When Money Talks (Audio)

The High Price of "Free" Speech and the Selling of Democracy

Derek Cressman (Author) | Thom Hartmann (Foreword by)

Publication date: 01/11/2016

When Money Talks (Audio)
Special-interest money is destroying our democratic process. But now that the Citizens United decision has thrown out campaign spending limits as abridgments of free speech, Americans want to know what they can do about it. Derek Cressman gives us the tools, both intellectual and tactical, to fight back.

There's nothing inherently unconstitutional in limiting the amount of speech, Cressman insists. We do it all the time—for example, cities control when and where demonstrations can take place or how long people can speak at council meetings. Moreover, he argues that while you choose to patronize Fox News, MSNBC, the
New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, political advertising is forced upon you. It's not really free speech at all—it's paid speech. It's not at all what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.

Cressman examines how courts have foiled attempts to limit campaign spending, details what a constitutional amendment limiting paid speech should say, and reveals an overlooked political tool concerned citizens can use to help gain the amendment's passage. Seven times before in our history we have approved constitutional amendments to overturn wrongheaded rulings by the Supreme Court—there's no reason we can't do it again.

Read more and meet author below



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Overview

Special-interest money is destroying our democratic process. But now that the Citizens United decision has thrown out campaign spending limits as abridgments of free speech, Americans want to know what they can do about it. Derek Cressman gives us the tools, both intellectual and tactical, to fight back.

There's nothing inherently unconstitutional in limiting the amount of speech, Cressman insists. We do it all the time—for example, cities control when and where demonstrations can take place or how long people can speak at council meetings. Moreover, he argues that while you choose to patronize Fox News, MSNBC, the
New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, political advertising is forced upon you. It's not really free speech at all—it's paid speech. It's not at all what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.

Cressman examines how courts have foiled attempts to limit campaign spending, details what a constitutional amendment limiting paid speech should say, and reveals an overlooked political tool concerned citizens can use to help gain the amendment's passage. Seven times before in our history we have approved constitutional amendments to overturn wrongheaded rulings by the Supreme Court—there's no reason we can't do it again.

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Meet the Author & Other Product Contributors


Visit Author Page - Derek Cressman

Derek Cressman began working professionally to reduce big money in politics in 1995 with non-partisan organizations including Common Cause and the Public Interest Research Groups. As U.S. PIRG’s democracy program director, he was the first professional advocate in Washington, D.C. to support a constitutional amendment to limit campaign spending.

As director of Common Cause’s Amend 2012 campaign, Cressman was the architect behind voter instruction measures in Montana, Colorado, Massachusetts and California where voters demanded Congress pass an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
In 2014, Derek Cressman ran for California Secretary of State. Though he didn’t win his election, the legislature responded to his campaign, and the efforts of others, by referring a question to the November 2014 ballot instructing Congress to overturn the Citizens United ruling – the central plank of Derek’s campaign platform. Both during and after his campaign, Derek joined the March for Democracy where activists walked from Los Angeles to Sacramento, culminating in a non-violent civil disobedience were many were arrested for a sit in at the state Capitol.

Cressman has testified before committees of the United States Senate, California Assembly and Senate, California Fair Political Practices Commission, served as an expert in federal litigation, and authored and co-authored numerous reports as well as one previous book: The Recall’s Broken Promise—How Big Money Still Runs California Politics. Derek has appeared extensively in the media including USA Today, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, The Hill, National Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Times, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Austin American Statesman, the Orlando Sentinel, the Albuquerque Journal, and the Kansas City Star.

When he’s not working to improve our democracy, Derek enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He credits his time running marathons and mountaineering with building his fortitude to tackle obstacles like the U.S. Supreme Court. He is an avid woodworker and picks at the banjo when he needs a break. Derek grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated cum laude from Williams College in 1990 with a degree in political science.



Foreword by Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann is the host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk radio program and an internationally syndicated daily TV program. More people listen daily to the Thom Hartmann Program than any other progressive talk show in the nation. Talkers Magazine named Thom Hartmann as the 8th most important talk show host in America, and the #1 most important progressive host, in their "Heavy Hundred" ranking.

He is also a four-time Project Censored-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is the author of over twenty books, including Screwed, Cracking the Code, Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late, We the People: A Call to Take Back America, and What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return to Democracy.

Find out more at www.thomhartmann.com.

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