WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Could a constitutional amendment reduce the influence of money on U.S. politics? Four days before the November election, Williamstown-area residents will have a chance to see a probing review of that question when the new documentary "Pay 2 Play" receives a public screening at the First Congregational Church.
The 90-minute film, “Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes,” by director John Ennis and executive producer Holly Mosher, will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Williamstown church. The event is public, and a donation of $5 will be asked at the door. There will be a post-screening discussion.
The film, which interviews Robert Reich, Thom Hartmann, Noam Chomsky, John Nichols, Van Jones, Jack Abramoff and others, presents arguments for a constitutional amendment limiting the effect of Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. That decision ended most limits on political campaign contributions.
The film is being provided as a courtesy by the Berkshire chapter of the Massachusetts MovetoAmend.org organization, whose members will have information available before the screening along with representatives of PassMassAmendment.org, which is seeking to amend the state constitution to declare that corporations are not people under law.
The documentary follows filmmaker John Ennis’ quest to change what many term a 'Pay 2 Play System,' in which wealthy and corporate political donors appear to be rewarded with ever larger sums from the public treasury -- through contracts, tax cuts and deregulation.
Driven to make the world better for his baby girl, Ennis pictures a cycle of pay-to-play politics that he asserts rules America. Through first-time candidates in Ohio, following the money in our elections, and recounting the history of the board-game Monopoly, Ennis also presents possible solutions.
“A stirring plea to level the playing field in our political system.” — UTNE READER
There will also be a post-screening discussion.
The idea to bring the documentary to Williamstown originated with town resident Bill Densmore. Densmore has begun work on a project to document people working on grass-roots efforts around the country to change the way corporations are governed and managed.
"The initiative is called the Rules Change Project," says Densmore (firstname.lastname@example.org) "The idea is to figure out how to change the rules to create business incentives for corporations to be more accountable to multiple stakeholders, not just shareholders alone. These include customers, communities, employees and the planet."
"Pay 2 Play" entered national theatrical release in early October. Among organizations promoting the documentary nationally are those who's logos are shown below.
- Information about the proposed Massachusetts constitutional amendment
- Download PassMassAmendment group's Talking Points (2 pages)