More women running and using their strength, as women

Excerpt from NY Times article and study findings: Women are being themselves and sharing more about their person alive on the campaign trail.  The old advice, strategists and candidates say, didn’t really work anyway. In focus groups conducted after Mrs. Clinton’s loss in 2016, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which works to help elect more women, found that voters want to …

Reconnecting With Rural America

BY TOM VILSACK FROM WINTER 2018, NO. 47, A JOURNAL OF IDEAS SYMPOSIUM | WHAT IS RED-STATE LIBERALISM? Photo by National Renewable Energy Lab via CC 2.0 In 2012 my wife, Christie, ran for Congress against incumbent Representative Steve King in Iowa’s 4th congressional district. The 4th congressional district was considered to be one of the top ten most conservative districts in the country in 2012. The …

Democracy under threat and need for reform is urgent, says regulator

Electoral Commission asks government to change law after series of online political campaign scandals, by Jim Waterson, The Guardian UK, Mon 25 Jun 2018    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie addresses a rally in Parliament Square organised by the Fair Vote Project. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo The Electoral Commission has called for urgent reforms to electoral law after a series of online political …

Basic US political reform

Americans elected Trump under the terms set forth in the Constitution. Americans created the Electoral College, which allows a candidate with a minority of popular votes to become president. Americans were those who gerrymandered electoral districts to rig them in favor of a given political party. The Supreme Court issued the infamous Citizens United decision that allows corporate financing of candidates for …

Deliberative democracy in action delivers a success

Illustration by Mark Long In all the excitement of what happened in Ireland’s referendum on abortion, we should not lose sight of what did not happen. A vote on an emotive subject was not subverted. The tactics that have been so successful for the right and the far right in the UK, the US, Hungary and elsewhere did not work. …

Rights of Nature and Community Rights movement in corporate crosshairs

Excerpt from Inside Climate News Since the dawn of the environmental movement, polluters have faced resistance from local residents and environmental advocates. But as industry encroached deeper into the natural world, a new legal movement emerged to end the centuries-old American legal tradition that defined nature as property. Most community activism has focused on trying to influence environmental agency decision-making, and …

Targeting news and ads to particular recipients on Facebook, Twitter and more, to sway voting

Wired.com 28 Oct 2017, by Issie Lapowsky NEWS THAT CAMBRIDGE Analytica CEO Alexander Nix approached Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last year to exploit Hillary Clinton’s private emails has amplified questions about Cambridge’s role in President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Shortly after The Daily Beast reported Nix’s contact with Assange Wednesday, the Trump campaign’s executive director sought to downplay Cambridge’s role. Michael Glassner said in a statement that …

Another con: here’s where your tax dollars for defense are really going

By William Hartung, The Nation, October 2017 Here’s a question for you: How do you spell boondoggle? The answer (in case you didn’t already know): P-e-n-t-a-g-o-n. Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department’s already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “support the troops.” If you’re already …

Disenfranchised due to poverty

The Guardian, 4 Oct 2017 “The county told me I lost my right to vote and I don’t get my vote back until I pay all my fines and costs and get off probation and all that” Randi Lynn Williams assumes she will never be able to afford to vote again. The 38-year-old resident of Dothan, Alabama, lost her right to …

To Protect Voting, Use Open-Source Software

By R. JAMES WOOLSEY and BRIAN J. FOX, New York Times, AUG. 3, 2017 CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times  Although Russian hackers are reported to have tried to disrupt the November election with attacks on the voting systems of 39 states, the consensus of the intelligence community is that they were probably unsuccessful in their efforts to delete and alter voter data. But another …