JONATHAN NEIL SCHNEIDER
After watching Senator Hollings’ candid account of the corruptive influence of money in Washington on 60 Minutes, Jonathan Neil Schneider became irate. How could a senior Senator appear on one of the most respected news magazines, tell America that its government is up for sale and nothing happens? Well he had to do something.
That “something” was to write/produce/direct his first feature film, Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington.
To do so, Mr. Schneider was forced to leave behind a lucrative career, exhaust most of his savings and get a job waiting tables to get by but according to Schneider, “It all couldn’t have been more worthwhile! I’ve been frustrated with what goes on in Washington for a while. I’ve talked about getting more involved… I just never got involved. Senator Hollings was the straw that broke camel’s back. It was time to stop talking and start doing.”
Making rash, ill-conceived decisions is nothing new to Schneider. A roommate at George Washington University had been pursuing an internship in Congress for months. Schneider thought, “That would be cool.” His roommate insisted you couldn’t just appear on Capital Hill and expect a job. Clueless, Schneider did just that.
“It was funny, when I showed up the Chief of Staff questioned me on Congressman LeBoutillier’s position on a number of issues. I didn’t even know what the issues were, let alone the Congressman’s position. To get rid of me, he gave me a huge stack of papers to read and get back to him. Luckily I took speed-reading that summer and started flying through the material. Five minutes later I knocked on the Chief of Staff’s door and said, ‘It looks good to me, when can I start?’ Amazed, he said tomorrow.”
After graduation, Schneider worked as a salesman in his family’s home improvement business. Unfulfilled, he left his native New York and traveled to California to pursue his passion for show business.
As an actor, Schneider worked in commercials, film, television and theater. He is especially proud of a recurring role on the critically acclaimed show The Shield.
Acting lead to writing, which eventually led to producing, most recently on America’s Next Top Model. Schneider had the difficult task of traveling the world and having to work hand in hand with Tyra Banks and an endless parade of aspiring models.
But making Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington has been Schneider’s most rewarding experience by far. “I never wanted to make a political documentary film, especially one where I had to use my own money to make it. Everyone thought I was crazy, including myself. Two of the most exciting, frustrating, anxiety filled years later, I couldn’t be happier with the film and my decision. I just hope the film gets out there and helps to inspire others to contribute their voice to this and other issues they are concerned about.”
Wright H. Andrews, Jr. is a well-known Washington lawyer/lobbyist who specializes in federal legislation and government relations matters. He served two terms as the President of the American League of Lobbyists, the leading national trade organization of professional federal lobbyists, during 1994 and 1995. Washingtonian magazine has named him as one of Washington’s Top 50 Lobbyists.
He has been featured on many television and radio programs dealing with lobbying, including shows on the BBC, Cable News Network (CNN), Canadian Broadcasting, CBS News, CNBC, C-Span, Court TV, NBC, NET, News Talk TV, and National Public Radio.
Mr. Baran, named by Washingtonian magazine as a "Top Campaign & Elections Lawyer" and one of the "Top 50 Lawyers" in Washington, DC, advises clients and litigates on federal, state and local campaign finance laws, government ethics requirements and lobbying laws. He served as a legal analyst for ABC News and abcnews.com and is the author of the book, The Election Law Primer for Corporations, published by the American Bar Association.
Patrick Basham is a former senior fellow at Cato's Center for Representative Government. Prior to joining the Cato Institute, Patrick Basham served as the founding director of the Social Affairs Center at the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading free market think tank. He has edited and written on a variety of policy issues including campaign finance, term limits, and election law. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Newsday, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Baltimore Sun, Canada's National Post and the Globe and Mail. Basham has also appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, PBS, NPR, BBC, and Radio Free Europe. He will shortly receive his D. Phil. in political science from Cambridge University.
Jonah Bloom is the editor of Advertising Age, the world’s leading marketing and media publication. In that role he oversees the day-to-day editorial operations of the weekly publication, which reaches more than 350,000 readers, as well as AdvertisingAge.com, Point magazine, Mediaworks and Madison + Vine. He writes regular columns for both Advertising Age and The Guardian, a national daily newspaper in the U.K..
