Deconstructing Nonpartisan Reform with NANR’s Exec. Director

Andy Moore, Executive Director of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers (NANR), joins host T. J. O’Hara on Deconstructed to discuss that organization’s progress toward attaining nonpartisan reform. Mr. Moore serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence with Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma, and he is also the founder of Let’s Fix This, which is focused upon building civic engagement and power for political reform.

Given Mr. Moore’s diverse educational background (BS in Psychology, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Studies), T. J. asks what attracted him to the world of political reform. Mr. Moore references his natural interest in helping people and the shocking regulatory obstacles he observed his clients encounter when trying to access the public programs they needed. While trying to resolve the systemic issues, he witnessed a budgetary crisis in his state and questioning what caused it. When it became clear that the root cause was government dysfunction, he formed Let’s Fix This to get citizens more involved. It was through that organization that he began to work with NANR and ultimately became its Executive Director.

Mr. Moore describes NANR’s role as that of a trade association: a group that connects other reform organizations, leverages resources, and shares best practices. NANR does not try to promote itself or endorse any specific reform. Instead, it supports reform in the abstract and provides tools for the organizations (big and small) that are trying to achieve it.

T. J. asks for examples of the types of issues that NANR’s members are pursuing. Mr. Moore discusses the members’ interest in open elections that result in majority outcomes. He describes the challenges that close primaries present and how plurality voting often results in a choice between the lesser of two evils. NANR’s members are working to assure that independents have a say in primary elections and that alternative voting processes like Top 5 and Ranked Choice Voting be used to drive more representative results.

Mr. Moore also discuss election reforms that expand access to voting.  He cites the need to assure that every eligible voter has an opportunity to cast their vote. While citing that some states are headed in a positive direction and others are not, he talks about specific elements that can contribute to a more accessible ballot box.

T. J. asks about gerrymandering, which has been prominently in the news. Mr. Moore describes what is transpiring and draws a distinction between what the politicians and Parties want versus what the people want.

The two then examine one of the more challenging issues that NANR members are pursuing: a potential constitutional amendment to drive campaign finance reform. For example, Mr. Moore speaks about an initiative that would override the United States Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United and thereby prevent corporate money from flowing into the political arena in a manner that can potentially disrupt election integrity. T. J. asks if there is a parallel concern over union donations since neither a corporation nor a union can ever accurately reflect every single employee’s or member’s position to which Mr. Moore gives an inspiring response.

If you have concerns over the current state of our Nation’s elections and how the process needs to be changed to expand access and protect its integrity, you need to listen to this show. Then, get involved.