Watch: Closing Plenary with U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI)

Learn what people are doing to unrig the system every day. The summit’s final plenary session will include short speeches from grassroots anti-corruption leaders:

  • Take Back Our Republic’s John Pudner;
  • End Citizens United’s Tiffany Muller;
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Tom Saenz; and
  • Issue One’s Nick Penniman.

With closing remarks from U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).

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Unrigged Live! with Jennifer Lawrence, Tig Notaro, Richard Painter, and more

We’re live at Unrig the System Summit in New Orleans for Unrigged Live! hosted by Jennifer Lawrence, with speakers including:

RepresentUs Director Josh Silver;
Professor and former White House Ethics Lawyer Richard Painter;
Comedians Tig Notaro, Nikki Glaser, and Adam Yenser;
NASA astronaut Ron Garan; and
Former State Senator and Our Revolution President Nina Turner.
With live music from HoneyHoney, and the legendary New Orleans-based Preservation All-Stars.

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#UnrigTheSystem

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Variety: Jennifer Lawrence to Host Bipartisan Political Performance in New Orleans

Jennifer Lawrence will host “Unrigged Live!,” appearing alongside Tig Notaro and Nikki Glaser in a politically charged variety show of comedy, music and other acts that will cap off a three-day political summit at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Campaign Legal Center’s David Kolker on Free Speech vs Citizens United

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Spotted at Unrig

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Tweets from around Unrig

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Citizen Lobbying 101 with Issue One’s Meredith McGehee

Workshop Notes: 

  • Know your policy, not just the message and the passion – you have to know what you’re talking about
  • Know what success looks like; come to work every day with a dynamic plan that evolves.

Advice to take home:

Democracy is a marathon. Be prepared for the long haul, be prepared to lose, and stay tough through the wins and losses. Cultivate unlikely allies and view lobbying like dating, by checking in regularly and getting to know your allies and your enemies.

Tips for Communication:

  • Text – direct and short. No sarcasm, no jokes. Just don’t do it! Keep it pithy.
  • Email can be misinterpreted, so be direct and get to the point.
  • Personal calls – pick up the phone!
  • Coalition meeting – No more than 1 hour for a coalition meeting with maximum of ten people. If it’s a 2 hour coalition meeting, provide food!

Be able to articulate your message and your ask in 1-2 minutes. Make your ask more open ended by asking something like “has your boss made a commitment on that yet?” instead of “so do we have your support?”

Regular contact should be monthly communication – sharing a specific article, extending an invitation to an event or briefing, informing a new bill introduced.

Phone banking is rapidly losing impact. It’s more about a process that has already identified people who are with you and who are already responding.

Final Thought:

“If you’re a good lobbyist, you listen.”

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Attendees React at Unrig!

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Funding Reform: Trends and Challenges in 2018

Funding Reform: Trends and Challenges in 2018
“We’re trying to unrig the system by changing the rules of the game,” says Carmen Lopez-Wilson, during an interactive panel about how to work with and approach donors, such as those trends and challenges that arrive with applying for, accessing and effectively utilizing funds for organizations and causes.
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How to Launch a Local Group or Campaign

This panel focused on the obstacles of achieving bipartisan cooperation, increasing civic engagement and participation in local groups or campaigns, and how language can be used to unite or divide communities. Panelists Ellen Chaffee, Elizabeth Lindquist, Karen Lieberman, Marcus Bass, and Catherine Baer discussed their experiences as leaders of their respective communities and organizations and shared their insights about the future of American Democracy and engaging the public.

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Overheard Around Unrig

“The only state that gives us a real run for our money is Illinois. They’ve had more governors go to jail than we have.”

— Stephen Street, Louisiana Inspector General

 

“These secretive 501(c)(4)s all had names like ‘We love puppies’… but it turned out that they were all Koch groups that were counting on their donors’ names never being disclosed.”

–Ann Ravel, former chair of the FEC

 

“After all these years, I’ve got a thick alligator hide, and I don’t give a shit about these corrupt politicians. You want to have a debate about ethics, I feel very comfortable about my side — so bring it on.”

— Stephen Street, Louisiana Inspector General

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Fighting Big Money While Running for Office

“The academic research says you don’t not need to outraise your opponent. You need to raise enough money to get your message out,” Every Voice President and CEO David Donnelly said to a room full of active and prospective candidates at the “Fighting Big Money While Running for Office” panel he facilitated with Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United President and Executive Director.

The experts ran through successful messaging, broke down polling data, and gave a crash course on winning the right way.

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Seen Around Unrig

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Twitter Reactions to Reform Across the Aisle

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Fierce, Independent, and Fighting for You: Government Watchdogs

Government watchdogs from around the country are at the front lines of the fight for accountability. Four experts: Ann Ravel, Stephen Street, Letitia James, Jennifer Rodgers – congregated on Saturday morning’s “Fierce, Independent, and Fighting for You” panel to discuss the problems plaguing government ethics and transparency – and the potential reforms.

Stephen Street – Louisiana Inspector General

The only state that gives us a real run for our money is Illinois. They’ve had more governors go to jail than we have.

After all these years, I’ve got a thick alligator hide, and I don’t give a shit about these corrupt politicians. You want to have a debate about ethics, I feel very comfortable about my side — so bring it on.

Ann Ravel – former Federal Elections Commission chair

These secretive 501(c)(4)s all had names like ‘We love puppies’… but it turned out that they were all Koch groups that were counting on their donors’ names never being disclosed.

