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Corruption, candidates and conversation

Corruption in America was the hot button issue at an event last week where special Senate candidates spoke.

The event occurred on April 15 at Einstein Coffeehouse from 5-7 p.m. and entailed a screening of “Unbreaking America,” a short film at just under 12 minutes starring Jennifer Lawrence, which aims to “show why nearly every issue we face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption – and what we can do to stop it” according to a description of the event from the Represent Us website.

There were also booths set up at the event encouraging voter registration.

Gretchen Mager, a Freshman and member of the College Democrats, was in attendance.

“I heard about the event from friends and on Facebook. I want to hear the candidates talk about their view on corruption in general and ask them some questions,” Mager said.

Organized and hosted by APSU Senior Mary Richards, the event was centered around the formal viewing and discussion of Unbreaking America.

Additionally, however, several candidates for the special election for Tennessee State Senate District 22 attended or were a part of the event in some way as well, along with groups like Represent Clarksville and Clarksville Indivisible.

 Represent Clarksville is a branch of Represent Us, a bipartisan group dedicated to “bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money and fix our broken elections” according to their website.

Clarksville Indivisible, according to their website, “stands for the well-being of all Tennesseans and against any governmental action that threatens that well-being.”

After the documentary showing, candidates for the special election for Tennessee State Senate District 22, Juanita Charles, Doyle Clark and David Cutting, each gave a small talk explaining their views on corruption in America, including the possible causes and solutions.

Afterwards, all those in attendance proceeded to have an open discussion about the film and corruption.

Many of the candidates spoke on aspects of corruption mentioned in the video such as money in politics and many discussed supporting restrictions being put on how much one can donate to a campaign or during what times a congressman or woman can accept money.

“You don’t need outside money to do your job at all,” Juanita Charles, special Senate election democratic candidate said.

Doyle Clark, another Democratic candidate, also discussed limits on campaign contributions and spending saying, “My views on these topics mirror Juanita’s.”

David Cunningham, an Independent candidate, also discussed limiting campaign contributions.

“If I had the choice, I would ban all fundraising while legislation is in session,” Cunningham said.

Overall, the event allowed for the open discussion of corruption and introduced some members of the APSU community and Clarksville community to some of the candidates for the special election for Tennessee State Senate District 22.

The election is April 23.

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