Award-winning, “socially conscious” filmmaker Holly Mosher, shares the inspiration behind her new film that examines the darker side of American politics, the influence of money and the “crisis in democracy”.
We decided to make a film on the corrupting influence of money in politics when we heard about the Coingate scandal in Ohio where Tom Noe took over $50 million in the state workers compensation fund and invested it in such crazy items like rare coins, beanie babies and Lebron James jerseys. The story showed how politicians could use their power to fill their coffers.
Of course this is nothing new, and in this case people did do jail time, but it led us on a much deeper journey as we followed the story down a rabbit hole into corruption in American politics. We are at a crisis in democracy, as the growing cost of running for office, leads politicians to beg, borrow and steal just to get into office.
As we were following this story and what it takes for candidates to get into office, we also saw how democracy took a sharp nose dive when the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections. Nowadays people running for office have to spend 75% of their time fundraising instead of connecting with constituents and staying current on issues of the day. And, of course, once they are in office, they then owe favors to the donors who donated heavily to their campaigns.
It’s an ugly spiral, which explains why people-led movements get the legislation they want almost ZERO percent of the time, while corporate-backed interests have a very high success rate of getting the legislation they want passed through Congress.
The clearest example of this can be seen after the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, when over 80% of the American people were clamoring for gun reform regulation. Politicians who have been filling their pockets with money from the NRA, didn’t have the cojones to stand up to their donors and do what the people who voted them into office were clearly mandating.
This downward spiral was heightened on April 2, 2014 with the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision, which will now allow wealthy individuals to spend up to $5.9 million per election cycle. It is ludicrous that money has so deeply infiltrated our political process and that our last election cost upwards of $10 Billion.
The insanity of it all has to stop and one of the clearest ways to stop it is with a Constitutional Amendment or Amendments. That is why, as we release our film Pay 2 Play this August, we also are supporting the 28th Amendment National Roadshow. We want to create an educational event across the country where we can bring people together to demand change. This will support states that are already working on initiatives and spark the fire for change in those that haven’t started the process yet.
The movement is vast with over 500 cities and towns having called for an Amendment across the country, but it gets scant coverage in the media because the media is the biggest beneficiary of that $10 Billion as a significant portion goes to those negative campaign ads we are all sick of.
Pay 2 Play highlights six solutions: increasing voter turnout, free airtime for politicians, full disclosure of campaign contributions, ending gerrymandering, public financing of campaigns, and a constitutional amendment. We hope that people take the film as a tool and rallying call and join their voices to the movement that is supported by over 140 National groups working diligently to Get Money Out!
For more info go to http://pay2play.tv
Holly Mosher is an award-winning filmmaker who brings socially conscious films to the public. After graduating with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Holly produced a number of commercials and feature films. In 2004 she made her directorial debut with her award-winning documentary, Hummingbird about two non-profits in Brazil that work with street kids and women suffering domestic violence. Afterwards, she produced two films on the pharmaceutical industry: Side Effects, starring Katherine Heigl, and Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety.. She co-produced Maybe Baby, and executive produced Vanishing of the Bees, FREE FOR ALL!, and Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes. The second film she directed,Bonsai People – The Vision of Muhammad Yunus, aired on American Public Television. The Hollywood Reporter named her one of the top up-and-coming independent film producers.