Author Archive for: srichards

Swamp Stories Episode 31: Regularly Given

Every four years on January 6th, Congress convenes, with the vice president presiding, to carry out an important but ministerial aspect of the peaceful transfer of power. Per the U.S. Constitution, Congress counts states’ electoral votes and announces the next President and Vice President of the United States. But a contentious 1876 presidential election nearly broke this tradition and

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Swamp Stories Episode 29: The Power of Megadonors

Since Citizens United, just 12 megadonors, six Democrats and six Republicans, contributed a combined $3.4 billion to federal candidates and political groups — accounting for about $1 of every $13 in federal elections. There’s no denying it: big money plays a massive role in American politics. In episode 29, Weston is joined by an expert in the campaign finance

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Swamp Stories Episode 28: Conversations: Former Rep. Donna Edwards

In the latest episode of our Swamp Stories podcast, Weston chats with former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) about what it was like being a member of Congress, how she would fix our broken political system, and the RV trip that she took across America alone after the 2016 election to better understand the rise of Donald Trump.  Episode 28 of

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Swamp Stories episode 27: Fixing the FEC

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) was created to play the critical role of enforcing our federal campaign finance laws and preventing political corruption or the appearance of corruption. Its job is to investigate complaints and issue rulings or referrals about violations, and create new rules as needed. Yet, since its creation, the agency has been largely dysfunctional and gridlocked —

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Swamp Stories episode 26: Conversation with former Rep. Reid Ribble

Episode 26 of Swamp Stories is the third episode in our periodic series of longform conversations between host Weston Wamp and leaders in the political reform movement. In this episode, Weston is joined by former Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) to chat about the need for political reform, the problems Ribble sees with his own party’s narrative on elections, and the

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Swamp Stories episode 25: The Funnel

In the last episode of Swamp Stories, we explored the influence of “dark money” — particularly on the 2020 election. In our latest episode, we’re taking a deeper dive into the world of dark money and examining a once rare strategy that’s used to funnel this unaccountable cash through 501(c)(4)s and into the hands of super PACs — all while

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Swamp Stories episode 24: The Arms Race That Won’t End

More than $1 billion worth of unaccountable “dark money” flowed into the 2020 election at the federal level. This secretive spending by groups with anonymous donors has a corrosive influence on American politics and leaves voters and candidates in the dark about who is attempting to influence their votes and the outcome of an election.  As Congress considers campaign finance

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