Jonah’s other roles have included being magazines editor on journalist’s weekly Press Gazette, being a news reporter on VNU’s Accountancy Age and being a reporter on weekly print and packaging journal PrintWeek. In 2002 Jonah edited the Harper Collins’ book Top Companies in Marketing & Media. His stories have been published in several national dailies in the UK including The Financial Times and The Guardian.
Tony Coelho was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 from California’s Central Valley. He ascended the House Leadership ranks quickly, serving first as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1981 to 1989. As Majority Whip, Mr. Coelho was responsible for securing the votes needed to pass the legislative agenda.
While in the House, Mr. Coelho, who has epilepsy, authored the Americans with Disabilities Act, widely recognized as the most important piece of civil rights legislation in the last 30 years.
In 1989, Mr. Coelho resigned from office surrounding allegations of impropriety in the purchase of junk bonds. After an investigation by the Justice Department no charges were ever filed against Mr. Coelho.
In 1999, Mr. Coelho returned to politics when Vice President Gore asked him to serve as the General Chairman of his presidential campaign. In June of that year, Mr. Coelho resigned his position due to health concerns but continued as a key advisor to the Vice President.
Danny K. Davis grew up the son of sharecroppers outside of a tiny Arkansas town. He spent his early years working in the cotton fields, attending a one room school house, reading everything he could lay his hands on and pondering the great inequalities and inequities he saw around him. The experiences of those early years led him to a lifelong commitment to a life of activism and commitment to the notion that the poor and socially outcast can, with help, inspiration and unity, transform themselves and the larger society.
Davis attended one of the Historically Black Colleges, Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College during the turbulent years of the early 1960s and immediately upon graduation moved to the West Side of Chicago. Before embarking on a career as a political activist he was productively occupied as an educator, community organizer, health planner/administrator and civil rights advocate. Prior to his election to the Congress in 1996 he served six years on the Cook County Board of Commissioners and eleven years as a member of the Chicago City Council.
Mike Fraioli is president of Fraioli & Associates, a political consulting firm specializing in general campaign consulting and fundraising. The firm and its predecessors have achieved an enviable track record of working for some of the most senior and respected Democratic candidates and party organizations.
In addition to working with dozens of candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate, Mike has also served as an advisor to national Democratic party organizations on major events and special projects.
Mike has participated in campaign seminars for Voters for Choice, Campaigns and Elections, unions, associations and various Democratic Party Committees. He has appeared on the Fox Morning News, Financial News Network and CNBC. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee for the annual March of Dimes Trade Union's Stars at Your Service fundraising dinner.
Ms. Greene is the National Director of Project Vote. Jehmu’s extensive background in public service and issue advocacy has propelled her to become one of the nation’s leading experts on empowering disenfranchised citizens through voting and activism. Prior to Project Vote, Jehmu served as President and Executive Director of Rock the Vote where under her leadership, Rock the Vote’s membership grew from 1,500 to 1 million and the organization registered 1.4 million new voters.
Jehmu has been recognized as one of Essence Magazine’s 40 Women Under 40 Shaping the World and American Association of University Women’s “Women of Distinction Award.” Politics and activism have been a mainstay of Jehmu’s life. As the daughter of Liberian exiles she has had first-hand knowledge of the realities of war and social disorder. By witnessing her family’s ordeal in Liberia, she has gained a true sense of the importance of democracy and the freedoms that are inherent in it.
Bill Hillsman is the founder of and the driving force behind North Woods Advertising, and is responsible for some of the most successful and attention-getting marketing campaigns over the past decade.
His work for Paul Wellstone's 1990 U.S. Senate campaign won the Grand EFFIE — awarded by the American Marketing Association for the most effective marketing and advertising in the nation — and changed political advertising in the process. His work for Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial campaign in 1998 received even more accolades and is generally considered to be the biggest upset in American political history.
Bill's commentary on marketing, advertising, and politics has appeared on the editorial pages of The New York Times, NBC's "Today" Show, National Public Radio, CNN, C-SPAN, The Nation, Slate and Salon on-line magazines, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), and Japanese and German television. Advertising Age named Hillsman to The Marketing 100, their annual selection of the 100 best marketing people in America.
