Public Campaign - environment en Powershift 2011--Join us! <p><img src="" alt="" hspace="5" width="159" height="147" align="right" />This weekend, thousands of young people from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. to participate in the <a href="">2011 Powershift conference</a>, where participants will “reclaim our democracy from big corporations and push our nation to move beyond dirty energy sources that are harming the health of people and the planet.</p> <p>Two Public Campaign staff members will be speaking on panels at the conference about how campaign cash and lobbying from Big Oil and the coal industry influences the policy debate about our country's energy future.</p> <p>I’ll be speaking at <a href="">3:30 on Saturday</a> on Citizens United and the influence of corporate money in our political process--how we got here, how corporate money influences the debate, and how we can fight back. The description is below:</p><p><img src="" alt="" align="center" /></p> <p><br /> David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign, will speak on a <a href="">panel at 4:45 on Saturday</a> about the need to confront energy industry money and its allies in elected office. Here's the description:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" align="center" /></p> <p>We’re excited to participate in the conference. If you’ll be there, I hope you can check out our panels!</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd first"> <div class="filefield-file gif"><a href="" class="gif">powershift2.gif</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even last"> <div class="filefield-file gif"><a href="" class="gif">powershift1.gif</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>Two Public Campaign staff members will be speaking on panels at the Powershift 2011 conference about how campaign cash and lobbying from Big Oil and the coal industry influences the policy debate about our country's energy future.</p> </div> </div> Big Oil environment Powershift Thu, 14 Apr 2011 19:56:29 +0000 Adam Smith 81242 at Clips Round-up for 3/31/11 <p>Campaign Finance/Ethics</p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="">Arizona politicians figure in Fiesta Bowl scandal<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></a><br /> The Fiesta Bowl scandal as reported by the New York Times the other day is roiling Phoenix. As our friend John Loredo says in this clip, “nothing is for free.” More to come, stay tuned.<br /> - Linda Brown, AZ Advocacy Network: “This is one of the biggest abuses of power on both the part of the elected politicians and the lobbyists.“ <a href=",-lawmakers-given-tickets-and-freebies"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">,-lawmakers-given-tickets-and-freebies</span></a><br /> - Linda: “There's absolutely no question when you have that kind of personal access, treating people who would never otherwise have access to those kinds of gifts and opportunities, you're creating a relationship that is going to (create) a quid-pro-quo." <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> <br /> And the worst defense ever given for allegedly violating ethics rules, “Crandall says lobbyists for the Fiesta Bowl told him it was all on the up-and-up.” <a href=";view=jcs&amp;layout=form&amp;Itemid=108"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">;view=jcs&amp;layout=form&amp;Itemid=108</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <a href=",0,572494.story">Arizona’s election law is best left alone<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> This LA Times speaks favorably of AZ Clean Elections. “Far from chilling speech, the Arizona law increases it.”<br /> <br /> <a href="">Meditations on hockey and democracy<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Ciara Torres-Spelliscy has this blog post up about the cost of hockey tickets—and the cost of political campaigns in New York. “We don’t want a democracy that’s priced like [Madison Square Garden], where even the lowest priced ticket is out of reach for the average New Yorker.&nbsp; For that to be true, we need new campaign finance laws in our fair state.”<br /> <br /> Congress<br /> <a href="">Without the campaign donors, this wouldn’t be possible?<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The New York Times editorializes. “Ordinary voters may be making a show of demanding real political change, but they are being increasingly outbid at the big money table where American politics happens.”<br /> <br /> <a href="">Is Obama giving up on global warming?<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Is the White House prepping to cave to House GOP pressure to weaken EPA regulations?<br /> <br /> <a href="">McConnell leads fight against Obama’s environmental policy<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> There are 3 proposals that may get voted on this week in the Senate that would “revise critical parts of the Clean Air Act.” Sen. Mitch McConnell is fighting them. Look for a fact sheet from us later today.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Chamber of Commerce pressed to back Obama’s economic plans<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The White House is really trying to get the Chamber on board its economic plans. Elizabeth Warren: “Not one other banking regulator — not one — is subject to [congressional] appropriations. Requiring the CFPB to go into every examination against a trillion-dollar company, knowing that the company could turn its lobbying force against the agency’s funding, is not a prescription for fair and evenhanded enforcement.”<br /> <br /> <a href="">Odd Alliance: Business lobby and Tea Party<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> “The Tea Party movement is as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government. Yet an examination of the Institute for Liberty shows how Washington’s influence industry has adapted itself to the Tea Party era.”<br /> <br /> <a href="">Obama campaign racks up large legal fees<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The Obama campaign has been racking up plenty of legal fees since Election Day 2008, including some spent battling suits challenging his citizenship.<br /> <br /> <a href="">AARP is next on GOP target list<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> “Republicans have launched an assault on AARP, which joins a growing list of groups supportive of the Democrats’ agenda that are being targeted by conservatives.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The round-up of news clips for March 31, 2011.