to break through the politics of resignation. Their basic message must convey: you know you won’t get [pick your issue — climate change, tax reform, etc.] until we end the corrupting influence of money in politics; so here’s a candidate who has committed to doing that. 

Second: At the end of his piece, Bob raises the progressive anxiety about a project that would support non-progressives too. This is a really helpful point to isolate. The response requires some context. 

Michael Lux tells the story of the early days of the Clinton administration, when, as he describes it, there was a discussion about whether to pursue campaign finance reform or health care. Some in that group argued that they couldn’t get health care reform until they achieved campaign finance reform first. Others thought that politically, it was more important to pursue the substance first. 

I’m not sure which side of that debate I would have been on in (circa) 1993. I know I didn’t care much about “campaign finance reform” then; maybe i should have. But I think reasonable people then could believe that it was still possible to play the system and get real change. Maybe not 100% or maybe not without critical compromises, but the reality of DC politics hadn’t moved to the place that made it impossible to get anything of substance sensibly done. So it could, circa 1993, have been perfectly rational to focus on the substance, rather than on “campaign finance reform.”

What motivates me in this fight — and many others, too — is the belief that that has changed: that we have moved to a state in American politics where nothing sensible, for either the Right or the Left, can happen. That America has evolved, as Francis Fukuyama has put it, a vetocracy (veto-ocracy), which enables powerful interests to veto any sensible substantive reform. 

I believe this is true whether the reform is on the Right or on the Left (which allows me to, in good faith, try to persuade people on the Right and Left that this system is their common enemy even if they don’t share common goals). And the mechanics that make it true are not hard to see, once you focus on the essential dynamic to money in politics today. 

As I’ve written in lots of places, but most recently in Medium, in my view the essential problem with money in politics is not the spending, it’s the fundraising. The corrupting dynamic is not produced by ads on TV; it is produced by the insane dances that candidates go through to induce funders to give them (directly or indirectly) the resources they need to fund their campaigns. When you spend 30%-70% of your time (or as the Huffington Post reported about Michelle Nunn, 80% of your time) raising money from a tiny tiny fraction of America, that tiny fraction has enormous influence within the political system. And the simplest way that influence can be exercised is through an effective veto of reform — again, on the Left or Right. Hence, our vetocracy, a product in part of our Framers checks and balances design no doubt, but made pathological by the way campaigns now raise money. 

So if you believe, as I do, that we will make no sensible progress on any issue of importance until we change the way elections are funded, then Bob’s tradeoffs aren’t actually trade-offs. What are we not getting if we spend cycles trying change the way elections are funded? Nothing, because we wouldn’t get anything anyway.

At a certain point, an intervention makes sense. In my view, we’ve hit that point. Or as candidate Obama put it so effectively in 2007 and early 2008 (see pages 173/4 of Republic, Lost) (free download):  

[I]f we do not change our politics—if we do not fundamentally change the way Washington works—then the problems we’ve been talking about for the last generation will be the same ones that haunt us for generations to come.

But let me be clear—this isn’t just about ending the failed policies of the Bush years; it’s about ending the failed system in Washington that produces those policies. For far too long, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, Washington has allowed Wall Street to use lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system and get its way, no matter what it costs ordinary Americans.

We are up against the belief that it’s all right for lobbyists to dominate our government—that they are just part of the sys- tem in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

[U]nless we’re willing to challenge the broken system in Wash- ington, and stop letting lobbyists use their clout to get their way, nothing else is going to change.

[T]he reason I’m running for President is to challenge that system.

If we’re not willing to take up that fight, then real change— change that will make a lasting difference in the lives of ordinary Americans—will keep getting blocked by the defenders of the status quo.

I think Obama was right then. I think the last 6 years have shown just how right he was. 

Third: Bob emphasizes, subtly, and maybe I’m over-reading this, but it’s a point I’m sensitive to, so I should respond, that Mayday.US is not made up (exclusively) of people in the district in which it is running campaigns. As he writes: 

So it is a “funder-constituent”: it is not made up of constituents defined as residents of the states or districts where it will be active.

He doesn’t say this, but some read back from this that there’s something illegitimate in “outsiders” entering “local” races. Of course, we’re not the only one’s guilty of this crime (if indeed it’s a crime): In the Scott Brown race, 90% of Browns money comes from outside New Hampshire. Some see that as reason enough to reject the intervention. 

I share that view sometimes, but not always. There are local issues, that ought to be resolved locally. But there are also national issues, which any citizen should have the right to engage equally. That was the defense that civil rights activists rightly made when southerners criticized them for intervening in “local matters.” The status of African Americans as equal citizens, those activists rightly insisted, was a national issue. Not, or not just, a local issue.

The same with the corruption of our federal government. It’s our view that as a nation, we have lost an important capacity to govern. If one shares that view, then it’s perfectly appropriate for citizens of America (and those given the same freedoms) to engage wherever in America to try to remedy this corruption. 

That’s especially so in a state like New Hampshire, which of course is salient not just because of a Senate race, but because those same voters will soon be asked to determine which Presidential campaigns are viable. With that privilege comes a certain burden: Like Ohio, or Florida, and unlike Utah and California, they become the target of national politics because of the power they yield. 

Americans of any stripe have common interest in reclaiming a representative democracy. It may be, as Walter Shapiro wrote, that such a reclaiming will need a “massive grassroots movement.” But I think it begins by making it clear that Americans care enough to vote. Because if we see that we do, then that “massive … movement” will be possible. 



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