Friday, April 6, 2018

Transparency is the best policy.

Thump, thump, bam, thump.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting Facebook will be requiring more transparency with political issue ads. “The latest [Facebook] move will cover “issue ads”—those that don’t specifically mention a candidate but weigh in on a divisive issue, including during an election campaign. Such advertisers will be required to confirm their identities and locations with the company.

This is the approach I suggested in a November 1, 2017 Rolling Stone op-ed. Hey Google!!! Are you in?

I want Facebook to know I am happy to help anytime.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Who Will Be Accountable for Limiting Voters Choices?

In 2018, our state legislature is set to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WA VRA). We need to support the versions of HB 1800 and SB 6002 that keep voting system options open for local communities when they face issues such as racially polarized voting. Like its federal predecessor, this would allow communities to find their own solutions to changing demographics and how it impacts voting—instead of an overly restrictive mandate from Olympia.

We’ve already seen how mandates limiting local options has had policy consequences.

Monday, July 11, 2016

THE POWER OF ASSOCIATION I: Book Review, The Inevitable Party

Seth E. Masket is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver. His new book is The Inevitable Party, a study of the consequences of anti-party laws in the United States. 

Starting over 100 years ago, would-be reformers have taken power away from political parties in an attempt to remedy the effects of political machines and the bosses that controlled them. Masket tells us how today the new boss is the same as the old boss—as political insiders are resilient. They adapt to rules intended to disburse power, resulting in “reforms” that weaken democracy by fostering lack of transparency and polarization.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Citizens United: The Real Story


THE HISTORY OF MODERN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS
By Krist Novoselic

The most notorious Supreme Court ruling of recent times is 2010’s Citizens United v. F.E.C. This ruling has captured many an imagination with the idea that the Court somehow turned “corporations into people” or that money was created into speech. This article is not about propagating these useless catchphrases, rather, it is about how independent campaign expenditure prohibitions bump into 1st Amendment protections. I look at the history of attempts to regulate independent campaign expenditures and how, in the process, a state censorship board was created.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Peaceful Resolution with Armed Dissent in the United States

Photograph of Geronimo, 1887 by Ben Wittick
Militiamen taking over a federal bird sanctuary in Oregon has me thinking about violent political actions. I have been studying American Indian history and there are similarities with actions some Indians took a generation ago. I hope the situation in Oregon will be resolved peacefully and there is precedent for this in the United States. The following are my thoughts based on an essay by Dean J. Kotlowski that is in the Roger L. Nichols compilation The American Indian: Past and Present