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campaign finance

Fresh Grounds: $98 Million for Negative Campaign Ads Could Be Better Spent

by Debilyn Molineaux, Coffee Party Executive Director

$98 Million.  That’s how much has been raised by Super PACs in this election cycle according to OpenSecrets.org as of February 5, 2012. $46 million of that has been spent, most of it on negative and misleading political advertisements that have ripped apart the Republican candidates and have or will soon focus on President Obama.  This is just "politics."  

I can't help but wonder, what if we stopped the war of political advertising and focused on solutions with that money?  Sure, we couldn't make the "other side" look so bad.  But maybe we could start solving our big issues like education, debt, immigration, public safety and environment.  

What would it take to stop the ad wars?  If the ads stopped working, the politicians and Super PACs would stop running them.  Personally, I don't watch TV ads, read mailers or listen to robo-calls.  And those email threads designed to inflame passion?  I do the research and usually send the truth back to the sender and their entire list.  I refuse to participate in a system that is a giant toilet of lies and deceit.  Yeah, I'm a sucker for the truth these days.  What about you?  How do you cope?  [READ MORE]

Why I occupy — by Paul Weiskel

Sept. 21, 2011 — Before you read the blog below by Coffee Party volunteer Paul Weiskel, please watch this 1-minute video, where you will get to meet him.

We ask you to do this because there is an orchestrated campaign right now designed to intimidate us into silence. Part of that campaign is a guilt-by-association ploy that is supposed to make us afraid to, not only speak out, but also to assemble and to associate.  We are going to arrange a Coffee Party radio show to hear from Paul about what he witnessed at the Occupy Wall Street event.  If you have strong opinions, feel free to call in.

We believe that Americans should have the courage to exchange ideas with anyone.  That's why we defended Shane Brooks, a member of our community, who was attacked for identifying his favorite among the Republican presidential candidates (Ron Paul) and why we are talking to the Tea Party Patriot leader, Mark Meckler, at conconcon.org today and tomorrow. 

That is also why we have an open door sign-up to speak at the Enough is Enough rally.  For democracy to work, we must have faith in the collective wisdom of the American people.  If this is truly a trans-partisan movement, we're going to need to prepare ourselves to interact with people who have different points of view. 

We encourage you to have faith in the spirit of democracy as embodied in the First Amendment and engage in dialogue and reach for understanding. We must not be afraid of our differences; instead, let us see that diversity is a distinct cultural advantage. Democracy needs to be valued and protected because it facilitates collective decision-making recognizing that it is our nature to have various views and dispositions. It is a process that enables us to be diverse and united at the same time. 

If we deny ourselves exposure to a diversity of thought and culture by seeking out only those with whom we agree, we rob ourselves of our highest potential to understand and contribute to society.  If we judge and fear people based on a matrix of stereotypes constructed by the Powers That Be, we're giving our power away. 

So watch the video, please, and get to know Paul.  He's a really good, thoughtful, courageous person, who deserves to be heard and understood. 

— Eric Byler and Annabel Park

The People's turn to speak #Oct29, a few minutes at a time

America, you are invited: SIGN UP TO SPEAK 
at the 
Enough Is Enough Rally
, October 29, 2011 at the U.S. Capitol West Front Lawn

"Our struggle is often presented as an economic struggle. The top 1% vs the rest of us. In many ways, it is that.  But, like many conflicts between people and power throughout history, it is also a struggle for identity, as individuals and as a nation."

                                                           — Annabel Park  [READ MORE]

CLICK HERE for the latest update on the #Oct29 Enough is Enough Rally.


Momentum builds for #Oct29 Enough is Enough Rally at U.S. Capitol

by Eric Byler

With 8 weeks to go, we already have 250 people signed up to speak at the Enough is Enough Rally #Oct29 and 3,400 signed up to help organize. They are coming from all across the country, even Hawai'i! Pre-registrants will be given priority over walk-ups, so click here to reserve your spot before publicity and advertising begin.  Here are some updates:

  • Annabel Park's new video and letter to America have provided us with the perfect opening statement: "Our struggle is often presented as an economic struggle. The top 1% vs the rest of us. In many ways, it is that.  But, like many conflicts between people and power throughout history, it is also a struggle for identity, as individuals and as a nation."
  • A team of volunteers has developed a social media strategy to attract the attention of speakers we'd like to attend such as Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Dylan Ratigan.  CLICK HERE to do your part.
  • Thanks to your donations, we are hiring professional event planners and mainstream media consultants to help ensure that the People's voice will at last be heard.
  • We are facilitating satellite rallies, particularly in parts of the country that are far from DC.  Local meet-ups have already begun, including planning meetings for local speak-out events and group travel to the D.C. #Oct29 (we will be raising travel funds for interested groups).
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