EARNEST FRITZ HOLLINGS
Hollings, Ernest Frederick, a Senator from South Carolina; born in Charleston, Charleston County, S.C., January 1, 1922; attended the public schools of Charleston; graduated, The Citadel 1942 and University of South Carolina Law School 1947; admitted to the bar in 1947 and commenced law practice in Charleston; served in the United States Army 1942-1945; elected to the South Carolina general assembly in 1948, 1950, and 1952; speaker pro tempore, South Carolina house of representatives; elected lieutenant governor of South Carolina 1954; elected governor of South Carolina 1958, serving from 1959 to 1963; presidential appointee to several federal commissions; elected in a special election on November 8, 1966, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to complete the unexpired term of Olin D. Johnston; reelected in 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992 and 1998 and served from November 9, 1966, to January 3, 2005; chair, Committee on the Budget (Ninety-sixth Congress), Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (One Hundredth through One Hundred Third Congresses; One Hundred Seventh Congress [January 3-20, 2001; June 6, 2001-January 3, 2003]); unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 1984; was not a candidate for reelection to the Senate in 2004.
Dr. Craig Holman is currently Legislative Representative for Public Citizen. As Legislative Representative, he serves as the organization’s Capitol Hill lobbyist on campaign finance and governmental ethics. Previously, Holman was Senior Policy Analyst at the Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law.
Dr. Holman has assisted in drafting lobbying reform and campaign finance reform legislation, and has conducted numerous research projects on the initiative process and the impact of money in politics. He has been called upon to assist as a researcher and/or expert witness defending in court the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) as well as the campaign finance reform laws of Alaska, Arkansas, California and Colorado. He has authored and co-authored several studies on campaign finance and the initiative process, including four major works entitled Buying Time 2000: Television Advertising In the 2000 Federal Elections (2001); The Price of Justice: A Case Study in Judicial Campaign Financing (1995); To Govern Ourselves: Ballot Initiatives in the Los Angeles Area (1992), and Democracy by Initiative (1992).
Ms Hunter is a porn star extraordinaire. Enough said.
Dennis W. Johnson is professor of political management at George Washington University. He has been the associate dean of the Graduate School of Political Management and the director of the Master of Arts in Legislative Affairs program at George Washington. Before coming to the university, Dennis had his own political consulting business, specializing in candidate and opposition research, and working for Democratic candidates for governor and senator.
Dennis has written two books, "No Place for Amateurs: How Political Consultants are Reshaping American Democracy and "Congress Online: Bridging the Gap Between Citizens and Their Representatives" (2004). His third book, "The Laws that Shaped America," is now in the final stages of research and writing. He has been interviewed by a wide variety of television, radio and print press during presidential elections, from the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and many international outlets. His principal research interests are campaigns and elections, professional consulting, and the history of public policy.
Former professional ice-skater and certified yoga & palates instructor Sunny Lane, has become quite the rising star in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Only in the Industry for a year and a half, she has already received overwhelming praise from critics and fans alike. As the winner of this year's Fans of X-Rated Entertainment's 'Vixen' Award and 'Best New Starlet' - Editor's Choice, from Florida Publication Nightmoves, Sunny has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with. Nominated for numerous other awards as well, such as the prestigious Adult Video News 'Best New Starlet' Award 2006 and X Rated Critic Organization's 'Starlet' Award 2006, Sunny continues to blaze a trail with every project she takes on. In addition, Sunny racked up nominations for 'Best Actress in a Video' for her work in New Sensations Dark Angel 2: Bloodline and 'Best All Girl Sex Scene' in Evil Angel's epic Vault of Whores, at this year' AVN Awards Show gala.
Proving that the fans can't get enough, Sunny continues to grace the pages of many of the leading Men's magazines all over the world, such as the Playboy Lingerie, Bizarre UK, Genesis and People Australia.
No stranger to the world of television, Sunny continues to make regular appearances on Playboy TV's Night calls Live, Hotline and Totally Busted as well as various projects for mainstream networks such as HBO, Showtime, Cienamax, Comedy Central and E Entertainment. Sunny has also made special appearances on Serious Satellite Radio's The Rude Jude Show as well as Real Radio 97.1's Adam Corolla Show.
