CSD Newsletter – March 30, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of the Campaign for Stronger Democracy’s e-newsletter — a clearinghouse for news about the democracy reform community. The Campaign is a new coalition that is working to increase collaboration among democracy advocates.

The headlines below will be archived at the Campaign for Stronger Democracy’s web site.
You can also get news and updates through our Facebook page or on Twitter. Please forward this on to other colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive future newsletters.

From the Blog

  • Best Friends of Democracy: In his first post for our blog, the Campaign’s Executive Director Peter Hardie has some thoughts on how we can be better friends of democracy. Enemies of democracy are everywhere, but its friends need to be seen and heard. We need the encouragement and opportunities to fully engage (from our governmental institutions, organizations, and our neighbors) in order to vigorously defend the rights and privileges of democracy.
  • Money in Politics Democracy Exchange: We hosted our Democracy Exchange on money in politics this month, featuring Trevor Potter from Campaign Legal Center and Karen Scharff of Citizen Action New York, moderated by Karen Hobert Flynn of Common Cause. The speakers touched on a variety of money in politics topics including Citizens United, super PACs, recent court cases in Montana, and the possibility for state-wide reform in New York. You can stream or download the exchange as a podcast on our website.
  • National Coming Out of the Shadows Week: Undocumented youth around the country have been engaged in fantastic organizing within their local communities, in their states, nationally, and online. A nationwide Coming Out of the Shadows Week, organized by youth who are undocumented, started on March 10 with events across the country. On our blog we listed some of the upcoming events, and highlighted just some of the organizations doing great work in different states.

Five Things You Must Read

  • State Integrity Index (State Integrity): The State Integrity Investigation released their state report cards earlier this month. The investigation looked into 330 different “corruption risk indicators” in 14 categories for each state, and assigned each state a grade based on how well their current laws and institutions prevent corruption. No state got a grade of A, while only 5 received a B. More than half the states received a grade of D of F. Read the full report on the State Integrity website, and we also did a write up for the report on our blog.
  • An Open Letter to the Citizens Against Citizens United (Larry Lessig in the Atlantic): Larry Lessig writes in the Atlantic that the push for a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is admirable, but we need to understand that democracy was, in a sense, “broken” even before the Court’s decision.
  • Lobbyists, Guns and Money (Paul Krugman in the New York Times): The American Legislative Exchange Council has been pushing state level laws that threaten democracy for a long time, including voter ID and anti-immigrant legislation. Now, Paul Krugman points out the connection between ALEC and “stand your ground” laws, such as the one in Florida’s Trayvon Martin shooting.

Upcoming Events


Democracy 2.0

Electoral Reform and Voting Rights

Judicial Reform

Lobbying, Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform

Media Reform and Internet Access

National, Community and Public Service

Participation, Collaboration, and Civic Engagement

Racial Justice, Civil Rights and Immigrant Civic Inclusion

State and Local Democracy

Transparency and Openness

Youth Engagement and Civic Education

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