Money in Politics in the Year of Trump and Sanders

Money in Politics in the Year of Trump and Sanders

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 15 5:00 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 15 6:15 PM (Eastern)

Room: 227

On the left, Bernie Sanders built a movement against the buying of our democracy by billionaires like the Koch brothers, and a broad coalition of groups fighting for free and fair elections staged mass mobilizations in April to ratchet up the pressure for change in DC. On the right, moneyed, establishment candidates backed by the Koch network fell by the wayside to self-funding billionaire Donald Trump, defying the media narrative around money in politics. Hear from grassroots activists building the money-out movement about strategies that are working on the ground to harness the energy of this anti-establishment election cycle.


Lauren Windsor


Lauren Windsor is the executive director of American Family Voices and the executive producer of the political web-show “The Undercurrent,” which focuses on money-in-politics corruption, Wall Street reform, and climate change. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, DailyKos, and The Nation, and runs her own blog, Lady Libertine. Her investigative reporting on the Koch brothers’ summer donor retreat in 2014, which broke several hours of audio from key Senate candidates and Koch political operatives, was one of the biggest political stories of the year, leading to hundreds of press hits in online and print publications, and local, national, and cable news television.

Most recently, the Koch audio was featured prominently in Jane Mayer’s best-selling book on the Koch brothers, Dark Money. Lauren’s videos have appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, All In with Chris Hayes, The Ed Show, The Lead with Jake Tapper, RT, and The Young Turks.

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Lisa Graves


Lisa Graves is Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of (its award-winning investigation of the American Legislative Exchange Council),,, and She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division at the U.S. Courts, and Senior Legislative Strategist for the ACLU on national security issues, among other posts. Reach her on twitter: thelisagraves and email:

Other sessions: ALEC's Three-pronged Attack on Working Families and Communities of Color

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Kai Newkirk

Kai Newkirk

Kai Newkirk is a progressive social movement organizer. He co-founded 99Rise and, as the mission director of Democracy Spring, was the architect of the largest American civil disobedience action of this century. In 2014, Kai disrupted the US Supreme Court to protest it’s role in political corruption in an action captured in the first-ever video recording of the Court’s chamber. He led 99Rise’s 480-mile, 37 day California March for Democracy and the subsequent 12 days of state capitol sit-ins that helped pass two democracy reform bills. Before devoting himself to the democracy struggle, Kai worked as a political aide and as a worker organizer. He has organized nonviolent action campaigns in the universal health care, immigrant rights, anti-war, and global justice movements. Kai is a founding member of the Momentum organizing tradition and an experimenter in the emerging field of integral movement ecology.

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Angie Wells

Angie Wells is a Senior Campaign Lead with the Communications Workers of America in Washington, D.C.

Prior to re-joining with CWA, Angie served as Senior Strategist and Organizer at Democracy Initiative in Washington and Senior Campaign Lead in North Carolina for the Communications Workers of America (CWA ) .

Angie has worked in two Texas gubernatorial administrations. First, at the Department of Labor and Standards in Governor Mark White’s administration and next with Governor Ann Richard’s administration as Ombudsman for the Texas Department of Commerce.

She has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Winnie Wong

Winnie Wong

Winnie Wong is a radical media maker, internet activist and founding organizer of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Sandy.

Occupy Sandy hit the ground running In the immediate aftermath of a Hurricane Sandy devastated New York. More than 60,000 volunteers were trained and dispatched to the Far Rockaways, New Jersey, and Staten Island to provide what has now become the largest crowd powered disaster relief effort in history.

As a movement strategist, she has helped vision, facilitate and implement numerous paradigm shifting campaigns for political, cultural and social change.

In the Spring of 2014, she helped to launch Ready For Warren. In the Spring of 2015, she co-founded People For Bernie 2016, and created the viral political hashtag: #FeelTheBern

She will theorize the hegemony and continue to use the internet as a powerful tool for organizing toward direct democracy, equality, and justice for all.

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