Democracy Forum 3/19/21: Is that for real? Conspiracy Theories in American Politics

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Participatory Democracy: Is that for real? Conspiracy Theories in American Politics

We’ll talk about the political and social conditions that give rise to conspiracy movements.
Why are people drawn to these ideas?
What are the conditions in civil society that are feeding into these trends?
How have these moments come up in our history?
How have we gotten past it before?
Can democracy function when these beliefs are widespread?

Guests:

Jamie McKown, James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity at College of the Atlantic
Joanne Miller, Associate Professor, Political Science & International Relations, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Delaware

To learn more about this topic:
Speaking of Psychology: Why people believe in conspiracy theories, with Karen Douglas, PhD, podcast of the American Psychological Association
Gender Differences in COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory Beliefs, Erin C. Cassese, Christina E. Farhart, and Joanne M. Miller. 2020
A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, Nancy L. Rosenblum and Russell Muirhead, 2019

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Michael Fisher, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 2/19/21: Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

-Our information ecosystem and how it’s contributed to this very divisive moment in American politics:
-How did it go wrong, can we fix it?
-What role do mis- and dis-information, social media, media silos, and alternative realities play in fostering extremism?
-How are these issues playing out right here in real-world Maine?
-What remedies are suggested by research?

Guests:
Ronald Deibert, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Director of The Citizen LabMunk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and author of the new book, Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society
Andy O’Brien, freelance journalist where he has been reporting on far-right groups in Maine for the magazine, Mainer. He is also a former Maine state legislator, former managing editor of the Free Press in Rockland

To learn more about this topic:
Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society, Ronald Deibert, 2020
By Andy O’Brien from Mainer:
“Hatebook” – The Facebook group that promoted violence and death threats against Safiya Khalid, the first Somali-American elected to the Lewiston City Council
“Leaks Show Mainer’s Online Radicalization By Neo-Nazi Terrorist Cult”
“UMaine College Republicans Caught in MAGA Civil War”
“Maine GOP Leadership Goes to Bat for White Nationalistic College Club”
“Mob thinking has grown as news moves online,” Sara Fischer/Axios, January 2021
“Banning Trump won’t fix social media: 10 ideas to rebuild our broken internet – by experts,” The Guardian, January 2021
“Trump Is Fighting Section 230 for the Wrong Reason,” The Atlantic, January 2021
“How to Deal With a Crisis of Misinformation,” Brian Chen, The New York Times, October 2020

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Michael Fisher, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 1/15/21: Searching for Common Ground across the Political Divide

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

We’ll talk about the political divide in the aftermath of the 2020 general election.
Do we share any common ground?
What happened at “America in One Room” in 2019? And what does it mean for American in 2021.
What lessons can we learn about American democracy and its future?

Guests:
Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
James Fishkin, Janet M Peck Chair of International Communication at Stanford University, and Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy.
Steve Wessler, Maine human rights educator, trainer, and advocate specializing in conflict resolution

To learn more about this topic:
These 526 Voters Represent All of America. And They Spent a Weekend Together, New York Times, October, 2019
America in One Room
Our Common Purpose
“Pulling Our Politics Back from the Brink,” The New Yorker, November, 2020
“?You’re Wrong About: Losing Relatives to Fox News” on Apple Podcasts
The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good, Michaels J Sandel, 2020

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 11/20/20: Election Reflections 2020

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Participatory Democracy: Election Reflections 2020

We will talk about the November 3 general election
What just happened here in Maine and around the country
What went right, what went wrong
What it says about the future of our democracy

Guests b:
Shelly Crosby, Orono Town Clerk and president of the Maine Town and City Clerks Association
Matthew Dunlap, Maine Secretary of State
Amy Fried, John Mitchell Nickerson Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine
Jill Goldthwait, Columnist and former independent Maine State Senator
Meg McCormick, Maine Director & New England Coordinator, Campus Election Engagement

To learn more about this topic:
Half of Americans Don’t Vote. What Are They Thinking? Colin Woodard in Politico, February 2020
College Students, Voting and the COVID-19 Election, Knight Foundation, August 2020
The 100 Million Project: The Untold Story of American Non-Voters, Knight Foundation
Polarization and the Politics of Personal Responsibility. Jeffrey M. Stonecash and Mark D. Brewer 2015
In Suspense: Donald Trump’s Efforts to Undermine Public Trust in Democracy, Amy Fried and Donald B. Harris, October, 2020.

Prerecorded on 11/19/2020 using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Kirk Earl, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Judith Lyles, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 10/16/20: Who’s Showing Up to Vote in November?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Research into voter motivation;
How new information can affect the way people form political opinions, make political choices and, ultimately, take political actions;
How research into voter motivation might be relevant in the 2020 General Election.