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WATCH: Saturday Morning Plenary & Reform Across the Aisle

The movement for reform across the aisle is growing – and it’s essential to our future. During this livestream, you’ll hear from:

  • Spoken word artist and Director of Grassroots Advocacy, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Shahid Buttar
  • NYC Public Advocate Letitia James;
  • Fox News host Steve Hilton;
  • CA Common Cause Executive Director Kathay Feng;
  • Social justice advocate Anita Earls; and
  • Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter.

Followed by a panel discussion featuring:

  • Mike Gallagher, U.S. Representative (R, Wisconsin);
  • Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative (D, Hawaii);
  • Nina Turner, President, Our Revolution; Former Ohio State Senator (D);
  • Zach Wamp, Co-Chair, Issue One ReFormers Caucus; Former U.S. Representative (R, Tennessee);
  • Moderated by Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy, Issue One.
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Friday Night Fun at Howlin’ Wolf

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Shoutouts on Twitter from Policy Experts & Leaders in the Anti-Corruption Movement

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Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections

This panel featured Federal Election Commission Commissioner Ellen Weintraub; Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Associate Professor of Law at Stetson University; Eric Wang, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Free Speech; Adav Noti, Senior Director, Trial Litigation & Chief of Staff of Campaign Legal Center; and Professor Anthony Johnstone of the Montana School of Law. Scott Greytak of RepresentUs moderated.

The five panelists held a lively, and at times contentious, discussion on the seriousness of the threat foreign influence poses to American democracy and how to best address it. Much of the discussion revolved around the revelations of Russian expenditures during the 2016 election cycle. Panelists noted that social media provided foreign actors an extremely cost-effective means of influencing and dividing the American public. With the exception of Eric Wang of the Institute for Free Speech, panelists were nearly unanimous in their support for the expansion of disclosure laws.

There was also special attention paid to how to make the bipartisan case for reform. Professor Johnstone of the University of Montana School of Law stressed that this issue should be framed as one of self-governance, not about bigotry or an anti-foreign sentiment: “The concern, once you open government up to represent us…is making sure it’s the right ‘us.’”

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A Presidential Election for Everyone: Fixing the Electoral College

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electionpanel

Professor Lawrence Lessig joined CEO of Ainsley Shea Patrick Rosentiel, VP for Programs at Brennan Center for Justice John Kowal, and Associate Attorney at Covington & Burling Maggie Brennan to discuss U.S. elections and the Electoral College.

It was standing room only as speakers discussed the Electoral College and its impact on presidential elections. Presidential candidates devote significant time to campaigning in eight battleground states and craft their entire campaigns around issues that impact those areas most.

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Know Your Audience: A Chat with the Pollsters

polling

In polling, the numbers aren’t everything. As the expert pollsters and seasoned political communicators on the “Know Your Audience” panel repeated this afternoon, data falls flat when it’s stripped of narrative and personal connection. And unrigging the system, the panelists argued, requires seeking out the people ignored by status quo politics. No reform campaign can compete without knowing its audience — but conservatives, progressives, and every candidate in between will benefit from asking the right questions.

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Friday Spark Stage Highlights

The Spark Stage featured an array of quick speeches from individuals involved in politics. Spark panelists were diverse in age, ethnicity, and political leaning.

Zoe Reiter of Transparency International gave a global perspective on the scale of corruption. She defined corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain,” and clarified that it often goes beyond bribery and kickbacks – items she dubbed “your grandfather’s corruption.”

Next, Shaneice Simmons of Rock the Vote detailed the unique political position of millenials as America’s most diverse generation – and an powerful, emerging electoral block. She implored young people to “vote like their lives depended on it.” As things stand, she said, “we’re inheriting a world that doesn’t represent our values.”

Sarah Bonk of Disrupt DC offered a rare business perspective in the debate about political corruption. Having worked at a large corporation herself, she explained to the audience that business interests often align well with the public interest. It’s important, she said, to understand that corruption is a two-way street often, providing historical examples of bribe-seeking politicians extorting businesses.

Finally, John Pudner of Take Back Our Republic told the audience about the importance of demonstrating victories in this movement. The challenge, he said, is no longer getting people to understand that the system is rigged: “Everyone’s fed up. They just don’t believe there’s a way to win.” The new challenge to confront, he implored the audience, is to convince them the reform movement can win.

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Criminal Justice Reform in Louisiana

It was a packed house at Unrig the System Summit’s panel, “Criminal Justice Reform in Louisiana”!

Former State Senator Nina Turner moderated a discussion with Louisiana activists to learn about the issue and how conservatives, independents, and liberals from across the state came together in 2017 to pass a landmark criminal justice reform package.

criminaljustice
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Reactions to the Opening Plenary

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Network and chill.

Unrig the System Summit is not just about the panels, workshops, and parties – it’s also all about networking with other amazing people from around the nation.

Throughout the weekend, activists, policy experts, and movement leaders will put their heads together to work on meaningful reforms.

crowdpac
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WATCH: Opening Plenary

Actor Jennifer Lawrence will interview the President of Campaign Legal Center and former FEC Chairman (and Stephen Colbert’s super PAC lawyer) Trevor Potter about the best ways to bribe politicians…legally.

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer will welcome us to New Orleans, and we’ll hear from Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig, Native American tribal rights attorney Tara Houska, President of Common Cause Karen Hobert Flynn, and author Ron Suskind.

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Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, just arrived!

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Registration is open.

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Transparency International, Every Voice, and HeadCount all to be featured at Unrig.

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Hundreds of volunteers training for Unrig The System Summit.

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Attendees and speakers are arriving in New Orleans.

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Unrig the System Summit is almost here!

The stages are set, details are finalized, and thousands of people are arriving in New Orleans for the Unrig the System Summit that will kickoff on Friday morning!

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