| Get the Picture


As the recent statement by the Business Roundtable indicates, American CEOs are feeling increasingly compelled to respond to the brewing crisis of trust in U.S. institutions—including both our representative democracy and our economy.

In a strong U.S. economy, companies compete based on the value they create and share with customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders. Yet, in America today, the ideal of free enterprise is too often replaced by “pay-to-play,” where firms and special interests compete for favors based on political spending. Under the rules that result, profit often comes at the expense of human well-being—whether that be through inaccurate information about opioid addiction, delays in grounding the Boeing 737 Max, or unique advantages to firms that can afford to lobby for tax carve-outs.

This is why I am so pleased to announce the official launch of Business for American Promise, a group of concerned businesspeople and citizens, with a wide variety of political interests and affiliations, who have come together out of a deep personal commitment to representative democracy and a shared concern for our country.

It is our belief that business has an important role and responsibility to join with citizen leaders across the political spectrum working on reforms such as the 28th Amendment. The fact is, only business can clarify that rules that foster pay-to-play do not make economic sense, but threaten innovation, healthy markets, economic growth and fundamental public trust in our institutions. 

We invite every member of the American Promise community to reach out as we broaden the conversation with our colleagues and friends in the business community. Join the Business for American Promise mailing list. 

Easy Action Item

Elizabeth Doty
National Program Leader,
Business for American Promise
Creating a Level Playing Field for Purpose-Driven Business 

In a strong U.S. economy, companies compete based on the value they create in the marketplace. Yet, in America today, the ideal of free enterprise is too often replaced by “pay-to-play,” where firms and special interests compete for favors based on political spending. Under the rules and preferences that result, profit often comes at the expense of societal well-being. 
Read More
Learn more about Business for American Promise—a group of business leaders and citizens working to unite in nonpartisan advocacy for the 28th Amendment to end unlimited political spending, foster honest competition, and reestablish integrity in government.
Learn More About Business for American Promise
A New Partnership Between Corporations and Community

Kevin Johnson, executive director of Election Reformers Network, says the crisis of confidence in capitalism we are living through is really about democracy—the impact of massive wealth, largely created through corporate profit, at work with minimal constraints in our political system. 
Read More
How does big money affect the business world and our economy? Special interest groups often use their influence to gain an unfair advantage at the expense of taxpayers, market competitors and consumers. During this Unrig Summit business roundtable session earlier this year, democracy reform experts from across the political spectrum discuss the forms this behavior takes—and the best solutions to end it.
Watch the Unrig Summit Video
A Talk with Business Leaders at the NCLC: Why Pay-to-Play Politics is a Losing Proposition for Business and Society
We’re only six weeks from the National Citizen Leadership Conference! Register now to connect with other citizen leaders, gain inspiration and hear from amazing speakers, including business executives Rick Alexander, Jack Doty, MaryAnne Howland and Matt Patsky. During their session they’ll discuss how to engage business people in the call for the 28th Amendment to balance our political system.

At American Promise’s third NCLC—October 19-21 in the Washington, D.C., metro—we’ll connect and network around winning the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution to put power in the hands of all Americans instead of the wealthy few. Then we’ll take our movement straight to Congress for Citizen Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.
See All of the Inspiring Speakers Coming to NCLC!
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From the New Yorker: The resignation of Federal Election Commission Vice Chair Matthew Petersen leaves it without a quorum to levy fines, initiate investigations, or respond to foreign interference. But the FEC already had been operating below full capacity, going more than two years without an inspector general (until one was appointed this month) or a permanent chief counsel. Since last year, only four of its six commissioner posts have been filled, and as of May, it had a backlog of nearly 300 cases, some dating back to 2012, 45 of which were on the cusp of a five-year statute of limitations that will toss them off the docket. Read more.

From NPR: A former senior counsel at the Federal Election Commission says it is “deeply concerning” that the panel does not have enough members to reach quorum and cannot investigate potential campaign finance violations, issue fines or provide guidance to campaigns about following election law. Daniel Weiner, now with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, says he’s particularly concerned about another attempt by Russia or other actors to interfere in the 2020 election. Read more.

From the Idaho State Journal: Jesse Robison of Pocatello calls out deceptive political advertising and other “dark money” practices in a recent column. “There are other rulings from the FEC and the Supreme Court that have further enabled a culture of shadow money to flourish in American politics through 501(c) organizations and PACs,” he says. “The growth in dark money spending since these rulings and the Citizens United decision is astounding.” Robison urges readers to support candidates who will push for term limits, campaign funding restrictions, and the abolishment of the electoral college. Read more

From the Center for Responsive Politics: A U.S. Senate race in Iowa has become a million-dollar battleground for anonymously funded political groups—more than a year before the election. Groups aligned with Democrats and Republicans, but not run by particular candidates’ campaigns, have spent more than $600,000 apiece in Iowa to sway voters’ opinions of Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, or attack “Medicare for All,” the health care plan championed by some Democrats, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission and compiled with OpenSecrets’ ad data tool. Read more.

From Southwest News Media: In a letter to the editor, Becky Varone with the American Promise Association-West Metro Minnesota outlines how the 28th Amendment would return power to the people and ensure that we return to our democratic roots. She writes: “Special interest groups pour large sums of money into political campaigns and they expect something in return. Citizens lose their voice in the process.” Read more.

From CentralMaine.com: In a letter to the editor, Melanie Lanctot shares how an unequal political playing field after the Citizens United ruling gives corporations greater power than individuals. “If we want our elected officials to be free to spend their time legislating rather than fund-raising,” Lanctot says, we need to “support the 28th Amendment, overturn Citizens United, return to limited campaign spending, and require the disclosure of major political donors. Until that happens no one should complain about either party playing on a level, albeit sleazy, playing field.” Read more.

Become a member and invest in the cause of our time: together we will ensure that We the People—not big money, not corporations, not unions, not special interests—govern America. 
| Upcoming American Promise Events

September 11, Cincinnati, OH: Get ready to organize for change at this Democracy is Brewing event with the Cincinnati American Promise Association. American Promise President Jeff Clements and State Manager Azor Cole will speak about the movement for the 28th Amendment and how citizen leaders across the country play a vital role. 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., Urban Artifact Brewery. Learn more.

September 12, Cleveland, OH: Leaders of several democracy reform organizations will gather for a discussion on ending political corruption and returning our government to the people. Hear from Jeff Clements, president and founder of American Promise; John Pudner, executive director of Take Back Our Republic; Steve Lipscomb, founder of Fix It America; and Marty Sweeney, former Cleveland City Council president. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Four Points by Sheraton Cleveland Airport. Learn more.

September 18, San Francisco, CA: Join American Promise Citizen Empowerment Coordinator Kimberly Clinch for the launch of the Bay Area American Promise Association! The launch event will include an overview of the 28th Amendment and advocacy tools for citizen leaders to support the movement to get big money out of politics. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Manny’s. Register now.

American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America. To maximize our impact together, contributions are not tax deductible. 
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