Sunday, December 22, 2013

Represent.Us (anti-corruption) Project 435

[From Project.Us]

Welcome to Project 435


46 million Americans live in poverty. National debt is the highest it’s ever been. Our jobs are gone. Our country is stuck in perpetual crisis. And what is Congress doing about it? Nothing. Because they can’t. They’ve pledged allegiance to the people who fund their campaigns. But they’re supposed to work for us. It’s time to force our representatives to once again represent us, the people.


The problem is big, but we have a plan, and that plan depends on you. In the end, We The People still hold the ultimate power over our government, but most Americans have forgotten that. Never forget: We elected them to represent us. It’s time to hold them to it. We’re going to get clear about this once and for all: If Congress won’t represent us, Congress is corrupt. This is not about Democrats and Republicans, it’s not about right vs left. It’s about right vs wrong. And we’re here to make things right by ending corruption. Every American deserves to know if their US House Representative is “Corrupt” or “Anti-Corrupt.” Do they represent us or corrupt special interests?
Project 435 will get every member of the US House on the record for or against the American Anti-Corruption Act — Corrupt or Anti-corrupt…and if you’re Corrupt, you’re out! Let’s take our country back! We’ve created the tools and a plan. There are 5 steps: Lead, Recruit, Organize, Pressure, Win.  You can use this timeline as a rough guide — but be sure to work at a comfortable pace. Here’s how you do it:


  • Build a team of 3-5 leaders in your Congressional District. Together, you will drive your District Committee’s recruitment and actions up to the day you meet with your Representative and beyond. Here’s the catch: You’ve got to get at least one liberal and one conservative in on your team — it’ll increase your credibility and give you a real shot at winning.
Get started right now: Fill out this online form to register as a District Leader.
  • Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to get at least 1,000 people from your congressional district to add their name in support of the American Anti-Corruption Act. Start small. Hand out a basic flyer to coworkers, family, and friends, and ask them to join you in ending corruption. Hold meetings and invite the public. Then ramp it up: Flyer your neighborhood with your core team. Write letters to the editor. Table at local events. Create a Facebook page for your district. Get creative and get noticed.
Use the Citizen Co-Sponsor Sign-Up Sheet to collect signatures. And of course, use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and every other social tool you can get your anti-corrupt hands on.
  • You’re building a District Committee that will have the power to get your Representative on the record in support of the American Anti-Corruption Act. So reach out to groups who have already established their presence and remember to keep your focus cross-partisan. Neither side can win this alone. Go to local Tea Party meetings, occupy assemblies, and activist groups. Present and recruit at colleges & universities, senior communities, veterans associations and faith groups. Reach out to neighborhood groups, local political parties, and organized public interest groups. Show them how corruption affects their group. Ask them to join your coalition.
You can find all sorts of recruitment and organizing tools here.


  • If your Representative is already supportive of the fight against Corruption, jump right to the next step and get them on the record. If you’re not sure where they stand, research and educate your team. If they’re going to be a tough sell, start with your city council, county commission, governor, selectmen, State Representatives — anyone in a position of power — to officially endorse the American Anti-Corruption Act. Partner with PTAs, church groups, local committees. Get them on board and get them on the record. Build momentum. Make your win inevitable. Anyone who holds public office in your district should be your target. Get them on the record. Document it and share it.
Anti-Corruption Agreement for other elected officials available here.
Presentations and issue-briefs are available here.
  • You’ve gotten thousands of everyday Americans in your district to support the Act and join the movement. You’ve organized a truly cross-partisan District Committee. You’ve got support from every public official and issue group you can think of. It’s time to go to your Representative with your diverse tapestry of support and show them they must support this law or we will not support them. Get them to sign the Anti-Corruption Agreement. If they’re Corrupt, they’re out. If they’re Anti-Corrupt, you’ve won, but the fight’s not over! Move on to other elected officials (see “pressure”) and keep growing the movement.  Together, we can do this.
Download the Anti-Corruption Agreement then follow this plan of action when you’re ready to meet with your Rep.
Browse all of the Project 435 resources here

Saturday, December 21, 2013

NH Rebellion- Prof. Lessig's appeal

From: Lawrence Lessig <>
Date: Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Subject: a request for help
To: Robert Shattuck

I'm writing to ask for some help with a project related to my work on corruption. You're getting this because at multiple times, your email address passed the transom of my inbox. If you might be willing to help, please read on. If not, read no more, and I apologize for the intrusion.


