About Save Democracy in America
Save Democracy in America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with one goal: to make the Democracy Dollars reform so popular among Americans of all political leanings that our politicians will have to enact it into law.
Democracy Dollars was invented by two Yale Law School professors, Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres, in their book Voting with Dollars. The concept is straightforward: right now, the biggest problem with our political system is that election campaigns are extremely expensive, and candidates get the money for their campaigns from people who can give it in very large sums – big business and a small number of very wealthy individuals (organized labor donates a significant but smaller fraction of this money). These high-dollar campaign donors are the only Americans with real influence in our politics. If they want to stay in office, politicians no longer listen to the voters. They listen to their donors.
We will fix this problem by letting the voters be the donors who really count. For every federal election, the government would give each registered voter an online account of campaign cash – $100 per voter in presidential election years, $50 for the cheaper congressional midterms. The voters can’t spend this money for personal use. Instead, they will be able to go online and send these Democracy Dollars to the candidates they want to support. Every capable candidate will be able to fund a competitive campaign with money from the voters, and no candidate will have any excuse for taking big donations from special interests. If any candidate does, his or her opponent will say: “My opponent would rather serve pressure groups than serve the American people.” Everyone will still be allowed to donate as much as they want, but any candidate who takes big money from outside the Democracy Dollars system will pay a heavy political price. Once they get to Washington, politicians will serve us, the American people, as our Constitution says they should.
Big money has not only stolen our voice in Washington. It has broken our political system. There are thousands of major donors, and each one has some ability to block policies they don’t like. The result is a government which is enormously wasteful and can’t get anything done. For example, we can’t make healthcare cheaper because insurance companies and drug manufacturers use their political clout to keep costs high and ensure their profits. Even worse, insurance companies second-guess doctors and make us all jump through hoops to get the care we need.
The donors who give the big money and the politicians who take it are not evil people. They’re doing what they have to do, playing by the crazy rules of a busted system. We just need to fix these rules and we’ll get the government we need. Our fellow Americans are not the enemy. The money, and only the money, is our enemy, and Democracy Dollars is our weapon to defeat the money and take our country back.
Save Democracy in America is not against any individual or any party. Through our effort, we expect to unite Americans of all parties, races and creeds. We all need a government that works, we deserve a say in how we are governed, and government by the people is what our country is supposed to stand for. Join us! Together we can bring back government by the people in the land of its birth.
About Dan McMillan
Founder and Executive Director of Save Democracy in America is Dan McMillan, a writer based in New York City.
Dan has a Ph.D. in German history from Columbia University, and a law degree from Fordham. He has worked as a book editor, as a history professor, and as a prosecuting attorney.
Dan left his job at the Brooklyn DA’s office to become a writer. In 2014 he published his first book, the acclaimed How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust. It explains, in an engaging journalistic style, what scholars like Dan have discovered about why the Holocaust happened. Learn more at Dan’s personal website: www.drdanmcmillan.com.
In 2014 Dan began writing a book about money in politics, but decided in 2020 that direct political action was more urgently needed, and established Save Democracy in America.
In his youth Dan was a dedicated rock climber. He has climbed El Capitan three times, and he excelled in the practice of free soloing – climbing without a safety rope. Dan doesn’t scare easy, which is a good thing, as it will take determination for us to reclaim our democracy and fix our broken politics.
Before launching Save Democracy in America, Dan McMillan was a Democrat. After founding our organization, Dan changed his voter registration from Democrat to Independent, and will not support any candidate, or any policy other than Democracy Dollars, until our victory is won.
Help Dan break the tyranny of big money in politics and make our government work for all Americans. Please donate at least $5 and visit the How You Can Help page to see other ways you can support our campaign.
For press inquiries please contact SDIA’s publicist, Maria Sliwa: maria (at) msliwa.com.
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 You can find the text of the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/7306/text.