Earlier this week I wrote about Rick Nolan and Mark Pocan, two Democratic members of the House of Representatives who introduced legislation to push for Move to Amend's constitutional amendment.
In this follow up, I talk to Cobb, who's perhaps best known as the Green Party's 2004 presidential candidate. He emphasizes that Move to Amend's success over the past three years (including the legislation introduced in Congress this week, about which Cobb said he was thrilled and a bit surprised) is thanks in large part to the organization's willingness to blame Democrats and Republicans for the out of control campaign spending.
When asked about big election spenders like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers, Cobb said, "It doesn't matter if you were an Obama supporter or a Romney supporter or a Jill Stein (Green Party) supporter or a Gary Johnson (Liberatarian) supporter. Everybody felt that money completely overwhelmed the process."
Referring to the influx of ads that viewers in the top 10 media markets/battleground regions (which includes Tampa Bay) saw last year, Cobb called it excessive "to the point of actual disgust," and added that "People are losing confidence in the integrity of our electoral process because of this corrosive, corrupting influence of big money. But it’s coming from both sides. Let’s not pretend like its only coming from the right. It’s coming from the left as well. And that’s a problem."
CL asked Cobb what he's asking members of the public to do to get involved. He advocates coming to the events he'll be speaking at this coming Sunday and Monday evenings in Tampa and St. Pete, respectively (information listed below). But he says for those who can't attend, they should sign up at MoveToAmend.org to stay in touch with the organization.
"It’s one thing to be outraged in isolation, it’s another thing to organize together," he says.
When asked to elaborate on the campaign plans Move to Amend has brewing, Cobb said, "We’re going to be doing a nationwide coordinated canvas, where we’re giving people training and materials to learn how to go and literally talk to our neighbors about this problem, cutting through the corporate media and just having one on one conversations about it, and about the fact that we can win. This is not just an education campaign, this is a political organizing campaign. It is designed to actually win."
The second thing he says he's asking supporters to do is listen, recalling how activists in Iowa prompted Mitt Romney to react to their chants that corporations are not people.
"Now imagine that process replicating itself in congressional debate forums, and in state legislative races, and in county commission races? We want to turn this into a political debate, into this generation's 'Which side are you on?' movement," he says enthusiastically.
That includes getting local governments to approve resolutions endorsing the movement. Cobb said that so-called "democracy days" can be voted into a city's charter process, which is what happened in Breckville, Ohio last November.
There, citizens collected signatures to place on the ballot a measure calling for city officials to support a constitutional amendment that would repeal Citizens United. The measure — which passed in a community that would also strongly supported Mitt Romney for president — called for so-called "democracy days" to be held once every two years for the next 10 years. The first event is scheduled for Feb. 25.
David Cobb will be speaking twice over the upcoming holiday weekend: Sun. Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at Ybor City's Roosevelt 2.0 (1812 N. 15th St., Tampa), and Mon., Feb 18 at 7 p.m. at St. Petersburg's Unitarian Universalist Church (719 Arlington Ave. N, St. Petersburg).