Mark Binder is an award-winning author, publisher and story performer. His latest book is "Cinderella Spinderella" an illustrated ebook for families, and a new novel, "The Brothers Schlemiel." Please visit http:cinderellaspinderella.com and http://lightpublications.com or on Amazon, iBooks and Google Play.

Mark is an occasional candidate for public office. In his last election, he won 43% of the vote against the sitting Speaker of the RI House of Representatives, despite being outspent 10 to 1.

In 2012, he ran as the independent candidate for House District 4 against the Speaker of the House, receiving more than 40% of the vote while outspent by his opponent 20 to 1.

He ran for Congress in 2004. He is also Editor in Chief at Light Publications, a fiercely independent publishing house specializing in fiction and adventurous political thought.

Other books include: "It Ate My Sister," "Genies, Giants and a Walrus," "Kings, Wolves, Princesses and Lions," and "The Bed Time Story Book." His favorite audio recording is called, "It was a dark and stormy night..." and is available on iTunes.

He has received funding from the RI State Council on the Arts, but hasn't spent it yet. That's another story.

4 responses to “Reforming the Legislature”

  1. Samuel Bell

    No one’s willing to say it, but the most important reform is making it a professional legislature with staff and offices and sufficient pay to live on.  Paying the legislators only $15,000 per year means that they have to have external jobs, even though they often don’t have the time to do them.  This opens up a whole host of conflict of interest issues.

    1. Alias Smith

      I think that a professionalized legislature would be much worse than what we have now. It would make the legislature an even more exclusive club with even less diversity. Think about it. What type of people are able to give up their jobs to run for elected office? Probably not many (especially considering that you’d be out in the cold if you were to get elected only to lose a reelection bid). 

      While there is no perfect system, I believe that the citizen legislature is the better alternative. We should be trying to improve it instead of changing it into an exclusive professionalized body. Enacting full public financing for campaigns is probably the best solution to improving the citizen legislature. It levels the playing field a bit and reduces conflicts of interest.  

  2. Alias Smith

    Restricting fundraising is a pie in the sky idea that is totally unrealistic. Why not push for full public financing of elections? 

    On another note, I find it ironic that Dickinson, who is strongly against marriage equality, is one of Binder’s biggest supporters. I thought that marriage equality is one of Binder’s biggest issues?  

  3. Fabio

    Well 38 Studios Video Game was not just a disaster, it is compeletely unacceptable. That pitcher received a $75 million loan, wasted it and filed for bankruptcy. Very great job. I mean while average people do what ever they can do not to file for bankruptcy ( they even go to get a loan until payday online) in order to try to fix their situation. This and many factors described in the above artcile just lead to a thought that Rhode ISland is a total mess at this moment. It was a long time ago a high time for changing existing rules for sure!

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