Pray for the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living: Goodbye Al Meyerhoff

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Everyone here was stunned to read the news a couple of days ago that Al Meyerhoff, a fighting lawyer who among other things exposed the Saipan scam (whereby American manufacturers have products made in sweatshops in the U.S. protectorate, then slap a “Made in USA” label on them–legally), has died at age 61. Al served for a few years on MoJo’s board; he was a memorable presence, expounding in his booming voice—and, later, via the emails that regularly showed up in our inboxes, and no doubt a few thousand others—on this or that corporate or political outrage. He once told a student magazine that he’d developed his “active dislike of the abuse of power” from having been bullied as a kid. Those bullies messed with the wrong guy. We’ll miss him a lot.

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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