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Doug Hughes: Still Working on Campaign Finance Reform

Doug Hughes

What has American hero Doug Hughes been doing since his daring gyrocopter landing on the Capitol lawn? Continuing his work on campaign finance reform.

The Campaign Finance Gyrocopter Man Describes His New, Surreal Existence

After his short stint in jail, Doug Hughes returned home to collect a letter from a personal hero. Hughes [is] the 61-year old postal worker who piloted a gyrocopter onto the lawn of the Capitol… to raise awareness of campaign finance reform.

Nobody, it seemed, paid attention until the stunt sparked the kind of Washington, D.C. safety panic that livens up slow news days. [But] one of the first signs that the message had actually gotten through came when Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, one of America’s most visible campaign finance reformers, sent Hughes an ‘attaboy’ through the mail.

‘I’m not going to say it was for what I did,’ says Hughes, ‘but it was for why I did it.’ […]

Back home in Florida, under house arrest, Hughes has started working with an assistant to rebuild his website and ‘get coached on Twitter.’ This week he joined a conference call of campaign reformers to see what he could add to the ongoing efforts to force a discussion of campaign money into the presidential race. ‘I’m trying to strategize on the assumption that I’m not going to be locked up,’ he said.

— David Weigel, Bloomberg Politics


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. claire

    I LOVE you Doug, your courage, ingenuity, humor, ability to dream a return to democracy. To wake us up from the dead (democracy) to honor the son who took his life and with him many others of all ages, you have risked your own life and your freedom too. You are too well aligned with strong ethical values to let those who seized you and your letters, humiliate you – and they try hard, thinking as they do, that they must cover up their shame for what they have done. YOU deserve the name hero, next to the great whistle blowers and their witnesses. But you don’t need it: you are doing exactly what you believe in, all the way, and your whole being is radiating out and out to all of us even to the blind. Deeply grateful! C

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thank you, Claire, for your heartfelt comment! We must revive our dead democracy. Doug Hughes is doing something about it, at great sacrifice. He is definitely our hero!

  2. Tanya

    His stunt was really nuts, but I respect that he took a stand for something he believes in. It got a lot of media coverage, which raised awareness on the issue of campaign finance reform.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Agreed… and so good to see you, Tanya. Your semester has ended? Hope your summer is great! 🙂

  3. swo8

    That is so inspiring that one person can do so much. We can turn the tide.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      I believe we can – but it is so good to see someone else say it! 🙂

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