Category: Defending Key Reforms

Juneteenth and democracy

For a century and a half, many Black Americans have observed Juneteenth (June 19) as the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Today, we all recognize Juneteenth not just as a celebration of the end of slavery, but as a call to action to finally move our country to true racial
Read More

Our Testimony in Support of Bill to Help Ensure Safe In-Person Voting During COVID-19 Pandemic

Free Speech For People submitted written testimony in support of a new bill in the Massachusetts State House to improve election safety, security and accessibility in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Representative Tami Gouveia of the 14th Middlesex District introduced the legislation, which Free Speech For People helped develop.  The bill, titled “An Act to
Read More

Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Seattle public campaign financing law

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Seattle’s innovative public campaign financing program in the case of Elster v. City of Seattle.  In 2015, Seattle voters enacted a novel democracy voucher program for public campaign financing.  Under the democracy voucher program, eligible Seattle residents receive four $25 vouchers that they can use to
Read More

Free Speech For People Statement on Reports That U.S Senators Sold Stock Following Confidential COVID-19 Briefings.

The news that at least two U.S. Senators, Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), sold major holdings of stock, apparently after receiving confidential briefings on the spread and severity of the coronavirus pandemic, but just before public revelations of that information caused the stock market to crash, is a gut punch to Americans whose
Read More

WATCH: Seattle City Council Discusses Clean Campaigns Act

Last week, Free Speech For People President John Bonifaz and FSFP Legal Director Ron Fein spent two days in Seattle advocating for the Clean Campaigns Act, Councilmember Lorena González’s landmark campaign finance legislation. The model bill, which we helped to draft, would end super PACs and foreign-influenced corporate spending in city elections. After joining Councilmember
Read More

WATCH: Ron Fein Discusses Seattle Legislation to End Super PACs and Stop Foreign-Influenced Corporate Spending To Influence Local Elections

FSFP Legal Director Ron Fein joined John Iadarola on The Damage Report to discuss Seattle’s proposed legislation to end foreign-influenced corporate political spending and super PACs in local elections.  “The legislation has two main parts. One of them is to define a foreign-influenced corporation as one that has a percentage of foreign investment as small
Read More

Washington State PDC Issues Letter To Support Seattle’s Defend Our Democracy Ordinance

SEATTLE, WA (September 10, 2019) — The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission has issued a letter to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission to support the goals of the Defend our Democracy ordinance that would abolish super PACs and prohibit spending by foreign-influenced corporations in local elections. The proposed legislation, presented last month to the
Read More

Washington Supreme Court Rules in Favor of “Democracy Voucher” Program

The Washington Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the Honest Elections Seattle initiative (I-22), which created the city’s “democracy voucher” program. The public campaign financing program, instituted in 2015 and first used two years later, provides eligible Seattle residents with four $25 vouchers that they can use to support the candidates of their choice
Read More

Victory: Corporate Challenge to Contribution Ban Fails as U.S. Supreme Court Lets Massachusetts Decision Stand

We recently celebrated a victory as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear 1A Auto, Inc. v. Sullivan, a challenge to a Massachusetts state law banning corporate contributions to political candidates. Free Speech For People worked with Common Cause Massachusetts on an amicus brief in the state supreme court. The corporate challenge Massachusetts has prohibited
Read More

Podcast: Centering Marginalized Communities

Our Democracy Honors Fellow Jasmine Gomez joined Allie Boldt (from Demos) joined Laura Friedy on the Every Voice Podcast on how to take an intersectional approach to money in politics to bring new and necessary voices to the movement.  Jasmine and Allie discussed their new framework for ensuring that historically marginalized communities — like communities
Read More