Why should I give money to political candidates, I'm just one person?
This is true. You are one person. Your friend is another person. Your neighbor is one more. And your co-worker makes four. There are millions of Americans who also have a friend, a neighbor, and a co-worker. The idea behind MyOcracy is that individual action leads to the collective power. It is this power from ordinary people that fuels the people and ideas that ultimately shape our government!
OK, I understand why political donations are important, but why give to candidates in other states or geographic areas?
Great question! There are many reasons to show interest in political races outside of your own geographic area.
First, local and state politicians form a significant portion of the pool from which our national politicians are chosen. If you’re concerned about the decisions of national lawmakers, start early. Donate to the campaigns of state and local candidates who share your beliefs.
Second, many of today’s urgent political issues aren’t specific to a certain area. For example, increases in sales or property taxes in Florida affect not only Florida residents, but also millions of tourists and vacationers who visit each year. In addition, the location of a new port in one state may affect the revenue generated from other government-run ports in nearby states. Any resulting loss of revenue by nearby states can result in cuts to state-funded programs and projects (like public universities and road construction).
Third, some key issues – like the environment and abortion – find groups of support along regional lines. Therefore, when you donate to candidates who support your ideas in other states, you are funding the voices of candidates who may not otherwise find resources or support for their views and ideas in their geographic area.
Ultimately, your funds allow candidates to raise their exposure and to inject your ideas into the mainstream political discussion. Your thousands of miles away, but the opportunity is there for you to influence political debates and the election of candidates who support your ideas on some of today’s key issues.
Why am I being asked for information like my employer and my spouse's name?
In short, it’s the law. The raising of funds by political candidates is an activity regulated by state and federal laws. These laws require political campaigns to obtain this information (or similar information) from donors for various reasons, which include verifying identity, promoting transparency in government, and monitoring total contribution amounts (which is also regulated by law).
Why am I being asked if I’ve donated money before? Why can’t I donate additional funds?
Donating funds to political candidates is an activity regulated by state and federal law. The large majority of states limit the total amount of money you may donate to one candidate per election. Therefore, if you are being prevented from donating additional funds, you should contact the candidate’s campaign as you may have reached your contribution limit as defined by state or federal law.
Can I suggest additional political issues for MYocracy to list?
Yes!! We would love to hear about which issues are important to you. Please go to the “Contact” page and select from the drop-down menu, “Suggestion for Issue Stance/Viewpoint." Once selected, leave your suggested issue in the large comment box. We may include it on the site and allow candidates to declare their support for such issues.
In general, how do copyright laws affect the videos I want to upload?
Copyright is a form of legal protection to the authors of “original works of authorship,” which can include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. In general, copyright laws in the United States give the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to reproduce, copy, distribute, perform, and display the original work.
It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the owner’s rights provided by copyright laws. The author does not have to publish the work for all to see for it to have legal protection. If copyrighted material is featured in a video clip that a MYocracy user uploads, then the user’s video clip may not be featured on MYocracy without satisfying certain standards set forth in federal law. One of these standards, referred to as the “fair use” doctrine, allows users to feature copyrighted material without violating federal law. This standard is described below in general.
The rights provided to owners of original works of authorship are not unlimited in scope. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which allows others to use copyrighted works in a certain manner. There are no blanket rules that permit any particular use of a copyrighted work under the fair use doctrine. Thus, if a particular use were challenged, the law would apply on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the fair use doctrine would apply.
If you have questions about a particular use, one resource to seek assistance from is the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov). For informational purposes only, below are some examples of instances where courts have agreed that a particular use met the standards of the fair use doctrine. Excerpted quotations in a review or criticism for illustration or comment.
- Excerpted quotations in a review or criticism for illustration or comment.
- Use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied.
- Summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report.
- Reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson.
I uploaded a video, but it didn't appear or I don't see it anymore?
MYocracy is proud to provide a forum for you to share your political views and ideas. We do, however, reserve the right to remove videos (1) that contain material in violation of (or possibly in violation) copyright laws; or, (2) that do not promote healthy political discussion. To determine the latter, below are some of the factors MYocracy considers: the use of profanity that is excessive or that detracts from the overall political message; the use language that demeans or insults other MYocracy users or speakers in general; the use of copyrighted or seemingly copyrighted material (like television shows, documentaries, and music) without permission; the clarity of focus and communication on a specific topic. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Finally, we encourage users to upload separate videos for each political issue on which they intend to speak.
I clicked on the grayed-out “Donate” button, but the donation page did not appear?
MYocracy features politicians who are registered (meaning they have a business relationship with MYocracy) with the site and others who are not registered. You may notice that politicians who register for the site have more detailed profile pages, which includes a red “Donate” button that allows users to provide donations directly to the politicians’ campaigns. If the "Donate" button is gray, then the politician has not yet registered with MYocracy.
To learn more about registering as a politician with MYocracy, click the "Contact" navigation button at the top of this page and send us an e-mail. We are very responsive and love to hear from voters, politicians, policy wonks, and other users! [Note: Only individuals who currently hold an elected state or federal public office and those officially running a campaign for such an office may apply to register with MYocracy as politicians].
Does MYocracy.org operate as a not-for-profit?
No, MYocracy.org is not structured as a non-profit under the law. It is, however, the ultimate goal of MYocracy.org to produce a civic benefit to the community similar to what is required of non-profits. MYocracy.org strives to educate voters and increase transparency and engagement in the democratic process. With the wealth of information we provide, as well as other resources, we trust our users to make an informed decision – whatever it may be. We believe our improvements to the political process will lead to an improved result – or better overall government.
Therefore, it is important that our website remain neutral and information focused. To this end, please be assured that our operation as a for-profit entity does not impact or compromise our goals or the information that we provide.