Actor Sam Waterston will be onstage at Concord’s Capitol Center for the Arts on September 18, for a “Conversation” with Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig sponsored by Open Democracy. Part of the event is reserved for audience Q&A.
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The actor – best known for roles on Grace and Frankie, Law & Order, and The Newsroom – is also an activist for campaign finance reform. Waterston addressed Open Democracy at its “NH Rebellion: We the People Convention” in February 2016, saying:
“What money does to our politics is: it creates a separation between us and the people who govern us. The money interposes itself in that conversation. And so it really doesn’t matter what you care about. If you think that a healthy nation has a ready flow of information and opinion back and forth between the people and the government, and the people have trust in the government, and the government is interested in what the people have to say – then, money is interfering in a most nefarious way.”
Full comments are available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0p-sP26l3w
Waterston supports publicly-funded elections as an alternative to the current system of private, special-interest funding of campaigns. “My somewhat cynical view is that politicians will tend to pay lip service to the issue, because they’re all there because of the old system,” he told Open Democracy in 2016.
“I really think that [citizen activism] is what matters,” Waterston said. “When it reaches critical mass, the politicians will have to pay attention.”
The “Evening with Sam Waterston” is a ticketed event, starting at 6:00 pm at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street, Concord. Lessig is one of the nation’s leading voices on campaign finance reform and the founder of Open Democracy’s project “NH Rebellion.”
Tickets are available for $35 at www.OpenDemocracyNH.org.
“We know Granite Staters care deeply about this problem,” said Open Democracy Executive Director Olivia Zink. “Eight in ten of us think special interests have more influence than voters in New Hampshire politics. And almost two-thirds of the state’s voters endorse citizen-funded elections as an alternative to the current system.”
“Support for this solution crosses all party lines,” Zink said. Polling shows that 68% of Independent voters, 50% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats in New Hampshire support a system of public funding for campaigns. Full poll results are available at https://www.opendemocracynh.org/2017_poll.
“We have heard from individual legislators that they support public funding, too, because they’re tired of having to raise campaign money from special interests,” Zink said. “It’s time for the New Hampshire Legislature to stop studying the problem – and solve it, instead.”
“We are delighted to have Sam back in New Hampshire," Zink added. "His enthusiasm for this solution is contagious, and it will help galvanize the citizen activism that will get the bill passed in 2019.”
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High-resolution images are available for download at https://www.opendemocracynh.org/sam_graphics