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First debate democracy

The first presidential debate on September 26 is expected to be the most watched debate in history and is quickly approaching. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump must prove to the voters who is best fit to lead our country by putting aside partisan mudslinging and presenting policies that reflect their core values to the viewing public. The most critical issue

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Miami-Dade is one step closer to victory!

While Florida’s well-financed sons Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio campaigned and lost this cycle’s presidential contest, advocates in Miami-Dade County are still striving for a money-in-politics victory. And thanks to County Judge William Thomas, they just moved one step closer. On Friday, he ordered a citizen-backed referendum that proposes a number of campaign finance-related changes be placed on

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The Clinton Foundation’s legacy of access

New emails released from the State Department during presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s time in charge reveal a disappointing trend: a series of exchanges between Clinton Foundation heads and donors that culminated in access to the Secretary of State herself. While the emails, as of now, fail to show any actual favors granted, the general practice of donations-for-access is quite troubling.

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Virginia legislators accept fewer gifts

The state of Virginia has some of the most lax gift laws in the country. Perhaps that’s why its last three governors have found themselves in hot water in one way or another because of contributions and gifts. But while little has changed in the state’s law even after governor after governor faces blinding scrutiny for their judgment, or lack

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What’s the matter with Miami-Dade?

NOTE: This page has been updated for further developments. Strange things are afoot in Miami-Dade County. Florida’s most populous county is the subject of a heated debate over money in politics. Earlier this month, Accountable Miami-Dade collected 127,000 petition signatures to add an initiative to this November’s ballot. The initiative would ban gifts to candidates by lobbyists or government contractors, lower

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Reform in the states: A round-up

This is part of a series examining ethics, transparency and campaign finance proposals in the states.  As presidential candidates criss-cross the country campaigning for the Oval Office, it is important to remember that states — those laboratories of democracy — are not waiting for Congress and the president to tackle their own ethics and political issues. Here’s a brief round-up of what

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Money in politics at the conventions: a round-up

The two weeks that span the two rival conventions are some of the craziest days in all of politics. The party elite and loyal descend on a city for four days, while protesters, journalists and, of course, lobbyists crowd around them. This year has been no exception. Here is a round-up of the money-in-politics news that has emerged from Cleveland

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Rep. Joe Schwarz speaks on congressional fundraising

Rep. Joe Schwarz, a former Congressman from Michigan, recently gave an interview for Stateside on Michigan Radio. As a member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of former congressmen, governors, cabinet secretaries and ambassadors who are concerned about money in politics, Rep. Schwarz succinctly described the fundraising addiction that afflicts our Congress, which he experienced first-hand in the

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New polls agree: Americans are over money in politics

Amid the Republican Convention in Cleveland and the upcoming Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the media and various organizations have been polling the public on what they think of the election. One storyline has consistently rung true: the people are fed up with the amount of money in our politics. First, let’s look at the youngest voting bloc — millennials —

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And the Oscar for worst campaign system goes to…

While no one was looking, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hosts the Academy Awards, issued a major change in its campaigning policy this month. Time and time again Hollywood has borrowed from Washington for inspiration (think: House of Cards and The West Wing). With any luck, Washington will return the favor and look to

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