Author Archive for: wgray

Look Who is Right on the Money

Before Donald Trump was for accepting donations from wealthy donors, he was attacking it. But as one Republican said, “If there is one thing that unites both parties up here, it’s money.” Today, we’re launching a new resource called “Right on the Money” to highlight conservative and Republican research, polling and statements from elected officials, thought-leaders and voters about what we believe

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ReFormers to Congress: It is Time to Lead Again

Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an op-ed by Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (R) and Rep. Gerald Sikorski (D-MN), members of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus.  The piece highlights the increased scrutiny members of Congress are facing following a 60 Minutes segment about the four hours a day they spend ‘dialing for dollars.’   “How ‘dialing for dollars’ has perverted Congress”   A few lawmakers recently

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Roadmap to a working Congress

The Democracy Fund is out with a new report this week examining why “Congress is broken,” is a common refrain inside and outside Washington. Their premise is that Congress “is failing its obligations to the American people,” and public opinion agrees. Approval ratings of the body, according to Gallup, haven’t risen above 20 percent in more than three years. And

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Were you listening, Mr. President?

“What we need is a real debate between candidates right now about exactly what they would do to fix this problem.” Executive Director Nick Penniman talked with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and answered calls from viewers around the country about why voters need to demand real solutions from candidates for elected office—whether state representative, member of Congress or the next president.

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Muzzling a “dark money” watchdog

In a shocking move Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would further hinder the IRS from overseeing politically-active nonprofits, or 501(c) “social welfare” groups that are the most active in spending so-called “dark money.” This would “open the door for secret, unaccountable money from foreign governments, corporations and individuals,” into federal elections, according to a

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Congress has a new job description: Whistleblower

On Sunday’s 60 Minutes program, two members of Congress blew the whistle on the “shameful” practice of fundraising 30 hours a week. Imagine that. Thirty hours is a full work-week for most white-collar Americans once you subtract lunch breaks, browsing Facebook and chatting in the breakroom. Rather than doing the job they were elected to do—putting our nation’s fiscal house

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Speaker Ryan, Bring Ethics Back to Congress

Mr. Speaker, it’s been a year. In 2015, former Representative Porter Goss (R-FL) announced he was stepping down as co-chair of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) after serving for more than seven years. That left the independent ethics review board in the House unbalanced. (Full disclosure: Rep. Goss, who also served as CIA Director under President George W. Bush,

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Something is rotten in Mississippi

Politicians in Mississippi can continue to spend campaign donations on dry cleaning, car insurance, sports tickets and more after they voted down campaign finance reform measures in the House on Tuesday. Making matters worse—this was a voice vote, so constituents who go to the ballot-box on election day don’t know how their representatives voted on the state’s campaign finance reform

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Smells like Government Pork

Earmarks aren’t gone for good. In 2011, Congress enacted a moratorium on earmarks—the carve-outs that members used to direct federal dollars to projects in their states and districts. But it wasn’t the end of pork in the federal budget. There’s still at least $5 billion in wasteful spending across more than 120 earmarks in one large bill, the Consolidated Appropriations

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It’s Good to be in Congress

It’s good to be in Congress. According to a new report released today, more than 240 organizations spent nearly $20 million honoring federal officials and the organizations close to them last year. The Hill analyzed Senate disclosure records and looked at gifts by unions, universities, corporations and other groups. Beyond the money, they also highlighted loopholes in the Congressional gift

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