Team and friends—here are our latest two op-eds, co-written by me and Jared Schwartz. The first is an article in The Colorado Sun, 'Bad Money vs Bad Money," named H2 by OpEdNews as the No. 2 op-ed in the country, on a Denver ballot referendum that should be used nationally to get money out of politics. The second appeared in LaborPress also named H2 by OpEdNews, is about how food stamp cuts will lead to children falling off the “benefits cliff.”

We've also included C-Span video of a question I asked House Speaker Paul Ryan on the “politics of condemnation” at a NPC news conference this week, as well as our latest radio appearances on “The Alan Nathan Show” on Main Street Radio Network (200 stations) discussing Kavanaugh, Russia, and the upcoming elections. Thank you to Jay Wind for putting these on our website and Ben Lasky for putting together this list.


C-SPAN TV this week, at Paul Ryan NPC news conf, we ask about "the politics of condemnation from the top." He replies "good question, leads to national hysteria, divides the country..." : Link to video, Go to 28:59 for our questtion:  :  https://www.c-span.org/video/?452579-1/speaker-ryan-defends-gop-record-rule-return-elective-office&start=1739

Text: "Bob Weiner, Weiner Public News op-eds and former House staff for 16 years. Mr. Speaker, you have been in a very big box with the politics of condemnation coming from the White House. You have spoken against it periodically. Do you think that's here to stay? Is it a model that is going to stay with us? You have driven for policy arguments not personal condemnations. What can we do about it to make it not happen?" -- and Speaker Ryan's response: In part, Speaker Ryan says: "Yeah, good question. I think about this a lot ... it leads to national hysteria ... it divides our country ..."  Thanks to senior policy analyst/onsite coordinator Ben Lasky, plus interns/policy analysts/oped writers Jared Schwartz, Madeline Cusick, and Emilie Solberg for joining in the event.


Op-eds

***October 7, 2018: “Bad money vs. bad money — how Denver ballot measure could be blueprint for getting money out of politics” in The Colorado Sun by Robert Weiner and Jared Schwartz

Former White House Spokesman Robert Weiner and Policy Analyst Jared Schwartz wrote an op-ed just published in The Colorado Sun on a Denver ballot measure that can be used as a national model to get money out of politics.

Weiner and Schwartz begin, “Driven by a bizarre confluence of Colorado and federal law, the money rushing into Colorado’s election has taken on a particularly unhealthy role this season. Coloradans are faced with a choice between the Anadarko-backed posterboy and a candidate that buys political offices like tech stocks.”

They continue, “The state and country can do something to change this political moment defined by corruption.”

They go on, “Jared Polis (D), an unabashed progressive, crushed his primary opposition by spending $11.3 million. Walker Stapleton (R) is backed by Better Colorado Now, a Super PAC whose major donors are billionaires and oil and natural gas companies. It has already spent over $1.7 million on Stapleton’s behalf — spending that is certain to ramp up significantly as the election approaches. Jared Polis spent $11.3 million in the primary alone.”

They write, “Many Coloradans voted for Polis in the primary because they reasoned that his personal wealth would guarantee his independence. Candidates are expressly allowed to spend their own money in unlimited amounts, giving multi-millionaires and billionaires carte blanche to try to buy high political office. To run a major campaign in Colorado, a candidate must self-finance or be financed. Be wealthy or be bought.”

They argue, “Polis’ financial dominance in the primary was cemented by one of the strictest campaign donation limits in the country, preventing other Democrats from raising funds directly for their campaigns. In order to compete with wealthy candidates, office-seekers have to accept money from special interests and court the support of super PACs. Voters end up with the choice to support the incredibly wealthy candidate, or a candidate that has accepted money from special interests just to keep their campaign going.”

They explain, “There is another way, one that would undercut the effectiveness of Super PACs and special interests on Colorado elections. The measure, which is on the ballot in Denver, would substantially lower the amount that candidates could accept for their campaigns and prohibit donations from corporations and unions. Crucially, Denver would also match any contribution under $50 at a ratio of 9 to 1, as long as the candidate agreed to even lower donation limits and participated in debates. This would encourage candidates to engage with voters more directly. Freed from the perennial campaign activity of courting big money, candidates could focus on getting their message out to less wealthy donors.”

Link to published article: https://coloradosun.com/2018/10/07/opinion-bad-money-vs-bad-money-how-a-denver-ballot-measure-could-be-a-blueprint-for-getting-money-out-of-politics/

OpEdNews Version (H2, cited as #2 oped in Nation): https://www.opednews.com/articles/Bad-money-vs-bad-money--by-Robert-Weiner-Democratic_Democrats_Elections_Government-181008-832.html


***October 2, 2017: “Working Families’ Children Could Fall Off Food ‘Benefit Cliff’” in LaborPress by Robert Weiner, Jared Schwartz and Ben Lasky

Robert Weiner, Jared Schwartz and Ben Lasky just wrote an op-ed for LaborPress write that food stamp cuts might fall off the “benefit cliff.”

Weiner, Schwartz and Lasky begin, “The real impact of proposed food stamp cuts: working families' children could fall off the ‘benefit cliff.’”

They continue, “Piles of evidence link consistently available food to academic performance among schoolchildren. Unfortunately, this research has been ignored by the House leadership, who have included a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that would jeopardize free meals at school for many vulnerable children from working families.”

Link to published article: http://laborpress.org/working-families-children-could-fall-off-food-benefit-cliff/

OpEdNews version, also ranked H2: https://www.opednews.com/articles/Working-Families-Children-by-Robert-Weiner-Food_Food_Food-For-The-Poor_Food-Stamp-Program-181003-773.html

Radio

 The Alan Nathan Show, Main Street Radio Network (200 stations).  Aggressive debate Alan and Bob on each show!

October 9, 2018 scroll to 32:03
http://www.mainstreetradionetwork.com/audio/shows/BATTLELINE-HR1-181009.mp3

October 2, 2018, scroll to 31:50
http://www.mainstreetradionetwork.com/audio/shows/BATTLELINE-HR1-181004.mp3

September 25, 2018 scroll to 31:43
http://www.mainstreetradionetwork.com/audio/shows/BATTLELINE-HR1-180925.mp3

September 18, 2018 scroll to 31:03
http://www.mainstreetradionetwork.com/audio/shows/BATTLELINE-HR1-180918.mp3


FEEDBACK ON ANY OR ALL OF ABOVE WELCOME!