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This is dark, gritty Jeffrey Road, part of my dark, gritty reboot of The OC starring a grown-up Ryan Atwood as an upper-middle-class finance manager who’s moved to Irvine. Feeling mildly resentful about his association’s rule against non-white window coverings, Ryan’s troubled childhood increasingly haunts him until he finally cracks and begins a suburban campaign of mayhem and retribution. In the first episode, he sneaks into neighboring houses at night, replacing the kitchen curtains in each one with a tasteful paisley pattern—and a clue to where he’ll strike next. The police are confounded, but one detective—a crusty maverick who sometimes walks to work even though he lives a full half mile from the station—is determined to stop the Paisley Prankster at all costs. But can he do it without becoming the very person he’s dedicated his life to tracking down: a serial violator of HOA rules and regulations?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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