Guests:
Yanna Krupnikov, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University
Meg McCormick, Maine Director & New England Coordinator, Campus Election Engagement
Shelly Crosby, Orono Town Clerk and president of the Maine Town and City Clerks Association.

To learn more about this topic:

Half of Americans Don’t Vote. What Are They Thinking? Colin Woodard in Politico, February 2020
College Students, Voting and the COVID-19 Election, Knight Foundation, August 2020
The 100 Million Project: The Untold Story of American Non-Voters, Knight Foundation
Maine watchdog may probe shadowy poll aimed at Democratic legislative hopeful, Bangor Daily News, September 2020
Opinion | Is America Hopelessly Polarized, or Just Allergic to Politics? (Published 2019), Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan, New York Times, April 2019
Independent Politics: How American Disdain for Parties Leads to Political Inaction, Samara Klar and Yanna Krupnikov, 2016

Prerecorded using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 9/18/20: Who Votes, Who Can’t, and Who Won’t?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Who Votes, Who Can’t, and Who Won’t?

We talk about voter participation in marginalized communities
Structural/ systemic/ institutional barriers to voting, and motivational barriers to voting.

Guests:
Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador

Michael Kebede, Policy Counsel, ACLU of Maine

Chryl Laird, Assistant Professor of Government at Bowdoin College

To learn more about this topic:

How Shelby County v. Holder Broke America, Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic, July 2018
America’s Relentless Suppression of Black Voters, Lawrence Goldstone, The New Republic, October 2018.
Young Black Americans not sold on Biden, the Democrats or voting, David C. Barker and Sam Fulwood III, The Conversation, August 2020
Systematic Inequality and American Democracy, Danyelle Solomon, Connor Maxwell, and Abril Castro, Center for American Progress, August 2019
Why So Many Black Voters Are Democrats, Even When They Aren’t Liberal, Cheryl N. Laird, Ismail K. White, FiveThirtyEight, February 2020
Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior, Cheryl N. Laird, Ismail K. White, February 2020
Maine: State of our Democracy, a report from the League of Women Voters of Maine, April 2020.
FRRC is one of several nonprofits that are raising money to help returning citizens pay fines and fees in Florida, as mentioned on the show.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond, 2016

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturdevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 8/21/20 Is Government Doing Good: Policy Feedback Effects & the Civic Divide

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

NOTE: This is a rebroadcast of a program that originally aired on 11/15/2019

We’ll talk about new political science research into policy feedback effects
How public policy design affects people’s sense of themselves as citizens and their propensity to participate.
What this means for legislators and advocates

Guests:
Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine
Don Moynihan, McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University

To learn more about this topic:

Administrative Burden: Policymaking by Other Means, Pamela Herd and Donald P. Moynihan, December 2018

“Citizens feel disconnected from government. If they knew what government did for them, they wouldn’t.” Interview with Susan Mettler, Washington Post, November 2018

Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted , Eric M. Patashnik, 2009

Citizens By Degree: Higher Education Policy and the Changing Gender Dynamics of American Citizenship. Deondra Rose, February 2018

The Government-Citizen Disconnect, Suzanne Mettler, July 2018

Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control. Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver, June 2014

Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation, Suzanne Mettler, September 2007

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 7/17/20: Election Reflections re July 14, 2020

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Who won the Maine primaries and why.
How did Maine elections work under COVID restrictions?
What does it all mean for the high-stakes election in November?

Guests:

Matthew Dunlap, Maine Secretary of State b)
Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Mainec)
Jill Goldthwait, Columnist and former independent Maine State Senator

To learn more about this topic:

As November Looms, So Does the Most Litigious Election Ever, New York Times, July 7, 2020

Election results not expected to be delayed in Maine despite virus changes, Bangor Daily News, July 8, 2020

Poll gives Dale Crafts edge in GOP primary in Maine’s 2nd District, Bangor Daily News, July 8, 2020

Clerks report record absentee ballots for July 14 election, Portland Press Herald, July 2, 2020

What Went Wrong in the Wisconsin Election, and What We Can Learn From It Before November, Time, April 2020

After record primary turnout, Iowa Senate Republicans try to limit vote-by-mail in presidential election, Fortune, June 2020

New York candidates left on hold as primary results trickle in, The Hill, July 2020

Georgia Primary Issues Sow Concerns About General Election, NPR, June 2020

How The Elections In Nebraska And Wisconsin Managed Amid The Pandemic, FiveThirtyEight, May 2020

Prerecorded using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor and Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.