Listed below are several of the organizations mentioned in this special package on money and politics, as well as some books that pertain to this topic. A more comprehensive list of national and regional organizations addressing these issues is available from the Center for Responsive Politics; a description of the center's work, resources, and contact information appears in Seeds.
Other organizations profiled elsewhere in this issue include Michigan Citizen Action, Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition and Missouri Citizen Education Fund, Washington Citizen Action, and the Working Group on Electoral Democracy.
Center for Living Democracy
RR #1, Black Fox Road
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-1234; fax (802) 254-1227
- The Center for Living Democracy was founded in 1990 to help educate the public about the potential for democratic renewal. The center's projects include the American News Service, providing the media with leads and stories to convey news and analyses of citizen-led initiatives. The center collects and disseminates a wide array of "learning tools"-handbooks, reports, tapes, pamphlets, and similar materials-offering practical guidance to citizens seeking to solve problems in their own communities. The center also facilitates workshops.
1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 403
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-1580; fax (202) 296-4054
- Citizen Action is a nationwide membership organization with three million members in 33 states. The organization works for public financing of elections at the national, state, and local levels. It also publishes research on the connections between campaign contributions and public policy, including reports on contributions by the health and insurance industry, large individual donors, the oil and gas industry, and the chemical industry.
National Voting Rights Institute
1130 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-8200; fax (617) 441-6363
- This non-profit organization aims, through litigation and public education, to help redefine the influence of private money in elections as a bedrock democracy issue implicating basic constitutional concerns of the right to vote and the right to run for office. It is committed to initiating a series of first-ever court challenges across the country to the constitutionality of today's campaign finance system.
The Institute for Southern Studies
and the North Carolina Alliance for Democracy
604 Hatch Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 967-9942; fax (919) 968-9184
- The institute's Democratic Reform Project combines research on money and politics issues at the state level with organizing on campaign finance and other political reform issues. It helps in the organizing and coordination of the Alliance for Democracy, a coalition of 29 groups and hundreds of individuals working for these reforms.
Northeast Citizen Action Resource Center (NECARC)
Money & Politics Project
621 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
(203) 231-2410; fax (203) 231-2419
- The NECARC Money & Politics Project works with activists in the Northeast to track and expose the influence of money in politics, design alternative democratic policies, educate members of the public on how this issue affects them, and bring together like-minded reform supporters in grassroots action.
- The Follow the Money Handbook
(Center for Responsive Politics, 1994), by Larry Makinson, provides step-by-step instructions on setting up a campaign finance database and classifying contributions by industry and interest group. It is designed specifically for reporters and editors. Makinson is one of the pioneers of computer research on campaign financing; for the past seven years, he has been research director at the Center for Responsive Politics.
- Speaking Freely: Former Members of Congress Talk About
Money in Politics
(Center for Responsive Politics, 1995), by Martin Schram, is based on interviews with 25 recently retired or retiring members of Congress. Well-known leaders such as Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, House Speaker Thomas Foley, and House Minority Leader Robert Michel, and others who ran and won for years talk about the appearances of wrongdoing and actual abuse that they've seen as a result of the great money chase that has become part of the daily ritual of Capitol Hill. Schram is an award-winning Washington journalist, editor, and author.
- The Quickening of America: Rebuilding Our Nation, Remaking
(Jossey-Bass, 1994), by Francis Moore Lappé and Paul Martin Du Bois, conveys the power of "living democracy" through stories of effective citizen participation in many opportunities for solving public problems.