Public Financing

What’s Happening in the States? February 2016 Edition

Although we’ve reached the cold months of winter, states and municipalities have stayed hot in their fight to reduce the influence of money in politics. Here are the reform fights we’re keeping an eye on in 2016: In Arkansas, advocates are gathering signatures to put  a money in politics reform initiative on the ballot. The ballot initiative  would revamp disclosure

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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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Democracy is on a Roll: DC Becomes Latest City to Push for Fair Elections Reform

D.C. Councilmember David Grosso, joined by Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and Charles Allen, introduced a bill today that would create a citizen-funding (or public financing) system for the District of Columbia. The bill is great news for D.C. residents, and comes on the heels of huge fair elections victories in Maine and Seattle. Councilmember Grosso’s bill

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How States and Cities are Empowering Small Donors

This is the second installment of our blog series on Blueprints for Democracy, a new collection of solutions policymakers can implement to give everyone a greater say in their democracy. Read the full series here. In the last Blueprints for Democracy entry, we discussed the various types of citizen funding systems. Here’s how cities and states are utilizing those different

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Not So Sweet: How The Sugar Industry Buys Policy, and What We Can Do About It

Harvard Professor and Issue One Advisory Board Member Malcolm Salter has an excellent op-ed in Forbes detailing how the sugar industry uses campaign contributions and lobbying to artificially inflate the price of sugar and maintain billion dollar subsidies. The sugar industry, which Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have held up as a prime example of crony capitalism,

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At UMD, Republicans and Democrats Signal Support For Money-in-Politics Reform

The ReFormers Caucus launched this month and is already putting money-in-politics reform at the tops of hearts and minds across the country. Last Thursday, former representatives and Caucus members Connie Morella (R-MD) and Tom McMillen (D-MD) joined Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s policy director, Adam Dubitsky, for a vibrant round-table discussion on how to reorient government

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How Citizen Funding Systems Empower Everyone

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting policies from the Blueprints for Democracy, a new collection of solutions policymakers can implement to give everyone a greater say in their democracy. Read the full series here. Citizen funding programs, known elsewhere as public financing, offer a proven and effective means of empowering the general public to participate in the democratic process.

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Reform Victories on Election Night in Maine and Seattle

Last night, reform won big. At the time of writing, Mainers have approved the Clean Elections initiative with more than 55 percent of the vote and I-122, with its novel system of “democracy vouchers,” has garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in Seattle. These victories follow a number of past successes and reflect a clear step toward further

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Conservatives Heart Democracy Reform

As we often say at Issue One, reducing the influence of money in politics is not a partisan cause; it’s an all-American one. Enter Take Back Our Republic, a nonprofit focused on making the case to conservatives that reform should be on the top of their minds at the ballot box. Executive Director John Pudner’s claim to fame was helping

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