“We may have democracy, or we may have vast wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” - Justice Louis Brandeis

“The practice of democracy is not transferred through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.” - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Eighty-three percent of Americans support the federal government's negotiating drug prices for Medicare. No bills have been advanced to make it so. Since 2003, drug companies have spent $1.6 billion lobbying Congress.

Clean Elections Minnesota is a non-profit, non-partisan group of Minnesotans concerned that the power of Big Money, Dark Money, and Corporate Money is overwhelming the public interest in local, state, and national elections--especially since the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United. We're dedicated to educating ourselves and others about ways to maintain and enhance the democratic power of ordinary citizens to resist the rise of oligarchy locally and nationally--and we're committed to putting ideas into action. Although our main energies are devoted to education, we maintain a presence at the legislature when it's in session. In 2018, Clean Elections MN members were present and testified in sessions dealing with public funding of elections, redistricting, transparency of contributions, and related matters. We're powering up to do the same in 2019 with these 15 priorities.

You can become a member of Clean Elections MN for only $25 annual dues. And please consider supporting our work with an extra contribution. We are a 501(c)(3), so both dues and contributions are tax-deductible. To pay on line, click the "Donate" button. To pay by mail, send a check payable to MnCCE (Minnesota Citizens for Clean Elections), to Treasurer Jim Herrick, 1780 Lake Street, Lauderdale, MN 55113. We thank you for your support!

 Events of Interest

Saturday, February 23: Bi-monthly MnCCE meeting, 1:00 - 3:30 pm in the Helen Young Room of the Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave S, Edina, MN 55435. University of Minnesota Professor Kathryn Pearson will speak on Transparency and Campaign Spending in Minnesota.  An email reminder will go out before the meeting. Click here to see the results of research on the 2018 elections in Minnesota conducted by Professor Pearson and Professor Larry Jacobs. If you click below to get on our email list, we'll send meeting announcements, monthly Notes from the Chair, a quarterly newsletter, and other items of interest to friends of clean elections that ratify the will of the voters, not the power of special-interest money.

Wednesday, February 20, Saving Democracy Book Club, 1:30 - 3:00, St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave. So, Minneapolis. Current reading: How Democracies Die, Levitsky & Ziblatt, Crown, 2018. "Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of ... examples [the authors] show how democracies die--and how ours can be saved." The book provoked a lively discussion in the January session, and we felt there was room for more and deeper conversation. Come in February for the second discussion whether you've read the whole book, parts of the book, or none of the book. The democracy you save might be your own.

Support a National Popular Vote Initiative

Frustrated by presidential elections determined by the Electoral College vote rather than the national popular vote? MnCCE member Mark Bohnhorst's detailed paper, "Repairing Presidential Elections" offers a legally documented argument for action by the states to ensure that never happens again. From the introduction to the paper:

This paper begins with a sketch of the flaws in our current system. It then (i) traces the current movement for a national popular vote from its inception in 2001 to 2018 and (ii) discusses the opportunities created by the election of 2018 for moving to a system under which the president will be elected on the basis of who gets the most votes. It concludes by identifying some objections to a proposed interstate compact, suggesting some practical steps that resolve those objections and offering some thoughts for the future. References and citations are in the Endnotes.

 Help Overturn Citizens United

Act now to support an effort in Minnesota to overturn the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United. Follow the link to a Clean Elections resolution to present to leaders in your municipality. For more information, contact Jim Herrick, jherrick512@gmail.com.

MnCCE Candidate Survey Results

Click here to view the results of MnCCE's survey of candidates' views on repealing Citizens United, disclosure of campaign funding, and public financing of political campaigns. Look for candidates who were elected in your area. If you don't see a response, contact him or her and ask for a response to the survey questions:

Do you support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United?

Do you suppose full disclosure of the source of campaign funding, including PACs and Super PACs?

Do you support full or partial public funding of political campaigns?

 2018 Mileposts

February: "Corporations Are Not People." A presentation in the SPNN Studio in St. Paul by American Promise president Jeff Clements cosponsored by Clean Elections. You can watch a video by clicking clicking here.

May 5: All About Gerrymandering. A presentation by member Peter Wattson at our May meeting. You can review his slides by clicking here.

June: Candidate Survey. Clean Elections MN volunteers distributed a three-question survey to roughly 400 candidates running in primaries for all state congressional offices, constitutional offices, US Congress, and in the special election for US Senate. The results are available in a Candidate Response Spreadsheet. We hope this well help you how to vote in the general election in November. On July 19, Clean Elections MN sent a press release about the survey to more than 100 news outlets around the state plus our nonprofit allies.

September 15: "Money in Politics: How Do We Get Out of the Mess We Are In?" A panel discussion at a meeting of the Minnesota Humanists meeting. MnCCE member Sharon Tornes assembled an impressive panel, including Professor Kathryn Pearson, Senator John Marty and Vicki Barnes, state coordinator for American Promise and Take Back our Republic.

September 7-20: "Dark Money" premiered at the Lagoon theater. Members of the Dark Money book club attended to prepare for a discussion of the events in the film at the September meeting. PBS aired the documentary on October 1 and 6. For more information go to https://www.darkmoneyfilm.com/. Click here to view the trailer.

September 20: "Whatever Happened to 'We the People'?" George Beck, Clean Elections MN Board Chair gave a talk about the impact on politics of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, the presence of Dark Money in elections, the connection between political contributions and legislation, and the flaws on our democracy. St. Louis Park League of Women Voters sponsored the event.

September 8: Redistricting
A presentation at the monthly meeting by Annastacia Belladonna Carrera of Common Cause MN about the mutual relationships among the Census, Apportionment, Redistricting, and Voting. Watch the upcoming session of the MN legislature for proposals related to these four crucial elements of democracy. Minnesota could lose a congressional district (and a vote in the electoral college) based on the 2020 Census.

December 16: George Beck addressed SD 46DFL.