Described by filmmaker John Weddington Ennis as capturing “the grand opera of Ohio politics,” Pay 2 Play, opens in Columbus at the Gateway Film Center on September 26 and runs through October 2. Pay 2 Play uses the Noe/Coingate scandal as a clear example of pay-to-play, demonstrating how campaign contributions led to Tom Noe receiving $50 million in state funds for high-risk investment in coins and other collectibles.
Ennis says that he first became interested in telling the story of pay-to-play when his dad was brought in as an out of state auditor during the 2005 Noe investigation.
In the film disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramhoff and Ohio lobbyist Neil Clark describe “pay-to-play” and former US Labor Secretary and Chair of Common Cause Robert Reich and Professor Lawrence Lessig describe pay-to-plays cost to democracy. Pay 2 Play is jam-packed with interviews and including The Nation’s John Nichols, intellectual Noam Chomsky, writer Marianne Williamson and Ohioans Cliff Arnebeck, Subodh Chandra and Bob Fitrakis.
Critic Martin Tsai of the Los Angeles Times says that the film “lays out a compelling case against corporate personhood and money as free speech.” “The difference with this movie is that it actually means to inspire hope,” reported the Washington Post’s Michael Sullivan.
At many of the screenings there will be an opportunity to discuss reform strategies following the film. On Sunday, September 28 at 2:00pm at the Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High St., Columbus), Sam Gresham, Common Cause Ohio chair, will moderate a discussion following the film. Panelists will include Pay 2 Play’s director John Wellington Ennis; Sandy Theis, president of Theis Consulting and former bureau chief of the Cleveland Plain Dealer ‘s Statehouse Bureau; and Dan Tokaji, professor of law and senior fellow at Election Law @ Moritz at The Ohio State University, and author of The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections.
Link for Parking and Directions — http://gatewayfilmcenter.com/about/parking-and-directions/
Michael Greenman from Move to Amend will lead a discussion following the film on Friday, September 28 at 7:00pm and Sunday, September 28 at 7:00pm screenings at the Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High St., Columbus). Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio will lead a discussion following the screening on Saturday, September 27 at 7:00pm at the Gateway.
Pay 2 Play is also playing at the Esquire Theater (320 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati) fromSeptember 26-Oct 2. For information on times, visit http://pay2play.