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'UnRepresented' — Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Organizers: Fix Democracy First, League of Women Voters of WA, and Meaningful Movies Project

Join us for a very special film screening and panel discussion of "UnRepresented" featuring: Daniel Falconer, "UnRepresented" film director; Sheila Krumholz, executive director of Center for Responsive Politics; Ellen Weintraub, commissioner on the Federal Elections Commission; Carl Parrish, community and social activist.

"UnRepresented" investigates the mechanisms that give political insiders enormous, unchecked power. If you are tired of the status quo, then join us for a virtual screening of this important new film and take part in a panel discussion following the movie to hear about grassroots movements taking shape to break this cycle. We will also discuss legislative efforts happening in Washington state.

Location: Webinar

Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman

FEC Chairman Trey Trainor has published an attack on mail-in voting — a topic outside his agency's jurisdiction.

FEC chairman's new target outside his job duties: mail voting

Apparently Trey Trainor has ample time on his hands, even though he's become the nation's top money-in-politics overseer as the new chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

How else to explain Trainor's latest foray into providing commentary on something having nothing at all to do with his duties as head of the agency that regulates the campaign finance rules governing presidential and congressional contests. (Truth be told, the FEC is without enough members to form the quorum required to conduct meaningful business — which does not touch election administration.)

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Big Picture
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anti-abortion protestors gather outside the Supreme Court on Monday while the justices kicked off a new term by hearing arguments over the phone.

Supreme Court opens term with case about two-party power,  judicial independence

Do political independents have a constitutional right to get a shot at public office, or can some government posts be reserved only for Republicans and Democrats in the name of ensuring bipartisanship?

That was the question the Supreme Court deliberated Monday, the first oral arguments of a new term where its own ideological tilt hangs in the balance — and where a matter even more fundamental to a functional and fair democracy, the outcome of the presidential election, looms as a potential defining moment for the balance of power.

The first case, however, is profoundly important for those who see the red and blue duopoly as a main driver of both government dysfunction and distrust in government. They're hoping the court strikes down part of Delaware's Constitution that says justices on the state's top court, and judges on several other benches, must be either Democrats or Republicans.

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Institute for Free Speech

David Keating is the president of the Institute for Free Speech.

Meet the reformer: David Keating, leader for the right on money in politics

Closing in on nine years as president of the Institute for Free Speech, David Keating long ago cemented his status as one of the foremost conservative forces in the money-in-politics debate. The nonprofit's aim is to safeguard First Amendment rights, particularly unfettered political speech, and views deregulation of campaign finance as central to that goal. Keating took charge after a similar group he started, SpeechNow.org, won a federal lawsuit to end donation and spending limits on independent political groups — thus creating super PACs. He had top posts at two prominent fiscal conservative organizations, the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union, earlier in a D.C. advocacy career dating to the 1980s. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What's democracy's biggest challenge, in 10 words or less?

Stopping government from discouraging dissent.

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