In January, I will join others in a march across New Hampshire (the long way). The march will last two weeks. We will cover 185 miles. And along the way, we will be recruiting citizens from New Hampshire to join the #NHRebellion.

The #NHRebellion was inspired by the late Doris Haddock, aka, Granny D, a citizen of New Hampshire, and who, at the age of 88, walked across the country with a simple sign on her chest: "campaign finance reform."

Long before I came to the issue, Granny D was recruiting anyone she could to the critically important cause of changing the way campaigns are financed. She believed, as I do, that the current system is a kind of "corruption." And she believed, as I have come to believe, that unless we find a way to change it, our government will be incapable of addressing sensibly any of the critical issues that it must resolve. Granny D devoted the last part of her life to this fight. The #NHRebellion will continue her work.

The point of the January march is to focus the citizens of New Hampshire on this critical issue of corruption, so that they in turn will focus the candidates in 2016 on corruption too. We will be asking people from across the state to ask the candidates they will inevitably meet over the next two years: "How will you end this corruption?" And the hope is that if New Hampshire makes this an issue, it might well become an issue for the nation as well.

The #NHRebellion plans to walk the state three times between now and the primary in 2016. I've agreed to participate in at least the first. So on January 11 -- the day my friend Aaron Swartz died -- we will begin at the place the first ballots of the 2016 election will be cast. And on January 24 -- the day Granny D was born -- we will end with a party in Nashua. In between, we will have as many conversations with as many people as we can about the work Granny D started, and how we can now complete it.

I'm writing to ask for your help with this project.

Anything from simply sharing this email with people who you think might be interested, to helping to sponsor the walk, to actually walking with us, for part or the whole way — I'd be grateful for everything, as this will be a very difficult slog (not the walk, but to win this issue).

But why? Why would I walk for 2 weeks in the freezing winter of New Hampshire?

I've spent the last 6 years working on this question of corruption. Aaron Swartz convinced me to take it up. Since I did, I've spoken about it more than 250 speeches to thousands of people across the world. (Here's a mercifully short example: TED talk).

But as I've done this, I've been struck by the claim of almost every "expert" that "ordinary Americans don't care about this issue." Not the sort of people who turn up to a lecture by a law professor. But the rest of America, with a million other concerns, working hard to ignore all things political.

I want to understand how to make this issue compelling to these people too, and face to face. I want to learn how to talk about it so that it connects and is meaningful. Because I am absolutely convinced that we must find a way to rally America to this cause. And I am reluctantly convinced that more of us need to learn how better to talk to America about this cause.

So that's what I will be doing. We will have a number of events across the state. But the most important part for me will be the informal conversations and what it will teach me. I want to learn something from this about how to make this issue important. And I'd be grateful to you for your help in making it possible.

You can sponsor me on this walk by clicking here.

And you can learn more about the march — including how to join, even for just part of the walk — at #NHRebellion.

Thanks for reading this far, and for any help that you can provide.

Happy holidays.

Lawrence Lessig

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Letter to AL 6th Cong'l district candidates

[12/15/13 Correction:  I did not previously see the below "candidate directory legend" on the website I was using for my information:
Bold = Active Candidate

Italics = Potential Candidate
* = Incumbent
(Incumbent Party Listed First)
= Election Winner

Only Brooke, DeMarco, Langan, Mathis, and Palmer seem to appear in boldface.]

[I am endeavoring to send the following letter to the persons (listed here) who have announced they are running for Congress in the Alabama 6th Congressional district.  As I get email addresses, I will post the addresses in this entry.  I will post responses I receive in either this blog entry or a separate entry.]

