Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor, founder and director of the Alliance for Better Campaigns, was a newspaper reporter for 25 years, including 14 at The Washington Post, where he covered national politics and social issues.

 

Recent Articles

They're a Blue Tidal Wave—If They Vote

Today's teens are likely to be even more progressive than the millennials who voted in 2018, but will they show up?

This article appears under the title "The Reluctant Majority" in the Summer 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Brianna took me aback. She was the first to speak when I asked students in her high school government class if they planned to vote once they turned 18. “No way!” she said, mixing bravado with disdain. “It would be a waste of my time! I don’t feel like giving my time to this country. “No politician is going to help me put a roof over my head. Nobody is going to put bread on my table. Nobody is going to take care of me. I need to take care of me.” I was visiting her New York City classroom the week before the 2018 midterm elections. All the students were black or Hispanic. I’m an old white guy who was there trying to understand what the next generation thinks about politics, civics, democracy, voting, America. “What do we think, guys?” I asked. “Is she right?” The room stayed quiet...

Cornering the Airwaves

As the U.S. Senate gears up for a vote this spring on the campaign finance reform bill drafted by Arizona Republican John McCain and Wisconsin Democrat Russell Feingold, it would do well to consider a lament from one of its recent escapees: "Today's campaigns function as collection agencies for broadcasters," Bill Bradley observed a few years ago. "You simply transfer money from contributors to television stations." In 2000 those transfers soared to record levels, not just because political donations from wealthy contributors were more generous than ever, but also because television stations were more brazen than ever in jacking up their ad rates to exploit the unprecedented campaign-driven spike in demand. As a result, political advertisers spent up to an estimated $1 billion on television broadcasting last year--five times more than what they spent in 1980, even after adjusting for inflation. "The rates are becoming extortionist," Jim Jordan, executive director of the Democratic...