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Your one-stop destination for political reform, government ethics and accountability news and updates from a nonpartisan perspective.

Standing Room Only at Brookings Event on Solutions to Citizens United

On the sixth anniversary of the disastrous Citizens United decision, it’s clearer now more than ever that momentum is on the side of reformers. That was the conclusion of Thursday’s Solutions Summit at the Brookings Institution, where an exciting and diverse group gathered to discuss the crisis in our democracy and how to reduce money’s influence on our politics. Participants

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Ambassador Roemer Addresses Money in Politics on Morning Joe

This morning Issue One Strategic Adviser Ambassador Tim Roemer appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to make the case that money-in-politics reform is on the horizon. “We see across the country referendums popping up at the state level,” he said. “Maine passed a referendum to clean up their politics. Seattle. San Francisco. And the president of the United States… he could sign

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Harry Reid Free to Break Law, says Regulatory Agency

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has withdrawn his request for opinion from the Federal Election Commission on whether he can use campaign contributions to fund his post-retirement activities, highlighting once again the dysfunction of Washington’s most notoriously broken agency. A quick recap: federal regulations bar spending money raised for campaigns or political action committees for personal use. Sen. Reid claims

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Trouble in Paradise: Florida Scraps Childrens Surgery Standards Over Political Donations

Sometimes a situation makes the case for money in politics reform so clearly that it doesn’t require further explanation. That is unfortunately the case in a story today out of Florida, which describes how the state abandoned quality standards for children’s heart surgery after a health care provider that had consistently failed to meet those standards pumped thousands of dollars into

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Statement: Issue One Executive Director Nick Penniman on the State of the Union

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said ‘we need to work together to find a real solution’ to the overwhelming influence of money on politics. He spoke compellingly of a rigged game, of citizens feeling eclipsed by a handful of wealthy families, and of the misery of political fundraising. We at Issue One agree. And while we believe

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Disclosure Isn’t Complicated. Why Are We So Bad At It?

In Politico this morning, reporter Ken Vogel makes this disturbing observation about the state of transparency and disclosure in U.S. elections: “Big-money outside groups have spent more than $143 million in the presidential race in the six months since any of them were required to reveal their donors… The origins of some of that cash will never be revealed, while

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Lobbyists will be sad about new rules passed in states

State legislatures are often more appealing for lobbyists looking to move pet policy projects, particularly as Washington continues to remain gridlocked and broken. That’s why, as the Washington Post reports today, “a number of legislatures are putting in place new rules on lobbying state officials.” Most of the new regulations aim to force greater disclosure and define what a lobbyist

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Montana Shines Light on Dark Money in Politics

Montana took a big step in the reform world today by shining a light on money in state politics. Residents can now view state campaign contribution reports immediately after publication, ensuring every voter and constituent knows who’s spending what to influence their ballots and their leaders. As non-statewide candidates are also now required to file finance reports, the Commissioner of

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Democrats’ Chief Fundraiser Quits from Too Much Fundraising

Rep. Steve Israel, the Democratic Party’s chief fundraiser, announced his retirement today from Congress. Why is he leaving office after eight terms? “I don’t think I can spend another day in another call room making another call begging for money,” Mr. Israel told the New York Times. This constant grind to finance reelections is known as “fundraising fatigue,” and it’s

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For Political Ads, Follow the Money—If You Can

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, as reported by the New York Times, one-in-five political ads this election have been financed by untraceable dark money. While the 2012 elections saw the high-water mark for dark money top $300 million, election experts expect even more undisclosed contributions in 2016. To make matters worse, Congress double-downed on dark money

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