In an election season when 87 percent of Americans agree that our campaign finance system needs to be reformed, FAN is excited to bring updates on events helping to propel our efforts forward. FAN has been a leader in the Faithful Democracy movement, coordinating good governance organizations and advocating to get the corrosive influence of money out of our political system. For the past year, activists have questioned presidential candidates hundreds of times about the problem of donor influence, demanding they support the six bipartisan solutions in its “We the People” Pledge to #FightBigMoney.
FAN is coordinating efforts to educate on the corrosive influence of Money in Politics and how it ripples through climate, poverty and government and corrupts our democracy. We hold a firm belief that we will not win on the full range of policy issues we all care about until we combat attacks on voting rights and the integrity of the vote by big money.
For a specific example of this imbalance of money in politics, one needs to look no further than climate change and its causes. The scientific community has proven irrefutably that climate change is a fact and that fossil fuel emissions are a major cause. A recent study notes that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and that it is caused by fossil fuel emissions.
Yet, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the fossil fuel industry and the organizations representing fossil fuel interests appear to work to mislead the American public about climate change. Even though most oil companies issue public statements that state that climate change is a real phenomenon, they continue to contribute to the political system in ways that undermine clean energy initiatives and protect their corporate tax breaks.
Because of these and many other examples, FAN will offer a Money in Politics workshop at Ecumenical Advocacy Days welcoming Doug Hughes as our speaker. Last year, Doug landed his gyrocopter on the Capitol Lawn to protest campaign finance reform. Additionally, FAN will participate in a spring Democracy Awakening, where organizations representing labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, and civil rights will come together in Washington DC to demand our government return to a democracy of, by and for the people. For more information, be sure to check out the EAD and Democracy Awakening websites and sign up.
On January 20th, FAN partnered with NH Rebellion to host a Money in Politics Symposium in the days leading up to the New Hampshire presidential primary. The event was a great success, with FAN’s Patrick Carolan welcoming panelists NETWORK’s Sr. Simone Campbell, Center for Earth Ethics' Karenna Gore and AFSC’s Arnie Alpert. Each panelist spoke on the ways the faith community can help raise awareness on this issue. You can view the program in it's entirety here:
We hope to be bringing more awareness to the issue of Money in Politics this year by expanding the symposiums like the one we held in New Hampshire and promoting events like EAD and Democracy Awakeing. For more information or questions, contact Jason Miller, FAN Director of Campaigns at firstname.lastname@example.org.