In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. FEC allowing unlimited corporate spending on elections, I have been examining the challenges facing political newcomers running for office for my forthcoming film PAY 2 PLAY.
These profiles from the Ohio campaign trail are a chance for candidates to get their message out in a way they might not be able to otherwise, in consideration of the obstacles and considerable expense required to run for office. No endorsement is implied by the inclusion of any of the candidates in this series.
Democratic Primary for U.S. House of Representatives: Ohio’s 2nd District
This coming Tuesday, May 4th, Ohioans vote in their primary elections for national and statewide offices. Ohio has long been romanticized as a microcosm of America and a bellwether for national politics. Yet primary elections are a pivotal point in our democratic process, and it often goes ignored by the media and the public, even on the local level. Supporting a candidate early on can make a real impact, as money and momentum are much harder to come by before winning the nomination.
Ohio’s 2nd District is currently represented by Republican Jean Schmidt, first elected in 2005 in a special election running against Paul Hackett, a race that drew national attention–Hackett, a Marine having just returned from Fallujah, ran as an anti-war Democrat. His narrow loss suggested that a reliably conservative district stretched across Southern Ohio could one day be in play for Democrats. While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has eyed Rep. Schmidt’s House seat as vulnerable over the past election cycles, Schmidt has nonetheless survived.
This Democratic Primary brings three candidates who look to challenge Rep. Schmidt for her House seat. In the interest of providing an equitable platform, here are video introductions from the candidates, along with their websites, so that they can speak for themselves, without having to pay for it. Read More »
Running for U.S. Senate in the May 4th Democratic Primary
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner took the time to speak to me as she embarked on the maiden voyage of her “Courage Express” — a school bus with a shiny makeover, a modest alternative to the rock star-quality campaign tour bus that typically rents for two grand a week.
With her husband and dogs hanging out behind her, Brunner discussed why she chose to run for federal office at this time, the cost prohibitions in advancing your ideas in campaigns today, and her proposals to improve the financial problems Ohio faces through green economic initiatives.
The Founding Fathers were totally on the whole separate-Church-and-State thing, bumper sticker.
In case you were curious who drove this, it was two elderly white couples, all of them with the largest hair I think I have ever seen on anyone, and I’m really trying to think back to Burning Man and high school theatre.
This is a trailer for a compelling new documentary about the Abstinence-Only Evangelical movement, directed by Cassie Jaye with Jaye Bird Productions. As her film description explains:
The politically conservative Evangelical community believes sex is meant to take place only within the context of marriage, and favors Abstinence-Only curriculum in the American educational system. Powerful Christian organizations along with $1.3 billion in federal funding have created Purity Balls, high-tech road shows and faith-based education curricula disputing safe sex practices.
In Bakersfield, California, police raid a woman’s house, banging on her doors and knocking in her windows as she videotapes them, repeatedly asking for a warrant, which they do not present.
For further insight into Bakersfield, here is a picture I took last week of their high school, where the mascot is an oil well. I am not making this up. It’s like the high school founded back in the day in dust bowl California by the guy from There Will Be Blood.
Just posted on the venerable BradBlog, here is Brad Friedman’s keynote address at the Common Cause Media Reform Conference this past weekend at Occidental College in L.A. Brad is prominently featured in my election reform documentary FREE FOR ALL! as is Mark Crispin Miller, who wrote this about the importance of Brad’s speech:
It’s especially nice to see Brad there, as the media reform movement has paid little heed to the gigantic problem of election fraud and its non-coverage by the media: Free Press, for example, has staunchly–and inexplicably–refused to give that issue any prominence on the agenda at _its_ conferences.
Which is a shame, since, if this democracy has any chance of ever coming back, it will depend on our perceiving as inseparable these three essential issues:
media reform election reform campaign finance reform