March 2015 Newsletter

Shine a Light in Olympia – April 2nd

Join Fix Democracy First! and Public Citizen as we work to bring to light the dark money in politics. At noon on Thursday, April 2nd we’ll gather in Olympia at the sundial (between the O’Brien and Cherberg Buildings – click and look on lower left of map). We’ll call on President Obama to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their campaign contributions.

We’ll announce who has signed on to the letter calling for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics and we’ll call on House members to support ESB 5153, the disclosure bill, that is currently in the House State Government Committee.

ESB 5153 is scheduled for a committee vote on April 1, the cut off day for committees to consider and vote on bills coming from the opposite chamber.  Depending on the April 1vote, we’ll see if voters will be kept in the dark about who is giving big money through organizations that aren’t required to disclose their donors. Bring your flashlights. Even though it’s high noon, we hope to have some “light-hearted” fun.

See updates on FDF’s legislative agenda HERE.                                                     


Save the Date – Retooling Our Democracy  –  June 27

Fix Democracy First! 2015 Awards Dinner will be held Saturday, June 27 at Bloedel Hall in Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle. The late afternoon-evening event will feature Pulitzer Prize winning author, Hedrick Smith. His book, “Who Stole the American Dream”, and his presentations have generated efforts to retool our democracy. Please save the date.


The “Make Every Vote Count” Initiative I-1380 – a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

By Ken Dammand
Polls show that well over two thirds of US citizens would prefer a national popular vote for President.  And, believe it or not, there is a very simple way to accomplish this goal without amending the U.S. Constitution.  The movement is called the National Popular Vote.   But, true to form, cynical and well-funded anti-democratic forces are now exploiting the public’s desire for a popular vote to promote a deceptively named alternative they call the “Make Every Vote Count” Initiative.  This initiative does not make every vote count.  And if implemented in specific states only, it will literally guarantee the Presidency to one Party for the foreseeable future. Read on to understand this cynical ploy and the amazingly simple and effective alternative that would truly create a national popular vote for the presidency… Read More


Six Amendments to Pursue – summary of Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, by John Paul Stevens, US Supreme Court Justice (Ret.)

By Evelyn McChesney

1. The Anti-Commandeering rule
2. Partisan Gerrymanders
3. Campaign Finance
4. Sovereign Immunity
5. The Death Penalty
6. The Second Amendment (Gun Control)

Click on one of the 6 items above to find out why that amendment should be adopted and how it would be written. “The first four would nullify Judge-made rules; the fifth would expedite the demise of the death penalty, and the sixth would confine the coverage of the Second Amendment to the area intended by its authors.”  (quoting from the book.)  “As time passes, I am confident that the soundness of each of my proposals will become more and more evident, and that ultimately each will be adopted.   The purpose of this book is to expedite that process and to avoid future crises before they occur.” Read More


WAmend on the Road to Success

The Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution, of which Fix Democracy First! is a member, recently filed an initiative with the Secretary of State calling upon Congress to pass an amendment to clarify that money is not speech and that non-humans do not have constitutional rights. Since this initiative is to the legislature, signatures will be gathered begining in April through mid-December and the legislature will consider it in the 2016 legislative session. The legislature can adopt it as is, ignore it and let it go to the 2016 general election ballot, or pass an alternative, in which case both proposals go to the ballot.
This is the second effort to gather over 300,000 signatures using only volunteers. The campaign has a head start this time around. The initiatve language was hammered out early so organizing could begin to recruit volunteers. Bylaws were revised to create a more flexible and effective leadership team. A campaign manager and 3 staff members have been hired and the surplus from the last campaign has provided a small cushion of start up money. Volunteers collected 175,000 signatures from February through June for Initiative 1329 in 2014. It is assumed with the longer time and summer activities to collect signatures that it will be easier to reach the goal this year. Click here to volunteer and donate.


Honest Elections Seattle

Yes, that’s the name of an exciting new campaign in Seattle. Watch for an announcement of this anti-corruption/public funding initiative that will hit the streets soon..  

The Corrupting Koch Brothers: Intent on Buying the Next Election

by Phil Harrison

The political funding network organized by the Koch brothers has set a goal of spending $889 million for the 2016 election.  This is more than double what the RNC spent in 2012 and about what the 2012 Presidential campaigns each spent.  The Koch network will potentially have more influence on elections than the traditional political parties.  But if the past is any guide, much of the money will be channeled through nonprofit groups who are engaged in “social welfare” activities and thus free from donor disclosure requirements.   

According to an article at truth-out.org, one of the Koch-funded groups, Americans for Prosperity, claimed to the IRS that the majority of its $122 million in 2012 spending has nothing to do with elections. Other groups funded by the Koch network have made similar claims.  You can read the full article with more details at:  The Kochs Will Spend Nearly $1 Billion on the 2016 Elections, but Deny It