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John Wellington Ennis
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John Wellington Ennis is a filmmaker in Los Angeles. His production company Shoot First Inc. in Hollywood specializes in political messaging with a viral sensibility.

FREE FOR ALL!, his 2008 documentary about election fraud, was called "engrossing, even enraging" by Roger Ebert. His next film, PAY 2 PLAY, explores political corruption at its comic heights while examining the need for campaign finance reform. Ennis directed and produced a feature comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Wild Girls Gone, starring Amy Poehler in a Florida political satire. His Big Pharma documentary Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety was recommended by the American Library Association as a must-see.

His new book Where Else But the Streets is a photo dossier of street artists in Los Angeles with interviews conducted during the making of PAY 2 PLAY. Ennis is on the board of Public Interest Pictures, and co-founder of Video the Vote, a non-partisan, not for profit group that documents and reports voting problems, at videothevote.org. Ennis was voted Mr. Lower East Side for 2002.

Entries by John Wellington Ennis

Diamond District steps up with 'March on Washington'

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 8:58 PM

A striking return to form, March on Washington puts Diamond District back on the map as one of the most vital voices in hip hop today. Their 2010 debut In The Ruff garnered fans worldwide as well as caught critics's attention, leading to the shortlist for a Grammy. With March...

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'This Is Your Country,' My #MayDayin30 Video

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 8:55 PM

I believe that we can use the modern tools available to spread awareness and empower citizens, and that our collective stories can affect revolutionary reform. It is why I am committed to storytelling as a medium for activism, with citizen journalism today serving as oversight.

I am excited to...

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The Pay 2 Play Board Game, More Realistic Than Monopoly!

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 4:29 PM

In order to face any of our mounting problems, we need leaders who will listen to We The People, not just We The Wealthiest People. I set out to make a documentary about the obstacles to elected office, in hopes of encouraging reform and inspiring future candidates. I also wanted...

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Democracy in Ohio is Hard Enough Already

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Democracy in America is such that, after its citizens have participated in national elections, and all of their votes have been counted, with each state's combined number of U.S. House Representatives and Senators determining an allotment of Electoral College votes, added together with due diligence reveal -- reliably -- that...

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Our Pay to Play System, Embodied by Beanie Babies

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 9:17 PM

There was a political scandal I heard about that changed the way I looked at corruption and helped me understand the larger mechanisms at work in government and society. It rocked the swing state of Ohio right after a disputed election, toppled the state's one-party rule and ended the Taft...

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Playing Monopoly With Our Lives

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 7:12 PM

In all likelihood, when you were little, you played America's best-selling board game, Monopoly. The colorful money, antique tokens, and cartoon old man let us pretend to be important, to feel successful, to realize the American Dream of prosperity. This childhood memory becomes something parents share with their children, growing...

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Three Years Later, What Has Come of Occupy Wall Street?

(101) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 8:21 AM

This week marks the third anniversary of protesters descending on Wall Street to protest the havoc wrought by the 2008 Financial Meltdown, which had hit all Americans hard, except for the ones who had caused it.

What began as an open call from Adbusters to show up with a...

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We Can Put An End to Pay to Play

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 9:20 PM

What is Pay to Play? Commonly held, pay to play is a form of getting a special deal because you paid someone off. Usually this is an indirect transaction, because of clear legal guidelines, and so creative ways are devised around long-standing common-sense laws prohibiting politicians from taking bribes. For...

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March Against Monsanto Takes Action in Hollywood

(2) Comments | Posted May 24, 2014 | 6:13 PM

A few hundred people marched through Hollywood on Saturday to protest genetically modified organisms (GMO's) and the corporate giant Monsanto. Gathering at Hollywood Blvd. and La Brea, the marchers held a direct action, asking protesters to plant organic seedlings in the public park. The many honking horns of passers-by was...

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LydiaEmily Breaks Out in Bound

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 9:40 PM

LydiaEmily's new art show Bound opened at the Garboushian Gallery in Beverly Hills Saturday night to an overflow crowd of fans and supporters, including some wearing bandanas and braid wigs in tribute to the artist. A portrait painter who found that the streets offered an ideal forum for...

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Teacher: A Street Artist Trying to 'Teach Peace'

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 6:43 AM

Teacher is one of the most accomplished and prolific street artists in Los Angeles. True to his name, Teacher's focus has been on education and the vital need to focus on the most important resource we have: our children. His emergence in 2011 coincided with a major push against educators...

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Star Wars Unveiling: Our Next Amendment

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 8:02 PM

It is a dark time for the republic. Imperialist forces have colluded to make a mockery of our democratic process, not unlike Palpatine's maneuverings in advance of his dissolution of the Imperial Senate. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's disastrous decisions Citizens United, and McCutcheon, the last remnants of...

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The Paper Chase, Starring James Bopp

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 6:57 PM

Campaign finance laws, put in place painstakingly over time by generations of reformers, are designed to allow the electoral process to function fairly. Because large sums of money can affect an election and undermine the point of a democratic process, campaign finance laws are able to regulate the amount of...

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Free Humanity: Street Art for the People

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 2:31 PM

He had me at "Political Star Wars Street Art."

From lotus flowers to veiled women, Free Humanity has been getting up all over Los Angeles for years now. Pastes, stencils, installation pieces, Free runs the gamut in his artistic arsenal of urban utensils used in applying his artwork all over....

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The PSA Crew: Keeping the Streets Safe for Street Art

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 10:18 PM

Meet The P.S.A. Crew. Eluding law enforcement and surviving in the Los Angeles Underground, this elite band of street artists engages in civic-minded service through subversive means. This A-Team of taggers has been seen all over town defacing corporate ads posing as street art, putting up progressive orgs stickers, and...

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Time to Take a Stand Against Money in Politics

(22) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 10:37 AM

Democracy was blindsided four years ago in Citizens United when the Supreme Court gave an answer to a question it was never asked. What began as regional TV ads for an on-demand movie somehow let the Supreme Court undo a century of campaign law, insisting that no amount of money...

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The Vision & Mission Of Bob Edgar (Video)

(4) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 5:01 PM

Bob Edgar, the president and CEO of Common Cause, has passed away at the age of 69. Bob was active and on point up to the end, having recently held a forum for the 40th Anniversary of Watergate, speaking in public last week, and even

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VIDEO: Voter Protection Or Voter Suppression?

(1) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 12:53 PM

During the 2012 election, the realities of voter suppression have become the new horse race. Where campaign coverage previously relished the focus on who was raising the most money, this year, cable news has been delivering the updates from Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, as various voting restrictions are shot down...

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In Charlotte, Not The Usual Protestor Problems

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2012 | 6:27 PM

The political conventions have become a reliable playing field for protesters from all walks of life to gather outside the conventions where their voices won't be heard otherwise. This was most dramatically realized in 1968 at the DNC in Chicago, when over a million anti-war protesters descended on the streets...

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Creative Coalition Takes The Patron Express To The DNC

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 5:43 PM

At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the art of hospitality, celebrity sighting, and charitable causes converged at the Patron Express party held for the Creative Coalition. The Creative Coalition attends both conventions to look after interests affecting the creative community and social causes that the group believes belong front...

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