Author Archive for: dhensel

Why does the US have two different catfish inspection offices? Follow the money.

Say “catfish” in a seafood restaurant and you’ll be sure to get a nice plate of filling protein. But say “catfish” in Washington and you’re more likely to tick someone off. That’s because here, catfish are embroiled in a political mess, and the only way to understand the controversy is to follow the money. The catfish situation is an unbelievably

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Why Renee Ellmers Is Being Primaried by Special Interests

Renee Ellmers has an election today – and she’s in trouble. A Republican congresswoman from North Carolina elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, Ellmers is facing two primary challengers after an irregular mid-decade redistricting. But the two opposing candidates are not her only challenges. She’s also the target of at least six-figures of spending in political ads and

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What De Blasio’s Sketchy Spreadsheet Means For New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, once a champion for money-in-politics reform, has been caught red-handed. The New York Daily News has acquired a spreadsheet from the mayor’s administration with a detailed list of potential appointments to city committees and boards—and it’s chock full of de Blasio’s donors. The list is littered with donors to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign,

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State Reform Roundup

This is part of a series examining ethics, transparency and campaign finance proposals in the states.  It’s an all-too-common refrain in politics: when Congress can’t pass legislation, the states take command of the issue and create solutions on their own. Campaign finance reform is no exception. A number of states have upcoming bipartisan ballot initiatives or bills pending in their legislatures

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Reps. Massie and Kaptur Join the Rebellion

Congratulations! You’ve just been elected to Congress! If you want to serve on a good committee, never mind your credentials or your expertise. You better start fundraising. Speaking with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has come out swinging with a one-two punch against party fundraising schemes that attempt to price committee seats by requiring large amounts of fundraising

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