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Fun for us. Educational for candidates and voters.
Our Bird Dog project is modeled on the New Hampshire Rebellion project (note highlighted text) run during last year’s primary, where activists asked just one specifically tailored question on campaign finance and got replies like these, which were then widely shared:
Secretary Hillary Clinton
 “I believe in publicly financed elections… I’m going to do everything that I can to
appoint Supreme Court justices who reverse [Citizens United]. If necessary, I would support a Constitutional Amendment.”

Donald Trump
 “I love the idea of campaign finance reform. [Public financing is] fine. Contribution limits are okay… Everybody should be known.” “I would certainly have a ban [on lobbyists working in the White House].”
The New Hampshire project was a full-blown activity with marches, questions, signs, etc. Ours is small-scale, but if we all get involved in various parts of the state, with candidates of both parties, we will have the chance to raise awareness of the vital issues of (1) money’s influence on our representatives and laws and (2) the continued threat to our right to vote in Texas.  We have the potential to make news!  Are you ready to do that?

Join us for the short time between now and the election. Talk to your own candidates — wherever you can.  Ask them one or both of our questions, and get the conversation going! Click on this graphic to  get an idea of the way we will do this!

Let’s see if we, too, can get some quotes about what can be done to make changes here in Texas or in your own city/town  Think about it.  Have the contributions to candidates in your area gotten out-of-hand?  Is voter turnout or voter access a problem? ASK what the candidate will do about it and take notes or a video of the response (or non-response).

We want this to be simple to do and to document.  Bird Doggers will ask only one question on either topic (or one on both if the occasion allows).

Once you sign up, you will get the two questions, more training materials, and a link  to record the responses.  We will also try to match up people in the same cities or towns.

We really need your help.  If you live in a one-party region, as so many of us do, that doesn’t change the importance of this project.  If there are no debates, look for fund-raisers or appearances you can attend, or send an email to various candidates in your area.  These are some of the ideas we will help you with.  We hope you’ll join in!

Let’s Bird Dog to raise awareness. We will then share these responses from all over the state to get people talking about our issues: campaign finance and voting.

Fired up?  Curious to learn more?

*Bird Dog: Some one who seeks out candidates for their answers on important questions.
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Clean Elections Texas

 

Our priorities the next year:

1. Our highest priority is to promote legislation for the option of small donor/public funding for candidates in Texas.  After much discussion we decided to change course from aiming at statewide judicial elections and to push instead for a bill for state legislative office – similar to those in other states, such as AZ CT, ME and more.  Because of the buzz in both parties on a small donor option, we felt we should seize the moment and this effort would get us much more attention than the same option for judicial elections.  Barring a miracle, we are going for conversation about the influence of money on our policies, not a bill that actually passes (just to let you know we were facing reality).  If  this topic interests you, please let us know.  We will be hold our first committee meeting the first week of September. Tasks include researching and studying model legislation to adapt for Texas, finding an author and co-sponsors

2. THIS IS NOW THE BIRD DOG PROJECT: Our second priority because it is a time-sensitive project will engage all our activists and might be picked up by other organizations as well.  During this election time, we will train and encourage volunteers all over the state to attend candidate forums and meetings of all parties and at all levels in order to ask a few designated questions about campaign finance and/or voter issues. With Texans using the same questions all over the state, from Alpine to Zephyr, it would create news interest.  And finding other organizations who might partner up with us would broaden our reach.

Once the organizing committee has determined the questions, they will develop a training piece so that wherever you are in the state you will have the few questions to ask and a way to record the responses.  Join in with the fun!

3. Our third priority is another proposed project which would explore the creative municipal initiatives around the country on campaign finance issues to see if any could be applied to Texas cities or counties. We already have at least one volunteer interested in this and need a few more to get it started.   We would hold any action until after the legislative session to avoid their canceling anything we might attempt at the city level (as was done after Denton’s fracking ban).

4. Our fourth priority is to continue to support the Fair Courts work we have been involved with for several years.  This is a project we will postpone in the main until after the 2017 legislative session, but are fortunate to have several people who are continuing working on it now and would welcome others.

5.  And our fifth priority is to re-establish our efforts for resolutions for a constitutional amendment to undo “Citizens United” around the state.  The public is behind this issue and it has gained nonpartisan support.  This work is done town by town, so we are looking for volunteers to convene a group in their own area.  We can offer resources to help you accomplish this.

6. This on-going project is top priority in relation to the effectiveness and added value to all the work we are doing.  It is working with others to establish a statewide network which can act on shared values when needed.  By combining, the organizations add power and resources to their chosen issue.  This network is based in Austin, is underway, and does not require more than a few people to participate and support that participation.  The same is true of the local DFW network that sprang from the Dallas Democracy Awakening event we held on April 17 this year.  A number of groups have stayed together and are currently working on a press event for the anniversary of the Voters Rights Act of 1965 to be followed later this month by a panel on voting.  In this case, more people have been engaged in the work, acting either as part of an organization or as an individual. Forming a similar local in your area would be a great project for someone willing to undertake this.  We will be able to help you in various ways.

7. Through our networks, we will continue to support voting rights initiatives of LWV, NAACP, and others.  In this case, we will be responsive but not the initiators. We would send out requests for participation and/or respond to requests for co-sponsorship on a case by case basis.

8. Our last priority is giving more support to the administrative side of the organization. This detailed work is vital to all activity. We plan to increase volunteer support for our Executive Director.  Several people have offered specific help in this area, but more are needed for certain tasks.

We need you – no role is too small!  Remember, whether you live in a “blue” or “red” area, whether you live in an urban, suburban, rural, or other area, big or tiny, you can get involved and make your voice heard.  Please consider how you can help.

Comments/Questions?  214.821.2237 (Liz)

Please “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter to increase our reach into the community of people wanting to work with us on our issue.

Liz Wally, Executive Director   liz@cleanelectionstx.org

Dave Jones, President of Clean Elections Texas, David@joneslawdallas.com

Diana Burns, President of Clean Elections Texas Education Fund dburns4990@aol.com


Resources on state and local initiatives:

Statewide:

  Integrity Washington,  http://integritywashington.org/about/

  North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections,http://www.ncvce.org/coalition

  South Dakotans for Integrity, http://www.yes22.org/

Municipal initiatives:

  Honest Seattle, http://honestelectionsseattle.org/

  Accountable Miami-Dade, http://www.accountablemiamidade.com/about/initiative/

Howard County MD, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-citizen-funded-campaign-launch-0818-20160817-story.htmlundefined

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Voting Rights are essential to our Democracy. To learn more about the VRA and our most recent TEXAS ID law CLICK BELOW:
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What we have been doing:  

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Dallas DEMOCRACY AWAKENING

APRIL 17, 2016

FullSizeRender-1Texans in D.C. for Democracy Awakening
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Meeting With Cornyn’s Staff
IMG_1689          Press Conference on Anniversary of
          Shelby County vs Holder
Arthur Fleming and Dave Jones, Press Event, June 26, 2016

Arthur Fleming and Dave Jones, Press Event, June 26, 2016

 

 

 

Speaking to the What's Happening in Texas crowd Aug 27, 2016

Speaking to the What’s Happening in Texas crowd Aug 27, 2016