John LeBoutillier, a NewsMax.com pundit, is a former U.S. Congressman and a nationally recognized political commentator.
Mr. LeBoutillier rose to national prominence in 1974 when, as a college student at Harvard, he raised over a quarter million dollars for a former Republican challenger against South Dakota Senator George McGovern.
Mr. LeBoutillier's efforts caught the notice of President Ford's re-election campaign and in 1976 he was appointed regional coordinator, responsible for all field activities in New Jersey.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College, Mr. LeBoutillier completed a master's degree at Harvard Business School.
Mr. LeBoutillier has been a prolific writer, beginning with his best-selling book Harvard Hates America (October 1978). Later he authored Vietnam Now (September 1989) and co-authored Primary, a novel (September 1979). He has contributed to many major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
In 1980, Mr. LeBoutillier was elected to represent New York's 6th District. He defeated a 16-year Democrat incumbent and became the youngest member of the 97th Congress. In the House, Congressman LeBoutillier served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and as a member of Special House POW/MIA Task Force.
After leaving Congress, Mr. LeBoutillier continued to be active in POW/MIA affairs. He currently runs "Sky Hook II Project," dedicated to recovering living American POWs in Southeast Asia.
He also has been a frequent commentator and host of several media programs. He is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. He has hosted radio talk show programs on WMCA radio and WABC radio. Mr. LeBoutillier has been a frequent guest on many national talk show programs, including the Today show, ABC's 20/20, Nightline and CNN's Crossfire.
A veteran journalist and media expert, Barbara Lippert is the award-winning advertising critic for Adweek magazine. In the column, she examines advertising through many lenses, including politics, television, music, and especially gender.
She also spent time at New York Magazine, profiling Martha Stewart (``I’m Martha and You're Not'') and covering media and pop culture. She has written for Glamour, Allure, and Vogue, and House & Garden, and has also analyzed controversial political advertising for Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Newsday.
Currently the on-air advertising contributor to The Early Show on CBS, she has also been a contributor to NPR’s ``All Things Considered’’ and ``Weekend Edition.’’ Most recently, she served as a talking head on ABC’s Primetime, weighing in on the resurrection of the Jon Benet media circus.
Brianna Love is a porn star extraordinaire. Enough said.
David T. Z. Mindich is chair of the journalism department at Saint Michael's College. Before coming to St. Michael's, Mindich worked as an assignment editor for CNN and earned a doctorate in American Studies from New York University. He has written articles for the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and other publications. He is the author of Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism and Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News (Oxford University Press, 2004), a book Walter Cronkite called "very important....a handbook for the desperately needed attempt to inspire in the young generation a curiosity that generates the news habit."
Mindich founded Jhistory, an Internet group for journalism historians, in 1994. In 1998-1999, he was head of the History Division of the AEJMC. In 2002, the AEJMC awarded Mindich the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Teaching and Public Service. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife, Barbara Richmond, and their two children.
Adam H. Morse is an associate in Jenner & Block’s Chicago office. He is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department and Appellate and Supreme Court Practice.
Mr. Morse joined the Firm after serving for three years as an associate counsel in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. While in that position, Mr. Morse litigated a large number of campaign finance and voting rights cases. His appellate practice included drafting several Supreme Court briefs as well as litigation in federal and state courts of appeals. Mr. Morse also participated in several trial court litigations challenging violations of voting rights.
Mr. Morse graduated from Yale University in 1998 with Distinction in the Major of Linguistics. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2001.
Mr. Potter is a former Commissioner and Chair of the Federal Election Commission. He served as an advisor to the Congressional sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain Feingold) and then participated in the successful defense of the new law in the Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC.
Mr. Potter is a Member of the Washington DC law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered. He is also President and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a non profit organization which represents the public interest in campaign finance matters. He Chairs the Election Law Committee of the American Bar Association, Administrative Law Section.
He has served as an international election observer for the International Republican Institute and the Federal Election Commission, and has written extensively on election law issues. He is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and has been a Visiting Lecturer on election law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University. He has also been an analyst for ABC News, CNN, and National Public Radio on election law and campaign finance issues.
