Ratf**ked: The True Story behind the Secret Plan to Steal American Democracy
David Daley, Connecticut News Project, Samuel Wang, Princeton
October 12, 2016 · 6:00 pm—7:00 pm · 116 Nassau Street
With elections just around the corner, we urge you to join author and editor in chief of Salon, David Daley, and Princeton Professor Sam Wang for a conversation about one of the most central and insufficiently discussed ways in which democracy in America has in fact become a rigged system.
Daley’s explosive account details how Republican legislators and political operatives fundamentally rigged our American democracy through redistricting. With Barack Obama’s historic election in 2008, pundits proclaimed the Republicans as dead as the Whigs of yesteryear. Yet even as Democrats swooned, a small cadre of Republican operatives, including Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and Chris Jankowski began plotting their comeback with a simple yet ingenious plan. These men had devised a way to take a tradition of dirty tricks—known to political insiders as “ratf**king”—to a whole new, unprecedented level. Flooding state races with a gold rush of dark money made possible byCitizens United, the Republicans reshaped state legislatures, where the power to redistrict is held. Reconstructing this never- told-before story, David Daley examines the far-reaching effects of this so-called REDMAP program, which has radically altered America’s electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy. Ratf**ked pulls back the curtain on one of the greatest heists in American political history.
David Daley was the editor in chief of Salon and the Digital Media Fellow for the Wilson Center for Humanities and the Arts and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He is currently CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. Sam Wang is Professor of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at Princeton University and author of Welcome to Your Brain and Welcome to Your Child’s Brain. Dr. Wang is also noted for developing statistical methods to analyze U.S. presidential election politics with unusually high accuracy.