Share this project


Share this project

The cost of running for office makes candidates beg, borrow, and steal. PAY 2 PLAY shows how our elections encourage extortion, and how to stop it.
The cost of running for office makes candidates beg, borrow, and steal. PAY 2 PLAY shows how our elections encourage extortion, and how to stop it.
119 backers pledged $20,187 to help bring this project to life.

Wow, we're almost there! Help us make it NOW!

With just 18 hours to go and only $1,400 away from our pledge goal, the excitement is too much to take! We've almost reached our goal, but still need a little help: and then we can finish filming our documentary on campaign reform, PAY 2 PLAY! (

I'm not sure if it's the thrill that almost 100 people have chipped in to get us this far, or the anticipation that once we cross this goal Monday, I can set out to Ohio to cover the elections. Because after regularly visiting Ohio since I started this film in 2006, I have learned the truth in this axiom: "As Ohio goes, so goes the nation." Ohio is a microcosm of America, and how people think in the Buckeye State reflects the sentiments across the country. I have to get there to understand the state of America and be able to share it.

And I know that in Ohio, times are hard. The exploitation by that state's pay-to-play political culture has taken a heavy toll on Ohio's cities, jobs, schools, services, and families. For this documentary, I have followed how a bizarre scandal over missing rare coins revealed a massive gouging of state resources to build a campaign cash machine, laundering money into Bush's re-election. In my last film FREE FOR ALL (, I showed how systematic suppression deprived hundreds of thousands of Americans of their vote in the 2004 elections.

Those revelations prompted me to do something to combat that injustice. I co-founded ( in 2006, a poll-monitoring effort to get citizens to video tape at the polls on election day and report problems by uploading clips to YouTube. I've traveled all over Ohio working with others who care deeply about making our elections fair. This election day, with your support, I will be back organizing for Video the Vote in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and other Ohio communities.

But what I learned in 2006 is that election disenfranchisement doesn't start on election day--it only ends there. The candidates aspiring to public service are driven out by big money and party politics. Lies thrive in place of ideas, and the media only encourages mud-slinging and costly ad buys. I saw that not only do we need to reform how our campaigns are run, we already can change how we participate in elections. And where that story won't be told, I had to tell it.

That's why this Kickstarter campaign has been so incredible -- it has been a model of the new social networking that allows us to combine our voices into a cultural force. What's more, it's showing how the new generation of independent citizen journalist can tell this story on such a smaller budget than the millions regularly wasted in films and television.

What will our funds go to if and when we receive this last $1,400? Blank tapes. Hard drives. A car rental that I will put over 1,000 miles on. Airfare to Ohio, D.C. Massachusetts, and New York to shoot the remainder of this film, and gather support for some of the revelations that will be in PAY 2 PLAY.

Please share this with your friends in our final hours! I continue to be amazed how this issue has people charged around the country. It's not just reaching our fund raising goal that matters, we want to be able to point to the number of donors that got us there! We are going to take this backing as a mandate going forward, telling each of our interview subjects and friends in Ohio how I am there not on my own, but representing all of you. Through these updates to our Kickstarter family, we are building a community for this film that will broaden its impact enormously.

In closing, I wanted to share with you a special unveiling that just happened on Friday.

While you may know that this film PAY 2 PLAY has developed a Monopoly board game theme to relate the perils of running for office, I never imagined that this traditional symbol of wealth and gridlock would ever be so literally realized: A gold encrusted and bejeweled Monopoly board game set worth $2 million dollars just went on display Friday, on Wall Street:

While rampant foreclosure fraud has rocked the country and led to investigations into the banks by all 50 states, there could be no richer symbol of extravagance and gaudy excess from Wall Street than exhibiting a pair of solid gold dice worth $13,000. What could make money more valuable than it already is? Plate it in gold and engrave it! The absurdity is like an Austin Powers gag.

Creating a film that could appeal to that mainstream by weaving in America's favorite childhood game was always part of the mission for PAY 2 PLAY. But now, this crusade has its own Holy Grail.

Please help send me to Ohio, Capitol Hill, and the Monopoly board made out of freaking GOLD to complete this years-long journey. We're almost there, just a few more donations!

Thanks for all you do!

John Wellington Ennis
Director, PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy's High Stakes

  • Image 20028 original


Only backers can post comments. Log In