</p> </div> </div> Arizona chamber of commerce donors environment President Obama tea party Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:46:34 +0000 54398 at A Cleaner Earth Starts With Cleaner Elections <p>Guy Speth, noted environmentalist and Americans for Campaign Reform board member, <a href="">discusses</a> the importance of passing the Fair Elections Now Act in the context of the environment. &quot;The energy industry, including oil and gas, electric utilities, mining, and waste management, contributed an astonishing $455 million to candidates for the House and Senate between 1990 and 2006. Members of the Senate and House received an average of $161,423 and $43,658 respectively in just the first seven months of 2008. To put this in perspective, the energy industry contributed 20 times more than environmental groups between 1990 and 2008. &quot;Is it any surprise that Congress has been unable to shape a sound national energy policy based on scientific evidence and the needs of all our people, not just the monied interests?&quot; <a href="">Click here to read the full article.</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> Americans for Campaign Reform environment Fair Elections Now Act Public Financing Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:03:54 +0000 Monica Rober 1193 at Protect Planet by Strengthening Democracy <p>James Gustave Speth, dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, <a href="">calls for the Fair Elections Now Act</a> as a remedy to the special interest money from the energy industry pouring into campaign coffers. &quot;The results have not been surprising: Congress has been slow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency standards, but happy to subsidize major contributors from oil, gas, coal, and corn ethanol companies...With industry dollars so heavily stacked against us, the challenge is huge. But policymakers have a new tool to make it a fair fight in the future: citizen funding for all federal elections. Right now, Congress is poised to consider The Fair Elections Now Act that was introduced last month by Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter in the Senate, and by John Larson and Walter Jones in the House.&quot;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> campaign contributions environment Fair Elections Now Act federal public financing Massachusetts Wed, 22 Apr 2009 15:37:00 +0000 Monica Rober 931 at Speaker Links Clean Elections, Clean Enviroment <p>The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh discusses the <a href="">upcoming speaking engagement</a> of Democracy Matters&#39; Executive Director, Joan Mandle.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> Clean Elections Democracy Matters environment Joan Mandle Wisconsin Wed, 15 Apr 2009 21:46:18 +0000 Monica Rober 927 at Breaking the Logjam on Global Warming <p>Jay Mandle, professor and member of <a href="">Democracy Matters </a>pens a monthly series called &quot;Money on My Mind&quot; that examines the campaign finance angle of current hot button issues. His latest piece, on global warming, follows.<strong>Breaking the Logjam on Global Warming</strong>by: Jay MandleAl Gore has challenged the United States to obtain all of its electrical energy from renewable and carbon-free sources within ten years. That challenge is as welcome as it is unusual among prominent politicians. However Gore fails to grapple with the obstacles that stand in the way of our avoiding drastic global warming while at the same time continuing to experience economic growth. The brutal fact is that the cost-effective technologies necessary to replace fossil fuels in the production of electricity do not yet exist. A recent issue of The Economist magazine details the fact that the technologies associated with wind power, solar power, bio-fuels, geo-power and the capturing and storing of carbon dioxide emissions have not advanced sufficiently to make them cost-competitive with coal, petroleum and natural gas.Among the alternatives, nuclear power comes closest to representing a cost effective option. However continuing concerns about the safety of nuclear plants and the unresolved problem of nuclear waste storage and disposal plague the industry. In addition, the prohibitive cost of constructing a nuclear facility has limited the industry’s attractiveness to private investors. In combination these factors explain why nuclear energy today supplies only about 16 percent of world energy production. Under these circumstances, the argument that the government should fund research in the development of green energy is very strong. Almost certainly, the benefits resulting from such investments will exceed their costs. Success will mitigate global climate change, enhance United States national security and benefit the economy. In fact, in the immediate aftermath of the petroleum crises of the 1970’s the United States government did dramatically increase its funding for research and development in renewable energy. The budget for this ballooned in constant dollars from about $34 million in 1974 to almost $1.5 billion in 1980. However 1980 marked the high water market in this regard. Funding declined dramatically in the 1980’s and stayed essentially flat thereafter. The government has not sustained the kind of financial commitment that is required for renewable energy technology to become a viable alternative to fossil fuels.This pattern of stagnation was not dictated by voter hostility toward government-supported research and development. Indeed, polling data make clear that Americans strongly favor investment in new energy technologies. But public pressure was not sufficient to offset a serious structural flaw in American politics, the disproportionate power of big campaign contributors.Since 1990, individuals associated with the oil and gas industries have contributed $220.4 million to politicians running for office. This contrasts with the comparatively paltry sum of $3.4 million provided by people connected to alternative energy production and services firms. The simple fact is that the advocates of alternative energy sources have not possessed the clout to sustain Congress’ investment in renewables. In our “play to pay system” the start-up firms and innovators committed to clean energy have been outsiders looking in. Their ability to influence legislation has been correspondingly limited. It is unrealistic to think that start-up firms and fledging industrial innovators can match the campaign contributions made by the big petroleum interests. We need a more democratic political system if we are going to be able to move on to a fossil fuel-free future. Such a future therefore requires that advocates of clean energy and clean election join in a firm coalition in support of each other’s goals. Such a collaboration will strengthen each side and could result in the kind of movement necessary to achieve both a democratic and environmentally friendly society. Indeed, our future rests on our ability to create such a movement.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> campaign contributions environment Fri, 05 Sep 2008 19:34:03 +0000 Katie Schlieper 767 at