Re:  Extremely low Congressional approval

Dear _________________,

I believe you are an announced candidate for Congress in the Alabama 6th Congressional district.  I am a voter in that district. 

I wish to ask you what you have to say about the abysmally low and perhaps record low Congressional approval ratings that are being reported (below 10% approval).

1. Why do you think there is such a low approval rating?

2. Does the low approval rating signify the existence of a significant problem that Congress should investigate for the benefit of the American people, report to the American people about, and, if Congress concludes there is a significant problem, propose to the American people what should be done to try to fix the problem?

3. What priority should Congress give to the foregoing possible problem?

If you provide me a response to these questions, I will post the same in my Alabama political blog Be An Alabama Rootstriker.

Thank you.


Robert Shattuck
3812 Spring Valley Circle
Mountain Brook, AL 35223

The foregoing letter has been sent to:
Bill Armistead (using his contact form here)
Scott Beason (using his contact form here)
Will Brooke (using his contact form here)
Paul DeMarco (using his contact form here)
Dr. Chad Mathis (email
David Carrington (email

A linked in invitation has been sent to:
Greg Cantwell

Alabama Congressional candidates

Correction 12/15/13:  I did not previously see this candidate directory legend in the website I was using for my information.  Please note bold means active candidate and italics means potential candidate.
Bold = Active Candidate

Italics = Potential Candidate
* = Incumbent
(Incumbent Party Listed First)
= Election Winner

Below is the listing at this webpage  (as of 12/14/13) of persons who have announced they are running for Congress in Alabama in the 2014 election cycle.  [See above correction.]
District 1 - Special Election 2013:
[ Jo Bonner (R)* - Resigning August 2, 2013. ]
PRIMARY: Sept. 24, 2013 - RUNOFF: Nov. 5, 2013 - GENERAL: Dec. 17, 2013

Bradley Byrne (R) - Ex-State Sen., Ex-State Community College System Chancellor, Attorney & '10 Gov. Candidate 

Burton LeFlore (D) - Realtor & '13 State Rep. Candidate
James Hall (Write-In) - Production Supervisor & USMC Veteran
Jack Edwards for Congress
District 3:
Mike Rogers (R)* - (Campaign Site)
Jesse Smith (D) - Army Veteran
Lisa Moore (Independent)
District 4:
Robert Aderholt (R)*- (Campaign Site)
Phil Norris (R) - Nuclear Contractor, Ex-Nuclear Plant Manager, Navy Veteran & '12 CD-7 Candidate
District 5:
Mo Brooks (R)* - (Campaign Site)
Jerry Hill (R) - Ex-Athens City Councilman, Retired Army Officer & Vietnam War Veteran

Parker Griffith (Independent) - Ex-Congressman, Ex-State Sen., Physician, Ex-Democrat & Ex-Republican
Don Siegelman for Governor  - 1998
District 6:
[ Spencer Bachus (R)* - Retiring in 2014. ]
Bill Armistead (R) - State GOP Chair, Ex-State Senate Majority Leader, Businessman & '02 Lt. Gov. Candidate 

Scott Beason (R) - State Sen., Ex-State Rep., Building Contractor & '12 Candidate
John Blackwell (R) - Businessman & Ex-Auburn University Trustee 

Will Brooke (R) - Corporate Executive & Attorney

Greg Canfield (R) - State Commerce Secretary, Ex-State Rep. & Businessman
David Carrington (R) - Jefferson County Commissioner

Paul DeMarco (R) - State Rep. & Attorney
Ed Langan (R) - Businessman & Community Activist

Chad Mathis (R) - Surgeon & Tea Party Activist
Gary Palmer (R) - Ex-Think Tank President
Rob Riley (R) - Attorney & Son of Ex-Gov. Bob Riley

David Standridge (R) - State Rep., Ex-Probate Judge, Ex-Blount County School Board Member & '12 Candidate
Mike Vest (R) - Shelby County Commissioner
District 7:
Terri Sewell (D)* - (Campaign Site)
Matt Jenkins (R) - Retired Navy NCO

Stanley Mack (R) - Nursing Student & Navy Veteran