Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Make a 30-second ad to wake up America to the crisis of big money in our politics.
The scale of the problem is clear. The corporate wing of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts keeps insisting that money is speech and corporations are people. Shadowy, unregulated front groups are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into elections. Right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers have been able to effectively buy politicians and policies that benefit their bottom line.
So today, we're partnering with MAYDAY.US on a special video contest—#MAYDAYin30. All MoveOn members are invited to submit 30-second original videos on the issue of money in politics. I am honored to be joining a tremendous team of celebrity judges—including actor/activist George Takei, comedian Baratunde Thurston, actor Jason Alexander, iconic street artist Shepard Fairey, and others—to review the top submissions. And we'll give national exposure to the best ads.
Now, all we need is you.
Are you interested in creating your own 30-second video about the issue of money in politics? Whether you're definitely interested or need time to think about it, let us know—we'll keep you in the loop as the contest proceeds.
#MAYDAYin30 is being run by our friends at MAYDAY.US, an organization that is driving the discussion of money in politics to the heart of this year's elections. Back in July, more than 6,000 MoveOn members pitched in to help MAYDAY hit its ambitious goals and launch this new "Super PAC to end Super PACs." MAYDAY's approach is to support a cross-partisan array of candidates who are willing to make campaign finance reform a central tenet of their campaigns.
Many candidates claim they want to change the way elections are funded—but assume that voters won't hold them to this promise. This video contest can help change that.
If our videos are powerful, memorable, funny, moving, provocative, and persuasive enough, they can become an antidote to—and welcome relief from—the mind-numbing ads politicians run throughout their campaigns, as well as motivation to hold politicians accountable on Election Day.
We believe that Americans have an important story to tell about money in politics—your 30-second video can help us share that story.
In 2004, MoveOn ran the "Bush in 30 Seconds" campaign—the results were 300 videos, many of them brilliant, that gave our members a creative way of engaging in the campaign. We tried to run the winning ad during the Super Bowl, but the network censored us. The controversy and coverage that followed, according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, may have made our video "the ad that achieved the most air time with the least dollars expended of any ad in the history of the republic."1
We expanded on this work, in 2008, when we launched a new contest with the help of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and John Legend: "Obama in 30 Seconds."
So we're back at it—looking for videos that can drive the debate. We know MoveOn members have a lot to say about money in politics—#MAYDAYin30 is that opportunity.
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Ilya, Nick, Justin, and the rest of the MoveOn team
P.S. You know we like raising money to run hard-hitting, values-driven, memorable ads, right? Well, if any of these ads are the right fit, we'll test them out—and if they work, maybe the next ad we'll raise money to air will be YOURS!
1. "Censored at the Super Bowl," Newsweek, January 29, 2004
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