| Get the Picture

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Faced with dysfunctional, divisive politics on the federal level, many Americans are growing increasingly dismayed with the state of our nation. Amid a perceived deep divide, a majority of us agree that our political system isn’t working for most citizens—Americans across the political spectrum recently named political corruption the No. 1 issue our nation faces (read our op-ed about International Anti-Corruption Day, which was Dec. 9). 

Given this, many Americans feel moved to act. American Promise citizen leaders across the country are taking action where they can make the biggest difference: on the local and state levels. As our friends from RepresentUs note in the video highlighted below, taking action on the state level has been the key to creating massive federal change. And the percentage of us needed to be actively involved to create this real and lasting change is 3.5%—about 11 million Americans. Relatively speaking, a small number of us can make a big difference. 

We thank the many of you who have heeded the call to action and are working locally to get big money out of politics through the 28th Amendment. Through your work, and the work of a growing group of fellow citizen leaders across America, we can act locally while building a movement for national change and creating a functional political system that serves us all. 

Easy Action Item
Azor Cole
State Manager, American Promise
International Anti-Corruption Day Highlights Our Democratic Responsibilities at Home 

This Monday marked the 16th United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, established to recognize the threat of corruption, which undermines democratic institutions globally, including here in the United States. To highlight how our movement against big money in politics relates to anti-corruption efforts worldwide, Managing Director Leah Field wrote an op-ed published in The Hill.
Read More
| Call to Action
In this new video from our friends at RepresentUs, actor Michael Douglas shares how we all can create the change we want to see. The video highlights how citizen action is the way movements have succeeded throughout history—this aligns with the work of American Promise citizen leaders across the nation. We can all help end the domination of big money in politics. Watch this video and share it on your social networks to encourage your friends and family to get involved!
Watch the Video
Public Campaign Finance: Fighting Big Money with Small Donors 

The corrupting influence of big money in politics doesn’t just affect national elections—in recent years cities and states across the nation have seen an upswing in campaign spending, often from powerful out-of-state interests. In order to fight the undue influence of wealthy special interests in local elections, cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and Seattle are amplifying the power of the people with public campaign financing
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Can You Guess
Who Said It?

Leaders from across the political spectrum know that we must end the dominance of big money in our political system. Who said these words about the critical nature of our movement? Take a guess, then click on the image and scroll down in the article to learn who’s behind these words. Who said it?
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From the (Medford, Oregon) Mail Tribune: An Oregon legislative committee is drafting a proposal to limit campaign contributions. Oregon is one of only five states that imposes no limits whatsoever on political campaign contributions, because the state Supreme Court has ruled that limits infringe on citizens’ free expression. As this editorial notes: “Efforts to reduce the influence of money in Oregon politics face an uphill battle in next year’s legislative session for the simple reason that lawmakers will need to vote for rules that limit how much money they can collect when they run for reelection.” Read more.

From the Kansas City Star: While Kansas bars state lawmakers from accepting lobbyist contributions during the legislative session, candidates for the U.S. Senate face no such restrictions. That means Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, who is among those running to succeed Sen. Pat Roberts, can collect lobbyist funds during the session—a situation that some see as potentially unethical. Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform for the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center, notes that potential donors who have business before the state may feel pressured to give to the campaigns of current officeholders “even if they have little interest in the outcome of that race or seeing that person elected.” Read more.

From The Fulcrum: Election security remains a critical concern heading into 2020. States are spending tens of millions buying new equipment, hiring cybersecurity wizards and installing software that warns of intrusions — among numerous other steps. To create this security overview of 13 presidential battleground states, The Fulcrum reviewed information from state elections officials, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Election Assistance Commission and news reports. Read more

From the New York Daily News: An opinion article from six members of the New York Assembly calls for fixes to campaign finance reforms proposed by the New York State Public Financing Commission. The six lawmakers, who represent areas of New York City, say the commission’s potential was “marred by dysfunction, distracted by irrelevant political discussions on minor parties, and seemingly more focused on maintaining the status quo than ushering in a new age in Albany.” They introduce their own legislation that would include limits on individual campaign contributions, protections for the state’s minority political parties, and creation of an independent board to oversee and enforce the changes. Read more.

American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America.
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