Fila Sophia

applied philosophy, deep democracy, sustainability / by A.R.Teleb

Citizens United and The Nadir of the Single-member-district First-past-the-post System?

Many people have been saying, ever since I’ve been old enough to vote and long before Citizens United, that we make the best of what we have and vote for “the least of two evils.” Does it have to be that way? Why is that?

Well, right now, yes within the current electoral system. It is called single-member-district, winner-takes-all (FPTP First past the post in electoral system talk) plurality voting. There is no conspiracy. There is no “tradition” of voting this way. It is a mathematical fact, with no exceptions I know of, that this method of drawing districts and counting votes will of itself generate a two-party system.

When those two parties are reduced to fund-raising machines, by social or economic forces, not to mention legal changes, the result is exemplified in the emails below sent to me over a 10-day period, March 20-29 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Note that every single letter “motivates” a contribution by demonizing “the other party” and that each asks for money. Note also that the front page of parades a picture of Paul Ryan, apparently their new spokesperson.

Venal but vapid, the letters are cartoon-ish self-parodies as if written for The Onion, generated by a computer algorithm, or drafted by a high school intern. Tragically, they also seem to take Citizens United‘s reasoning to its logical end.

For the record, I have never donated to this party nor did I put myself on any list. Also, I am neither Democrat nor Republican, although I have mostly voted Green or Dem. With no grudge against either party, I decided not to get angry. I decided to speak.

And to ask you for something. Your brain.

If you look up any of the following: multi-member districts, proportional representation, or better yet, sortition. Then tell three people about how any of these reforms could improve our political system. That’s all. The first part of “real” change is awareness of alternatives. [Two strong resources on electoral systems are and Fair Vote.] Thank you.

Here are the emails in reverse chronological order. For best effect, scroll to the end and read from the bottom up.

Ahmed —

You’re one of our biggest supporters.

If we’re going to reach 200,000 donations by Sunday’s FEC fundraising deadline, we’re going to need your support.

Donate $3 or more and your gift will be triple-matched >>

———— Original Email ————

— There’s no time left to wait.

A few hours ago, we alerted you about Boehner’s record-breaking fundraising dinner last week. Now we’ve gotten word that they’re pouring that cash into attacking President Obama’s progressive agenda.

If we want to fight these Republican attacks, we have got to close this $737,000 fundraising gap before Sunday’s fundraising deadline.

For the next 48 hours only, all donations will be triple-matched.

Your $3 will equal $9 >>

Your $10 will equal $30 >>

Your $20 will equal $60 >>

We can’t let the Republicans get away with tearing down President Obama’s agenda because we didn’t have the resources to call out their lies. We need you on this:

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
Suggested Support $3.00

Donate $3 right now and we’ll triple-match your gift!

Thanks for all of your support.

Democrats 2014


Paul Ryan’s not going to like this:

In the last three hours — yeah, THREE hours — over 4,200 of you have stepped up and chipped in to support President Obama’s agenda. We can hardly believe it!

If we can hit 200,000 donations before Sunday’s FEC deadline, it would be a historic milestone for our grassroots support, and a HUGE blow to Paul Ryan and House Republicans trying to block President Obama’s agenda.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

Donate $3 right now and we’ll triple-match your gift!

Let’s go!

Democratic Headquarters


First, the bad news.

A few hours ago, we alerted you about Boehner’s plans to tear down President Obama’s progressive agenda after their $14.4 million fundraising blitz last week.

BUT here’s the good news: over 173,000 supporters have stepped up this year, chipped in, and put a real dent in the fundraising gap.

Ahmed, according to our records, you’re not one of them.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

There are only 48 hours until the FIRST quarterly fundraising deadline of the year — let’s show John Boehner and Paul Ryan that there’s a whole movement ready to fight their attacks and back up President Obama.

Renew your membership for only $3:


Democrats 2014


There are only 48 hours left — so I’ll be blunt:

If we get blown out on this first quarterly fundraising deadline, President Obama’s agenda is toast.

Boehner is already bragging about the Republicans’ $14.4 million haul this month. With that kind of cash, they can rip apart everything President Obama proposes for the next two years.

The only chance we’ve got is to call out their lies, fight back with the facts, and expose Republicans’ extreme Tea Party agenda.

As of 9am, we are $737,000 short of what we need to close the fundraising gap and fight Republican attacks before Sunday’s fundraising deadline.

Donate today and we’ll triple-match your gift: Chip in $3 or more to support President Obama’s agenda >>

You and I worked too hard in 2012 to let the Republicans derail President Obama’s agenda. Let’s use the first big fundraising report of the year to show that we’re not done fighting for change.

Donate $3 or more right now — when your donation will make the biggest difference.

All donations are triple-matched:



Missy Kurek
DCCC Finance Director

— We are conducting a membership audit before the first FEC deadline of President Obama’s second term. Your membership is pending.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record: xxxxxx
2013 Membership: Pending

If you support President Obama’s agenda, it is CRITICAL that you renew your membership in the next 72 hours.

John Boehner and Paul Ryan have already stockpiled millions of dollars for the sole purpose of blocking President Obama’s second term agenda. If we don’t catch up soon, we are in real trouble.

According to our audit, we need 35,000 renewals by Sunday’s fundraising deadline to keep pace. That means we need you. This is urgent.

— click this personalized link to renew your membership with a donation of $3 or more >>

Boehner and Ryan depend on the Koch Brothers and Big Oil; we rely on your grassroots support.

Thanks for standing with us,

Democratic Headquarters


I just got back from the Supreme Court hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act — and I’m inspired.

Full marriage equality, once a distant dream for our country, is sitting clearly on the horizon.

So far, over 550,000 supporters have made their voices heard and signed our petition for marriage equality.

Will you help us reach one million strong? Click here to sign your name >>

Supporting equal rights is critical to the fabric of our nation. I hope you’ll join me in adding your name:

Thank you,



This is a big week for marriage equality.

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If the Supreme Court upholds the unfair law, same-sex couples across the country will be denied basic rights.

President Obama and the American people are ready to turn the page on marriage equality. It’s time to extend the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples — are you in?

Let’s reach 100,000 strong urging the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA — sign your name now.

Don’t wait to show your support.

Sign your name right now:


Democrats 2014


This is it.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is finally hearing arguments on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If you think it’s wrong to deny basic rights to LGBT Americans, now’s the time to say it.

Help us get to 100,000 strong calling on the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA: Click here to automatically sign your name >>

Under DOMA, same-sex couples are denied over 1,000 protections and responsibilities automatically guaranteed to married heterosexual couples. It’s just wrong. Every family deserves the benefits of equal protection under the law, and all Americans deserve the right to marry the person they love.

This movement for equality is growing larger every day. If we keep the pressure on, marriage equality could be a reality by this summer.

Let’s make this happen.

Thank you,

Democrats 2014


You’ve been entered for a chance to win a free trip to San Francisco to meet President Obama — airfare and hotel included!

Please forward this email to 3 of your friends right now and encourage them to enter the contest at

You can also share this contest on Facebook and Twitter:

Thank you for your support!


We’re sending one lucky supporter and a friend to San Francisco to meet the President.

You’ll get a free flight, a free hotel, and the chance to meet President Obama at a special reception.

FREE ENTRY: Click here to be automatically entered to win a trip to San Francisco to meet President Obama!

Seriously, don’t miss this chance. If you win, you’ll get to meet the President and get a picture. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment that you’ll be showing your kids and grandkids.

So don’t miss out. Enter today:

Good luck!


Kelly Ward
DCCC Executive Director


We just wanted to say thanks to our supporters (you guys!) for being awesome this week. You helped us raise over $500,000 in grassroots donations since Paul Ryan’s budget passed the House.

To say thanks — and to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Health Care Reform — we’re giving away as many “I Love Obamacare” stickers as we can before supplies run out.

Just click here and we’ll send you a FREE sticker in the mail:

We’re not sure how long supplies will last, so click here to get one before we run out:

Democrats 2014


In the last 48 hours, things have gone from bad to worse:

Paul Ryan raised a record-breaking $14.4 million in one night
The Republican House passed the Medicare-destroying Paul Ryan budget
Boehner’s Super PAC allies launched ads attacking Democrats for rejecting the Ryan budget
If we don’t fight back quick, Paul Ryan and the billionaire backers of the Republican Party will dismantle Medicare and collect the spoils for themselves. We need to hit 200,000 dedicated members right now — before the FEC fundraising deadline.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

Whatever you can do will make a difference. Please give $3 or more immediately –>

Matching the Republican fundraising blitz with your grassroots strength is the only way to fight back against these vicious and powerful attacks. If we fall short, we could lose the fight against Boehner and Ryan’s corporate cash.

Click here to re-up your membership:

Thank you,

Democratic Headquarters


Mitch McConnell just showed us the Republican Party’s true colors.

He actually told a crowd that Hillary Clinton looks like she’s from “a rerun of the ‘Golden Girls.'”

It’s unclear why McConnell and his fellow Republicans think it’s OK to engage in sexist attacks toward someone who’s devoted her entire career to public service. But whatever the reason, it’s just wrong.

Denounce Senator McConnell for his sexist remarks: Click here to automatically sign your name >>

We want to get 100,000 denouncing McConnell by Monday. Are you in?

Call Mitch out on his big mistake here:

Thanks for standing with us,

Democrats 2014


My day didn’t start off great — with Paul Ryan’s extreme budget passing — but it’s looking a whole lot better!

Since 11am, we have seen incredible levels of grassroots support standing against Ryan’s Medicare voucherizing budget.

Now, we’re less than 900 donations away from reaching 10,000 contributions in just one day! Will you put us over the top?

STAND STRONG AGAINST PAUL RYAN: Give $3 or more before midnight and we’ll match your gift >>




BREAKING: Paul Ryan Budget Passes

— This is our worst case scenario:

Paul Ryan raised a record-breaking $14.4 million over glasses of champagne last night — and his radical budget just passed on the House floor.

Ahmed, I won’t mince words: If Ryan can bury us under a wave of corporate special interest cash, then his Medicare-destroying budget really has a chance to become law and seniors are in real trouble.

We need you right now.

We absolutely have to hit 200,000 members before the FEC deadline. If everyone who’s been waiting to give pitches in $3 or more today, we can start closing the fundraising gap today.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

Please do your part — make a donation of $3 or more right now.

This outrageous amount of money came right in time for Ryan. With $14.4 million worth of momentum, the Republicans will try to steamroll over President Obama and all the Democrats standing in the way of Ryan’s radical budget.

That’s why this upcoming fundraising deadline is so important. It’s our chance to show that together we can take on the Republicans and their billionaire-backers. Can we count on you to step up?


Democrats 2014


Hey Paul Ryan — we’ve got a message for you:

If you want to sell out Medicare to give multi-millionaires a huge tax break, we’re going to call you out.

Since Ryan’s budget passed a few hours ago, 4,957 have stepped up to expose Paul Ryan’s sham. That’s incredible!!!

Let’s ruin Ryan’s big day by hitting 10,000 strong throwing their support behind President Obama’s agenda:

Donate $3 or more to renew your membership >>


First, the bad news.

A few hours ago, we alerted you about tonight’s lavish fundraiser, where Paul Ryan will be hobnobbing with his millionaire-backers and discussing the take-down of Medicare.

But here’s the good news: Since this morning, 3,522 supporters have stepped up, chipped in, and put a real dent in the fundraising gap. That’s just in the last few hours!

But, according to our records, you still haven’t re-upped.

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

The quarterly fundraising deadline is next week. We have to be able to compete with Paul Ryan’s special interest funders. Let’s make sure Ryan knows that there’s a whole movement standing between him and destroying Medicare.

Renew your membership for only $3:



Kelly Ward
DCCC Executive Director


This is downright sickening.

Today, House Republicans will vote for Paul Ryan’s Medicare-destroying budget. And guess what Ryan’s doing right after?

Here’s what: Hosting a lavish fundraiser in the shadow of the Capitol, hobnobbing with those who will benefit the most from his budget — deep-pocketed millionaires and billionaires. You can bet they’ll use all that cash to tear down everything President Obama proposes.

We can catch them — but only if we hit 200,000 members before the quarterly fundraising deadline. Ahmed, we need you to be a part of this, but we just noticed that your membership is still pending:

Name: Ahmed Teleb
Supporter record:
2013 Membership: Pending

Please do your part to close the gap — make a donation of $3 or more right now.

The ultra-wealthy and their shady special interests are the Republican Party’s biggest supporters. But we’ve got you. And that means a lot.

So when the big-money backers come out of the woodwork tonight, will your grassroots power be there to match them?


Democratic Headquarters


2 comments on “Citizens United and The Nadir of the Single-member-district First-past-the-post System?

  1. AhmedRTeleb

    Update: as of today I am still receiving these over-the-top emails on a nearly daily basis. The latest tactic is to ask you to sign a petition that in fact is a form to donate.


    Ahmed — We don’t have much time so we’ll make this quick:

    The Senate will vote THIS THURSDAY on whether to take on gun violence. Republicans are already threatening to filibuster. They don’t think that we — or the victims of Newtown — deserve a vote. We need 100,000 people in order to prove them wrong.

    Demand Republicans allow a vote on expanding background checks: Click here to automatically add your name >>

    Thanks for acting quickly,

    Democratic Headquarters “

  2. Folding Knives

    Excellent web site. Plenty of useful information here.

    I am sending it to some paps ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you to your effort!

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