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Democracy Day

Support real democracy this Wednesday!

When I was watching Rachel Maddow’s coverage of California’s gubernatorial (awesome word, by the way) primary several weeks ago, I heard a number that I still haven’t been able to get out of my head: $70 million. Meg Whitman, one of the Republican candidates running for her party’s nomination, had spent  more than $70 million of her own money on her campaign. Let me say it again: more than $70 million of her own money. Add donations to that for a grand total of more than $81 million spent during her primary campaign. I can’t even imagine how much she’s going to spend now that she won the Republican nomination.

What does it say about our country, about our electoral system, about our campaign-finance system that a candidate for governor can spend that much money—a number that defies true comprehension—to get elected? And what kind of chance does that give candidates without seemingly unlimited funds at their disposal?

From what I can tell, progressive people don’t usually have that kind of money. They’re too busy trying to make a real difference in people’s lives to accumulate that kind of bank. What does that mean? I think that, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision blocking a ban on corporate spending in elections, the danger of money corrupting the political process and drowning out progressive voices that are calling for real change is greater than ever before.

Here in Massachusetts, Jill Stein—Green-Rainbow candidate for governor—is the progressive voice the big-money candidates are trying to drown out. I know what a lot of you will say: she won’t win; what’s the point? It’s about so much more than winning. It’s about changing the conversation. How are we ever going to get the change that we want to see in our government if our views on the issues that we care about don’t even get a chance to be heard and discussed?

So, it’s time to help change the conversation here in Massachusetts. Add your voice to those calling for real democracy. Democracy Days, an offshoot of Jill Stein’s campaign, is gearing up for their second Democracy Day: Wednesday, June 30. Pledge just $10 to start changing the conversation and taking back our elections from special interests. I’m not even telling you to vote for her in November. Just pack your lunch one day and give the money you would have spent on lunch out to Jill Stein instead—so her voice can be heard, so your voice can be heard.

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