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

Breaking: Bill allowing massive donations to national political parties has resulted in massive donations to national political party

Here’s another story to file under, “both parties are part of the problem:” see lobbyists comma Democratic national convention. The Hill reported today that top officials at the Democratic National Committee met with some of the country’s top lobbyists to entice them to help fund the party’s 2016 convention. In exchange for providing top dollars, lobbyists representing companies like H&R Block and General Motors will receive

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Number One Fear For Americans: Corruption

According to Chapman University’s new Survey of American Fears, Halloween isn’t what scares Americans most. Corruption of government officials, which made 58 percent of respondents “Afraid” or “Very Afraid,” topped the list, above terrorism (traditional, cyber- and bio-), economic collapse and credit card fraud. The idea that our government acts not for voters, but for donors, is truly a scary

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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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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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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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Solutions 101: Highlighting Disclosure in States and Cities

A number of states and localities have made disclosure reform a priority, producing innovations worth emulating. These institutions, unrestricted by congressional gridlock, offer proving grounds for a variety of reforms. New York City The New York City Campaign Finance Board exemplifies the idea that disclosure reports can be made both accessible and comprehensive. The Board fully audits each candidate’s campaign finance

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Tim Roemer in Newsweek: “Are You Feeling the Pain?”

Tim Roemer, former Indiana congressman and ambassador to India, has a simple question: are you feeling the pain? Even if you think you aren’t, the situation on Capitol Hill ensures we’re all feeling duped by our politicians. Because of money in politics and the skyrocketing cost of campaigns, our elected officials are forced to spend almost half their time fundraising

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