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Your one-stop destination for money in politics updates. Get a holistic, bipartisan perspective that spans across all stripes and sectors.

Republican Former FEC Chair Calls Out Republicans

Former FEC Chair and Issue One Adviser Trevor Potter makes a lot of great points in this Politico op-ed about the current tragic state of our campaign finance system, calling out everyone from the FEC to the Supreme Court to the IRS. The whole piece is definitely worth a read, but the most interesting couple of paragraphs call out the

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Wisconsin Legislature Set to Hinder Campaign Finance Regulations

The Wisconsin legislature will this week consider legislation that would significantly curb the state’s campaign finance regulatory capabilities. The measures in question would remove contribution limits for state political parties and campaign committees, allowing those entities to amass and spend unchecked funds. In addition, candidates would be allowed to coordinate with political interest groups, so long as those organizations avoid

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Is Trump Illegally Coordinating with a Super PAC?

New reporting from the Washington Post today explores potential coordination between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and a super PAC that can take in unlimited donations from the types of wealthy special interests Trump has spent his campaign lambasting. Here’s the lowdown: Trump has criticized the rest of the Republican field for cozying up to the wealthy donors that fund

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California Implements Tough New Anti-Coordination Laws

California’s campaign finance enforcement agency on Thursday announced new rules governing coordination between campaigns and outside groups making political expenditures. Under the rules, the Sacramento Bee reports, campaigns and independent organizations will be required to prove that coordination between the groups is not happening, increasing accountability on both sides. When the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for largely unregulated outside

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Money in Politics Solutions Missing from Dem Debate

In a June New York Times/CBS News poll, 84% of all respondents, including 90% of self-identified Democrats, answered that money has too much influence on American political campaigns. That same month, when asked about their biggest concern for the 2016 presidential contest, more respondents to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll selected the influence that wealthy individuals and corporations may

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How does Martin O’Malley’s campaign finance reform plan stack up?

Martin O’Malley, running for the Democratic presidential nomination as a progressive pragmatist, on Thursday released a multi-part plan to restore democracy by reforming the role of money in politics. What’s in it: O’Malley starts by calling for constitutional amendments to overturn the Citizens United decision and guarantee a clear right to vote. One of his signature proposals is to implement

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The ReFormers Caucus is ready to get to work

Last Tuesday, 26 members of our bipartisan ReFormers Caucus of former members of Congress and governors got together to discuss how they as a group can most effectively raise the profile of the money-in-politics issue and move it to the front of the political debate going into 2016. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room to get to

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Soft money returns with a vengeance

The lead story in yesterday’s Washington Post by Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger illustrates the new reality of soft money’s potential dominance in political fundraising unleashed by the Supreme Court after last year’s game-changing McCutcheon v. FEC decision that struck down aggregate contribution limits—or the total amount an individual can donate to all candidates and party committees. Now, wealthy donors

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Pay-to-Play is Bad for Business

Growing up, my father would often tell stories of his days as a professional musician. A major lesson he imparted on me is that a musician should never pay to perform. Venues charge artists in order to exploit young, inexperienced acts seeking an audience and recognition. Never let anyone take advantage of your ability, he would say. In politics, however,

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Dear Goldwater Institute, the Supreme Court thinks you’re wrong on disclosure

The Goldwater Institute is not a fan of money-in-politics reform. But their newest claim, that disclosing money spent to influence politics is an anathema to free speech, is their most extreme yet. Disclosure is a critical part of any effective campaign finance system, as we highlighted in a recent Solutions 101 series. Even with divided jurisprudence on many other campaign

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