| Get the Picture

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The 2020 election will happen amid an array of seismic forces—a public health crisis, an economic recession, a rising racial justice movement. One constant force is the nature of our American democracy, with elections at its center. While we each can wield significant power through our voice and our vote, the domination of concentrated wealth in our elections dilutes the power of our votes by incentivizing our elected officials to be more responsive to the wealthy few. 

Right now Americans across the country are using their voices to reach out to candidates and elected officials, asking them to sign the American Promise Candidate Pledge and take a stand against elite special interests who buy influence by pouring money into our political system. Through this growing grassroots effort, which we highlight below, volunteers are spreading the word about the 28th Amendment and paving the way for real change in our political system. We also highlight the story of Hal Gurian, an American Promise volunteer-turned-candidate who is running for a seat on the Grand Traverse County Commission in Michigan and promising to advance the 28th Amendment by signing the Candidate Pledge. 

Americans across the country are calling on election officials to ensure they can vote safely this fall—at least 10 states have moved to make voting by mail easier in November, and five GOP governors are joining the call for mail-in voting expansions in response to the pandemic. By also making support for the 28th Amendment a voting issue, we further support the power of our votes as the most essential feature of our representative democracy

Easy Action Item

Azor Cole,
State Manager, American Promise
Ask Your Elected Officials to Stand Up For We the People 

Getting money out of politics isn’t a partisan issue—it’s an American one. Across the country, candidates are taking the American Promise Candidate Pledge and standing up for ordinary Americans rather than elite special interests. But they don’t do it because they feel like it; they do it because people like you ask them. We have a silent majority who wants money out of politics. It’s time to use our voice to make historic change, and the American Promise Candidate Pledge is a powerful place to start.


Help scale up the candidate pledge program and volunteer in your state. American Promise offers a host of tools to make outreach, conversations, and follow-up simple and successful. Join in!
  • Learn how to encourage local officials to sign the Candidate Pledge by watching this recorded webinar with Ishwari Sollohub and others with the New Mexico American Promise Chapter.
  • Hear conservative voices on why they support the Candidate Pledge so you can put their ideas to work with outreach to candidates in your state. Register for the upcoming webinar with GOP leaders and John Pudner of Take Back Our Republic: “The Conservative Case to Get Money Out.”
Learn How You Can Help Build the Pledge Campaign
From Advocacy to Candidacy: Republican American Promise Volunteer Aims to Represent We the People 
Longtime American Promise volunteer and 28th Amendment champion Hal Gurian’s advocacy work has gone full circle as he throws his hat into the political ring as a candidate for Grand Traverse County Commission in Michigan—and continues his work to end the dominance of big money in politics by signing the American Promise Candidate Pledge. 
Read More
Jeff Clements on the FOMO Sapiens Podcast 
“As long as we can’t have reasonable limits on money and how it’s used in elections, and how it corrupts the process, nobody believes that they’re actually being treated as equal citizens in a republic,” says AP President Jeff Clements on this FOMO Sapiens podcast with Patrick McGinnis.
Hear Jeff Clements on the FOMO Sapiens Podcast
| Dysfunction on Display
The issue: Billionaires spent 41 times more on the 2016 election compared to 2008—a dramatic increase since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that struck down spending limits. Contributions in 2016 topped $684 million, up from $16.6 million in 2008. 

The action: Ask candidates and elected officials at all levels of government in your area to take the American Promise Candidate Pledge and promise to use their office to advance the 28th Amendment to put people, not money, in charge of our political system.
Accept the Challenge!
| State Highlight: Alaska
Alaska on Track to Become 21st State Calling for Amendment! 

This fall voters in Alaska will weigh in on four election reform measures, including one that would make Alaska the 21st state to call for a constitutional amendment limiting the influence of money in politics. American Promise President Jeff Clements traveled in 2019 to Alaska, where he talked with people across the state who agree on the need for the 28th Amendment. Learn more about the ballot initiative and Jeff’s Alaska trip in these articles:
  • Read this Q&A from Juneau lawyer and American Promise citizen leader Joe Geldhof, who shares why Alaskans are so engaged in self-government, and why they’re determined to take back control of their state from wealthy outside special interests.
  • Read an excerpt from Jeff’s speech on William Henry Seward’s leadership and legacy at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From the Tennessean: Chet Hunt, a founding member of Tennessee American Promise, highlights candidates and incumbents who have recently taken the American Promise Pledge and calls on others to join them. Read more.

From the Portland (Maine) Press Herald: Amy Cartmell and Jane Gallagher ask fellow Mainers to Stand With Maine: “Whatever issues are most meaningful to individual Mainers and whatever candidates we each support in elections, we agree that the current rules of our political system allow people and entities with money, mostly from outside of Maine, to have an outsized influence on decision-making.” Read more.

From the SW (Minnesota) News Media: In this letter to the editor, Jay Johnson of Chanhassen says the time has come to drain the money from political “swamps” across the country. “Our political swamp has become out of balance,” he says “Money has flooded in and polluted Washington, D.C. and our state capitals.” Read more.

From Issue One: American Promise and 19 other organizations from across the political spectrum are asking the campaigns of President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to publicly report information about their top campaign fundraisers on a regular basis ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Read more.

From the Fulcrum: In a new nonfiction graphic novel, “Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy,” campaign finance reform advocate Daniel Newman delves into gerrymandering, money in politics, voting rights and other timely topics. “I’ve had so many conversations over the last 15 years where I’m explaining how the rules of political money and voting affect every other issue in the county, and a lightbulb goes on, so this book is meant to provide a lightbulb moment of clarity,” Newman says. Read more.

From CNN: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill allowing all registered voters in the state to vote by mail in the primary and general elections this fall if they choose. Massachusetts joins other states—including Michigan, Nevada, California, New Hampshire and Wisconsin—in moving to make it easier for more people to vote by mail. Read more.

From the Fulcrum: In an opinion piece, author Michael Golden says NFL franchise owner Dan Snyder has a unique opportunity when selecting a new team name. He writes: “By changing Washington’s football team name to the Greenbacks, Snyder would not only move a controversial spotlight off of himself, he would also refract it onto an enormously important issue that is starved for more attention: the corrupting influence of big money in American government.” Read more.

| Upcoming American Promise Events

July 16: Hear from Ohio candidates who have pledged to create a more inclusive, effective democracy through crucial reforms during this webinar, Toward Equality: Getting Money Out of Elections and Policy Decisions.” 7 p.m.-8 p.m. ET. Register online.

July 28: Constitutional Amendments are won when there is overwhelming cross-partisan support. Join Jim Rubens, American Promise board member and former Republican state senator from New Hampshire, as he leads a discussion of “The Conservative Case to Get Money Out.” Webinar hosts are American Promise and co-sponsor Take Back Our Republic. 8 p.m. ET. Register online.

August 4: Join Business for American Promise for its inaugural Business Network Quarterly Call with American Promise President Jeff Clements and other guests at 8 p.m. ET. Sign up here for Business for American Promise updates.

More online: Watch the American Promise calendar for event updates and check our YouTube Channel for recordings of many of our past events.
American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America.
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