Ms Scarnati is a recent college graduate from Baruch College with a BA in Communications. She completed her undergraduate honor’s thesis in the voting behavior of America’s youth and how to improve voter turnout. Currently she is working for New York Community Bank, and has interned for such companies as Project Vote Smart, CNN, Walt Disney, and the New York Unified Court System. She plans on attending law school in the fall of 2007.
Congressman Christopher Shays often says his job is to "listen, learn, help and lead." Since 1987, he has been listening to his constituents and helping get our voice heard as our representative in Congress.
He is Vice Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, Chairman of its Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations and a member of the Homeland Security Committee. An expert on terrorism, Christopher devotes much of his time to improving our nation's military, intelligence and homeland security operations through tough oversight and legislative reform.
Christopher has been a committed advocate to good government practices, serving as the driving force behind reforming our nation's campaign finance laws, requiring Congress to live by the laws it writes and holding elected leaders to a higher ethical standard.
Rodney A. Smith is a senior congressional lobbyist for AT&T (formally SBC Telecommunications) in their Washington, DC, office. In addition to lobbying Congress for the past 12 years, he is also director of the company’s employee federal political action committee, AT&T Inc. Federal PAC, one of the three largest corporate PACs in the country.
Mr. Smith’s professional background includes tenures as the communications director for a senior member of Congress, two decades as a communications and government relations executive for three Fortune 500 companies and an extensive background as a newspaper editor, reporter and columnist in Washington, DC, and southwestern Virginia.
He is currently an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in writing from the School of Arts & Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University.
Commissioner Thomas began his service at the FEC as a legal intern during the summer of 1975. Upon graduating from law school in 1977, Mr. Thomas worked on the FEC's legal staff. In 1983, he became Executive Assistant to then Commissioner Tom Harris, one of the original FEC commissioners.In 1986, with Commissioner Harris retiring, President Reagan appointed Mr. Thomas to the remainder of a six-year term. He was reappointed in 1991 by President Bush, and reappointed again by President Clinton in 1997.
Commissioner Thomas served as FEC Chairman in 1987, 1993, and 1999. He has focused over the years on improving the enforcement process, restricting the use of 'soft money' and streamlining Commission audit, reports analysis, and disclosure procedures.
In 2006, a few months after our interview, Mr. Thomas read in the newspaper that his services at the FEC were no longer requested or required. Mr. Thomas joined Dickstein Shapiro in 2006 as of counsel in the Public Policy & Law Group.
Lexxi Tyler is a porn star extraordinaire. Enough said.
Steven Weiss served more than five years as Communications Director at the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that tracks the influence of money on elections and public policy.
During his tenure he wrote dozens of reports on money-in-politics issues, served as one of the leading sources for reporters covering campaign contributions and spending, launched the online version of the Center's money-in-politics newsletter, and helped to make CRP and its award-winning Web site, OpenSecrets.org, the nation's premier source for campaign finance data and analysis.
He is currently Senior Director of Communications and Media Advocacy at the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C. Weiss graduated from the University of California, Davis and earned his law degree from Santa Clara University in California's Silicon Valley.
Stephen R. Weissman is Associate Director for Policy at the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization affiliated with George Washington University. Previously he was Legislative Representative for Public Citizen, where he headed up the organization’s efforts in favor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. He is co-author of “527 Groups and BCRA,” in Michael J. Malbin,ed., The Election After Reform: Money, Politics and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (Roman and Littlefield 2006).
Weissman is a political scientist (University of Chicago PhD) who has taught at Fordham University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Howard University. He spent twelve years (1979-91) on the staff of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, including five years as Staff Director. The Subcommittee was deeply involved in the battles for sanctions against South Africa, famine relief for Ethiopia, and human rights. He has also been Program Officer for Education with the Ford Foundation, senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and senior governance adviser to the U.S. Agency for International Development. He is the author of A Culture of Deference: Congress’s Failure of Leadership in Foreign Policy (Basic Books) and American Foreign Policy in the Congo 1960-1964 (Cornell University Press) among other works.