Campaign Finance

Supreme Court's McCutcheon Decision: A Nail in Democracy's Coffin

Supreme Court's McCutcheon Decision: A Nail in Democracy's Coffin
Can democracy withstand the assault? Corporate cronyism has run amok, and the term 'plutocracy' has been thrown around reputable news sites, not just the fringe. The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision seems just another nail in the coffin, and a far cry from the noble institutions our founding fathers envisioned.
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Podcast: The Hidden Power of Dark Money

Podcast: The Hidden Power of Dark Money
Midterm races are approaching, and tax returns continue to yield telling tidbits from the 2012 election. In their campaign finance reporting, ProPublica's Kim Barker and Theo Meyer look for ways to help Americans understand the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling on political spending.
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Nicole Collins Bronzan
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Motive Is Transparent, Not Transparency: CA GOP Kills Nonprofit Disclosure Amendment

Motive Is Transparent, Not Transparency: CA GOP Kills Nonprofit Disclosure Amendment
Way back in 2012, a group of conservative nonprofit groups with connections to the Koch Brothers poured around $15 million into the efforts to defeat California's Prop 30 and pass Prop 32. The groups were fined an unprecedented $1 million by the state's FPPC, but it's done little to stop the flow of dark money. Now, a constitutional amendment requiring nonprofit disclosure has gone on ice, allowing politics as usual to stay the course.
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Without Election Regulation, Massachusetts Steels Itself for Onslaught of Dark Money

Without Election Regulation, Massachusetts Steels Itself for Onslaught of Dark Money
Super PACs are quietly forming to influence the Massachusetts' races for governor and other elections in 2014, and if state lawmakers can't pass a campaign finance disclosure bill soon, these outside groups will be free to spend unlimited sums without disclosing their donors in real time.
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Uniting Actual Citizens: Senators Markey and Warren Cosponsor 'Fair Elections Now' Act

Uniting Actual Citizens: Senators Markey and Warren Cosponsor 'Fair Elections Now' Act
Last week’s introduction of the Fair Elections Now Act invites Senators to declare their independence from big money campaign donors and refocus their attention on the everyday folks who elected them. This common sense legislation, modeled after successful small donor, public financing programs in several states, would give a refundable $25 tax credit to Americans who contribute $300 or less to a Senate candidate or party in a given year.
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REPORT: Louisiana Regulators Taking Two-Thirds of Campaign Cash from Industries They Regulate

REPORT: Louisiana Regulators Taking Two-Thirds of Campaign Cash from Industries They Regulate
An investigation into public campaign finance records by the New Orleans Times-Picayune found that Louisiana utility regulators have been receiving two-thirds of their campaign cash from the industries they are elected to regulate. Despite the obvious possibility of corruption, Louisiana has resisted all calls to ban campaign contributions from utility companies.
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Retired Missouri Millionaire Shills for Far Right: This Time Attacking Teacher Tenure

Retired Missouri Millionaire Shills for Far Right: This Time Attacking Teacher Tenure
Jo Mannies, a St. Louis Beacon political reporter, caught Rex Sinquefield - the ALEC-friendly, organized labor-hating, retired millionaire - at it again. It may not be the Right-to-Work legislation he failed to have his cronies in the legislature push through earlier this year, but it most certainly is anti-labor - this time attacking teacher tenure at Missouri schools.
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Insecure Commission: SEC Dumps Proposal Requiring Companies to Disclose Political Spending

Insecure Commission: SEC Dumps Proposal Requiring Companies to Disclose Political Spending
Since 2011, more than 640,000 Americans have written to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the stock market and publicly-owned corporations, to support a proposal that it require companies to report their political spending to stockholders and the public. The commission responded last week by unceremoniously dumping the proposed rule from its 2014 agenda.
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Darker the Money, Sweeter the Juice: Rove's Crossroads GPS Receives $180M in Anonymous Donations in 2012

Darker the Money, Sweeter the Juice: Rove's Crossroads GPS Receives $180M in Anonymous Donations in 2012
The dark money giant Crossroads GPS, launched by Republican strategist Karl Rove, told the IRS it raised almost $180 million in 2012, including one donation of $22.5 million, another of $18 million and another of $10 million. Fifty donations were for $1 million or more. Because the group is a social welfare nonprofit, none of the donors have to be made public.
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Kim Barker
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Massachusetts Law Would Require Disclosure of Top 5 Campaign Contributors on Every Political Ad

Massachusetts Law Would Require Disclosure of Top 5 Campaign Contributors on Every Political Ad
The Massachusetts Disclosure Act, which was passed by the State Senate in 2012 and refiled in 2013, would close numerous loopholes opened up by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and require more disclosure by candidates and the corporations underwriting (and undermining) the whole process. The legislation is getting new found attention with the Boston Globe's endorsement this week.
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