Books, Articles, and Media Features
The Book Depository web site lists a vast collection of titles covering election rules, laws, and history representing the US and other nations. “Free delivery worldwide.”
- Who Stole the American Dream, Hedrick Smith. NY: Random House: 2012 (paperback). According to a Wikipedia review, "This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand...why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn't looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists." Can we win back the dream? Smith believes we can, but only through grass roots action; politicians won't do the job for us. In more recent work, Smith has charted local success stories, as in his recent film, "Winning Back Our Democracy." But there's more hard work ahead.
- How Democracies Die. Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt. Crown: 2018 (Hardcover). "...[A] brilliant diagnosis of the most important issue facing our world: Can democracy survive?"--E.J. Dionne, Jr. "Two years ago, a book like this could not have been written: two leading political scientists who are experts in the breakdown of democracy in other parts of the world using that knowledge to inform Americans of the dangers their democracy faces today" -- Francis Fukuyama. New Selection for the Book Club.
- Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations. Jeffrey D. Clements. Berrett-Koehler: August 18, 2014 (second ed.). "In this new edition, Clements details [Supreme Court decision] Citizens United's ongoing destructive effects... And in a new chapter, "Do Something!" Clements shows how state by state and community by community Americans are using new strategies and tools to renew democracy and curb unbalanced corporate power."
- Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Radical Right. Jane Mayer. Doubleday: Jan. 19, 2016, 464 pp. “A careful exposé of the libertarian agenda, spearheaded by the Koch brothers, to 'impose their minority views on the majority by other means.'... Mayer provides plenty of ammunition for those convinced that the U.S. is no longer a representative democracy but instead an oligarchy. A valuable contribution to the study of modern electoral politics in an age that Theodore White, and perhaps even Hunter S. Thompson, would not recognize.” – Kirkus Reviews
- Taxation Only With Representation: The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform. Richard Painter. Take Back Our Republic: Feb., 2016, 202 pp. "...discusses how our money driven campaign system undermines the vision of the Founding Fathers...(and) lays out a plan for reform that (defines) the government's right to tax its citizens in a way that will give each citizen a real voice in funding campaigns." -- Publisher's abstract
- Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution. Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz. Henry Holt and Co, June 3, 2014. 416 pgs. Available in Kindle and audible versions. "[The authors] focus on specific issues of equality of race, gender, and sexual orientation as seen through decisions on affirmative action, voting rights, and marriage laws as well as health care, campaign finance [bold added], gun rights, presidential power, and privacy...." -- Vanessa Bush on Amazon.com "..".[A] fascinating, penetrating, and highly readable analysis of the Supreme Court's jurisprudence. Anyone who aspires to understand how and in what ways the Court is influencing our lives and our laws will want to read this superb and evenhanded book." -- Theodore B. Olson, U.S. Solicitor General for President George W. Bush.
- Drawing the Lines on Gerrymandering. An in-depth history and analysis of the practice of drawing the boundaries of political districts to favor one constituency at the expense of others. Hosted by Mo Rocca on "CBS Sunday Morning, January 14, 2018.
- The People Versus the Politicians: In this Dec 2017 interview on Sirius XM Radio, Llewellyn King's questions elicit from Hedrick Smith a broad-scale analysis of the way Big Money has encroached on politics and society in general since the 1970s. In addition to describing the problem in detail, Smith points to some examples of local and state policies that push back against dark money, gerrymandering, and the general weakening of middle-class/working class economic and political influence. Well worth 29 minutes of your time.
"Repairing Presidential Elections."
MnCCE member Mark Bohnhorst writes a detailed, legal argument in favor of a National Popular Vote initiative in which states pledge to lend their votes in the electoral college to the winner of the popular vote nationwide--not matter the outcome in the state. When enough states take the pledge (and their are different ways to do that) to control a majority in the Electoral College, the winner of the popular vote will become president.
2018 Candidate Survey
- In June 2018, Minnesota Citizens for Clean Elections distributed a survey to roughly 400 candidates for both houses of the Minnesota Congress, all constitutional offices, and the US Senate seat vacated by Al Franken. Three yes/no questions sought opinions about Citizens United, public campaign financing, and contributor transparency. The returns from the 136 responses are detailed and analyzed in this candidate response spreadsheet.
- Here is the three-question survey we distributed.
- Press release on survey.