Review: ‘Pay 2 Play’ takes aim at big money’s effect in politics


Citing the Citizens United case, the Hobby Lobby case, the Koch brothers, Occupy Wall Street, “stand your ground” and other trending topics of recent civil discourse, the documentary “Pay 2 Play” lays out a compelling case against corporate personhood and money as free speech.

Filmmaker John Wellington Ennis uses as a case study Ohio’s 2005 “Coingate,” with Tom Noe making financial contributions to Republican candidates and receiving high-ranking government posts and $50 million in state funds for his high-risk rare-coins investment fund.

The film also launches into Charles and David Koch’s financial contributions to 1,053 winning candidates in the 2010 elections and the billionaire brothers’ bankrolling of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the think tank that has masterminded thousands of pieces of legislation, among them anti-collective bargaining laws, voter ID laws and stand-your-ground laws.


For an advocacy agitprop, the film has researched, sourced and interviewed exhaustively. The equal-opportunity Ennis expresses his distaste for both Democratic and Republican parties: Noam Chomsky here dubs them two factions of the Business Party.


“Pay 2 Play.”

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.

Playing: At Laemmle’s NoHo 7, North Hollywood.