Here’s part of an email I got today from Rootstrikers (Lawrence Lessig):
I am writing with some great news about Rootstrikers, Change Congress, and the Fix Congress First projects.
Over the past few months, a number of very significant funders of reform have decided that enough is enough. Led by Arnold Hiatt, former Chairman of Stride Rite, they have decided to form national powerhouse to advance sweeping reforms.
This is fantastic news for the movement, and for me. United Republic, the new organization, launches today at unitedrepublic.org, with a mandate to enact and inspire an extraordinary range of new and powerful work. We are also merging with the 250,000 members of MSNBC’s host Dylan Ratigan’s “Get Money Out” campaign.
United Republic will be led by one of the most effective political organizers I have known – Josh Silver, who ran the campaign in Arizona to get public funding enacted, and founded media reform group Free Press.
Here’s a good blurb about Arnold Hiatt:
In 1996, Stride Rite founder Arnold Hiatt tried to inspire then President Bill Clinton to make it a priority for the Democrats of that day. Hiatt was then the number-two largest contributor to Democratic candidates He was invited to a White House dinner with 30 other large funders so that the President could try to persuade them to help retire the Party’s 1996 campaign debt. Each guest was asked to give the President his or her advice for the next four years. Hiatt was the last to speak.
He began by evoking Franklin Roosevelt, whom Clinton, Hiatt knew, admired greatly. In 1939, Hiatt reminded the assembled funders, Roosevelt worked hard to convince a reluctant nation to enter a war to save democracy. This, Hiatt insisted, was just what Bill Clinton had to do again — to convince a reluctant nation to enter a war to save democracy. But this war would require no tanks or battleships. It would instead be the war to end private funding of public elections, to enact full funding for congressional elections, so that Americans would no longer believe as the vast majority even then believed that money buys results in Washington. It would be a war against interests that had corrupted the democratic process in America; a war against the very interest sitting in that room with Clinton.
When Hiatt finished, the room was silent. And the only published account of that evening reports a President impatient with his reformer-funder. Clinton, one guest that evening recounts, “effectively slashed Hiatt to pieces.” “The president put this guy down so unbelievably. He didn’t even do it graciously. He just took Arnold and phooom, like he would some junior aide who had made a really dumb mistake.” Hiatt doesn’t remember Clinton being that harsh, but he does recall feeling like a “skunk at a lawn party.” (Source: Wiki)
At the United Re:Public website, there’s a tab for Get A Grant:
Ben Manski told us that MoveToAmend was going to try to get some funding. Here’s our chance!!!