Film event: Pay 2 Play

Public Citizen Texas, Move To Amend, Texans for Public Justice,
Texas Public Research Group, Common Cause Texas,
Common Ground for Texans, Wolf-PAC
The League of Women Voters Austin Area


Pay 2 Play

Public Interest Pictures & Shoot First Inc.
Written & Directed by JOHN WELLINGTON ENNIS
(2014, 87 min)

WHEN: Wednesday, January 21, 6:30-9:30 [Anniversary of Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision]
WHERE:  Alamo Drafthouse in the Village Shopping Center, 2700 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, Tx
ADMISSION:Reserved admission $10.25 on line, or $10 donation at the door
PANELISTS: Tom “Smitty” Smith, Public Citizen Texas; Craig McDonald, Texans for Public Justice; Sara Smith, TexPIRG; Todd Jagger, Wolf-PAC; and Caroline Homer, Move To Amend

theMoneyMoney in politics: The issue has been a growing concern for many years but has taken on new urgency with recent Supreme Court decisions. Has our democracy become a “Pay 2 Play” system?  Filmmaker John Ennis, driven by a most basic human motive  —to make the world a better place for his baby girl— pieces together the cycle of pay-to-play politics that rules America, and finds some solutions along his surprising journey.

Pay2PlayvoteChiliThe “great American” board game “Monopoly” is used as a symbol of our money culture and is a persistent motif throughout the film. Ennis looks  for a way out from a system in which politicians reward their donors with ever larger sums from the public treasury in the form of contracts, tax cuts, and deregulation. When insiders control the game, how can an outsider have a voice? Inevitably he must confront the infamous Citizens United decision in which the Supreme Court, ruling that money is speech and that corporations are persons, allows unlimited contributions for political ads with very few regulations.

peopleOverProfitEnnis journeys through high drama on the Ohio campaign trail, following candidates who refuse to take big money and revealing the enormous obstacles they face.  While conveying insight into the nuts & bolts mechanisms of how politics works, he uncovers the secret history of the game Monopoly, and explores the underworld of Los Angeles street art, all on a humorous odyssey that reveals how much of a difference one person can make.

crowdMoving along at a lively pace, his film  serves as a layman’s guidebook to taking back our democracy. Ample use is made of footage of vibrant colorful street demonstrations against various manifestations of corporate power, from Occupy Wall St. to a May Day demonstration in Los Angeles that unfolds a massive Monopoly Board to cover a city intersection. Interspersed are interviews with ordinary Americans, as well as commentary and analysis from a long list of well known luminaries in the social justice field: Robert Reich, Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Lessig, John Nichols, Van Jones, Marianne Williamson, Mark Crispin Miller, Thom Hartmann, Bob Edgar, Chris Hedges, and more…

Contact: Joanne Richards at for more information

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