The Good Fight, with Ben Wikler








September 2017
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Mayday SuperPAC, Lawrence Lessig's anti-corruption moonshot, lost nearly all of its races in the 2014 midterms. Does that mean it failed? Or does the shadow of money in politics extend beyond mere wins and losses? Professor Lessig and the Progressive Campaign Change Committee's Adam Green take us behind the vote tally and into the heart of the campaign-finance darkness for part 3 of The Good Fight's Mayday 2014 trilogy.

Direct download: 37_Did_Lawrence_Lessig_waste_10_million.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:34pm EDT

2014 was the election that young people were supposed to ignore. But then came the voting anthem nobody can stop humming. Today on The Good Fight, the inside story of Turn Out For What—as recounted by Rock The Vote's Ashley Spillane and Dan McSwain, and featuring the voices of Lil Jon, Lena Dunham, Fred Armisen, and Whoopi Goldberg. It's the electoral viral mega-hit of the year, 10 million views strong, exactly when we need it most. 

See the video at, help turn out voters at, and remember to vote on November 4! 

Direct download: 36_Turn_Out_for_What.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

Conservatives might have money, but progressives have something even more powerful: science. That's right: gigantic, statistically valid, scientifically rigorous experiments about the best way to win elections. 

If that's a surprise to you, there's a reason: the most fascinating experiments are all being kept secret. And that's by design. This isn't academia, where the goal is the pursuit of truth. This is politics--where once the other side learns what you've figured out, knowledge stops being power.

At the heart of the progressive electoral-scientific revolution is a little low-profile outfit called The Analyst Institute. It stays away from the media. But today, its Executive Director Tate Hausman emerges from the labs to fill Good Fight listeners in on some of the most crucial findings of the political data wizards—just in time for us to put the lessons to good use in 2014 to help save the Senate. 

Ever heard the phrase "the states are the laboratories of democracy"? Well, it's out of date. These days, the whole country's one big lab, and we're all test subjects. And thank goodness: science plus people power is our last, best hope to beat the billionaires. 

Direct download: 35_The_progressive_secret_weapon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Why haven't wages risen in 40 years? It's not just bad luck. The mostly invisible, ultra-powerful folks who run at the Federal Reserve have gone to great lengths to keep it that way. When too many people get jobs, when pay starts going up... wham! They knock things back down again. 

But lately, things have been a little different. The financial crisis jolted the Fed into superhero mode—and Janet Yellen, the new boss, seems determined to make the economy work for regular people. Trouble is, the old guard's not happy about it. What's needed is another jolt, a fresh infusion of real-world voices. And now, an unlikely group of outsiders is stepping up to provide it. 

Meet Action United's Kendra Brooks, the AFL CIO's Damon Silvers, and the Center for Popular Democracy's Ady Barkan—and go inside what might be the wonkiest and most important economic-justice fight of the year. Or the decade.

Direct download: 34_Fed_up_with_the_economy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

They promised the biggest climate march in world history. But when the big morning arrived, the Weather app showed a thundercloud. 

Hear what happened next—and feel the (renewable) energy of a giant, urgent movement hitting the streets together for the first time—as The Good Fight takes you inside the most ambitious grassroots mobilization of the year.

Direct download: 33_Inside_the_ginormous_huge-tastic_climate_march.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm EDT

The killing of Michael Brown, and the military-style police crackdown that followed, exposed millions of Americans to the wide-open Pandora's Box that is the American way of law enforcement. In the weeks since, as the nation wrestled with fundamental questions of race and justice, media across the country have alighted on what seems like an easy answer: just put cameras on the police!

Turns out, it might actually be a great idea. Not because it solves everything, or even because it generates world-changing footage.  In fact, as it turns out, the least important thing about body-worn police cameras is the stuff that actually gets recorded. But body cameras have a way of changing the way people behave, on both sides of the lens. Professor David Harris and community organizer Terrance Stone join us, in the wake of Ferguson, to examine the science and practice of a gizmo that could save more lives than the Apple Watch. 


Direct download: 32_Will_police_body_cameras_prevent_the_next_Ferguson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:37pm EDT

Lawrence Lessig's Mayday Super PAC stunned the political world by raising $7 million to fight corruption. Now comes the hard part: using money in politics to kick money out of politics. Lessig returns to the show to bring us inside the battle.

Direct download: 31_Mayday_Super_Pac_Strikes_Back.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT

Before the Win Report, before, Garlin Gilchrist II was exactly the person Detroit couldn't afford to lose: a brilliant, entrepreneurial computer engineer and civic patriot. He left. But now he's back. Here's his story.

Direct download: 30_Garlin_Gilchrist_II_Detroit_diaspora_and_destiny.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm EDT

The soon-to-be legendary live taping of The Good Fight from Netroots Nation 2014! Hear amazing stories from NARAL president Ilyse Hogue and newly-elected NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia, thrill to a live Win Report with Garlin Gilchrist II, and march through the streets with Mark Ruffalo and a big crowd of Detroiters as they try to get their water turned back on. Netroots is a massive annual gathering of progressive activists, organizers, and media/tech people; featured speakers this year included Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. But the highight of it all happened in room 320: the Good Fight Live.

Direct download: 29_Live_from_Netroots.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

For decades, criminal justice reform was political Kryptonite. But Cory Booker isn't from Krypton. Booker joins us to explain why he's tackling this fight—and how, in a Festivus miracle of bipartisanship, he teamed up with Rand Paul.
Direct download: 28_Cory_Booker_and_Rand_Paul_partners_on_crime.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT