Wednesday, September 30: In concert with democracy-reform allies, Minnesota Citizens for Clean Elections sponsored a Zoom conversation with Nancy MacLean, Duke University Professor of History and Public Policy and author of the prize-winning book, Democracy in Chains, a meticulously researched study of the radical right’s long-running “stealth attack” on our democracy. She was interviewed by Dave Hage, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter (ret.) for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. MacLean traces the roots of this Koch-funded, radical right movement to 1950s Virginia and white-supremacist reaction against Supreme Court mandated school integration. Enthusiastic, personable, and–given the darkness of her subject–surprisingly optimistic, MacLean believes the energy young people are bringing to politics gives us reason to be hopeful. She advised her audience of nearly 200 participants, “Take stock of your talents and network…. Find 3 people, 5 people, 10 people: encourage them to vote…enlighten them about the threat.” You’ll believe her when she says, “No one wants to live in the world these [right wing “libertarians”] are creating.” Click here to listen to the entire conversation. You’ll also want to buy the book. The event was introduced by Clean Elections chair, George Beck. Cosponsors were Common Cause MN, American Promise, Minnesota Move to Amend, Indivisible MN 03, Plymouth Area Indivisible, Minnesota Peace Project.
Saturday, October 3: MinnPost publishes “If we want our government reformed, we first need elections reformed”: an article about our survey of all 2020 candidates for the Minnesota Senate to learn their support (or lack of it) for five democracy favors we favor. As the subtitle suggests, “If you’re one of the 85% of Americans from all political parties who want fundamental changes in clean elections, check out the Clean Election Grades to inform your vote.” You can do so by visiting www.mnelectiongrades.org. Questions in the survey relate to proposed reforms in campaign finance, reducing the power of big money in politics, and better disclosure of big money contributors. It’s easy to find how candidates in your district responded. Just select a district from the display and you’ll see the answers to the five questions (there’s help in finding your district and candidates)–and a grade from A through F. If your candidate didn’t respond, you’ll see an “F.” We think voters deserve answers. Coauthors of the article: Tom Horner (former Independence Party candidate for governor; George Beck, Clean Elections Chair and former Chair, Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board; and Connie Lewis, Clean Elections board member and former VP, Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD.