March 24, 2006

A chance to cast a vote for the Right to Vote itself: support the candidacy of our friend John Bonifaz

Our friend John Bonifaz is running for Secretary of State of Massachusetts and he needs your help.

As you know, John is a dedicated leader who has spent years working with citizens across the country to protect the right to vote and to broaden citizen participation in the democratic process. As Massachusetts Secretary of State, John will fight to return voters to power and to end the big money dominance of our electoral process. I am proud to stand with John, and I hope you will join me in supporting him.

In 1994, John foundedthe National Voting Rights Institute, based in Boston. NVRI today is a prominent legal and public education center committed to preserving the right of all citizens to vote and to participate in the electoral process on an equal and meaningful basis. Since founding NVRI, John has been at the forefront of many of the key voting rights struggles facing the nation today. Some highlights of his work at NVRI include:

· Leading the fight in the courts on behalf of voters and candidates for a full recount in Ohio of all the votes cast for President in the 2004 general election.

· Defending the Massachusetts Clean Elections Law, which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters of the Commonwealth in 1998. John led the effort to challenge the Massachusetts legislature’s refusal to fund the law and NVRI won a landmark ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, forcing the state to provide the necessary funds to all qualified candidates running in the 2002 state elections.

· Working to overhaul the nation’s campaign finance system by defending mandatory campaign spending limits, public financing of elections, and other important campaign reforms. John and NVRI are pressing for a US Supreme Court review of a 1976 ruling which equated money with speech and sanctioned today’s system of unlimited campaign spending, and John has led a challenge to today’s exclusionary system on voting rights grounds, linking the movement for change in the way we finance our elections to earlier civil rights struggles.

In 1999, in recognition of his pathbreaking work with the National Voting Rights Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded John with a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, otherwise known as the “genius” award.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently came to Boston to endorse John's candidacy:
"John Bonifaz will be a leader for Massachusetts and for the nation. Throughout his career, John has demonstrated his political courage time and time again by standing up when it counted … I can think of no better candidate for Secretary of State than John Bonifaz. He will make Massachusetts and the country proud."
As Secretary, John will press for a new bill of rights – a Voters’ Bill of Rights. A new set of guarantees that will make democracy in Massachusetts stronger and will provide an example for the country. You can read about his Voters’ Bill of Rights here:

John needs our support in order to win. I urge you to visit his campaign website today at and to contribute as generously as you can. Massachusetts campaign finance law allows individual contributions up to $500 per calendar year, and your support this month is critical to help demonstrate the early viability of this campaign. If you can make a maximum contribution to the campaign today, that would be fantastic.

Any race for statewide office requires funds – and this race is no exception. John is challenging an incumbent in this race – an entrenched incumbent. Your early donation is critical to John’s campaign.

I also urge you to forward this message to your friends and colleagues.

In the wake of Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, it is more important than ever that we have a Secretary of State like John Bonifaz who will fight for our democracy. I hope you will join me today in supporting this campaign for Massachusetts and for the nation.

P.S. If you prefer to contribute by check, you can mail a check payable to the Bonifaz Committee to:

Bonifaz Committee
P.O. Box 300007
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130

Please be sure to include your employer/occupation information along with the check. Thank you!

No comments: