Reports

Outsized Influence: 12 political megadonors are responsible for $1 of every $13 in federal elections since Citizens United and 25% of all giving from the top 100 ZIP codes — a total of $3.4 billion

As Congress debates potential changes to the nation’s campaign finance system designed to empower ordinary Americans, new research from Issue One shows the extent to which wealthy, overwhelmingly white donors dominate political giving in the post-Citizens United era. In fact, just 12 megadonors — at least eight of whom are billionaires — contributed a combined $3.4 billion to federal candidates and

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New Congress, Same “Committee Tax”: How the parties pressured legislative leaders to raise huge sums of campaign cash during the 116th Congress — and are poised to do so again this year

One of the open secrets of Washington is that both the Democratic and Republican parties strong-arm influential legislators to raise astronomical amounts of campaign cash. Referred to as paying “party dues,” lawmakers are pressured to transfer huge sums from their campaigns and affiliated PACs to the parties as well as spend countless hours “dialing for dollars” to raise six- and

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60% of President Donald Trump’s post-election tweets sought to undermine legitimacy of presidential race

Despite record turnout in the 2020 election, the American people’s confidence in our institutions and political system is at a dangerously low level. Against this backdrop, new research from Issue One reveals the extent to which then-President Donald Trump used his Twitter account to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election and sow doubts about our democratic processes.  In a

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Coordination Watch, August 2020: Media reports draw attention to coordination issues with super PACs, outside groups in 2020 races

Outside groups, especially super PACs and dark money organizations, frequently skirt anti-coordination rules designed to prevent wealthy donors and special interests from wielding undue influence in our elections– effectively violating contribution limits that protect against “corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Begun earlier this year, Coordination Watch identifies notable instances of coordination between outside groups and candidates. This project details

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New report highlights shell company loophole that could be abused by foreigners who want to interfere in U.S. elections

Shell companies that give money to super PACs could be conduits for foreign money in the 2020 election, warns a new report published today by Issue One. Under current law, super PACs are permitted to collect contributions of unlimited amounts, but must disclose their donors. In some cases, their campaign finance disclosures list opaque shell companies as contributors. As a

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Coordination Watch, May 2020: Media reports draw attention to coordination issues with super PACs, outside groups in 2020 races

Outside groups, especially super PACs and dark money organizations, frequently skirt anti-coordination rules designed to prevent wealthy donors and special interests from garnering undue influence in our elections– effectively violating contribution limits that protect against “corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Begun earlier this year, Coordination Watch identifies notable instances of coordination between outside groups and candidates.  This project details

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Coordination Watch, February 2020: Media reports draw attention to coordination issues with super PACs, outside groups in 2020 races

Outside groups, like super PACs and dark money organizations, frequently skirt anti-coordination rules designed to prevent wealthy donors and special interests from garnering undue influence in our elections. Issue One published a groundbreaking report last month called “Coordination Watch,” designed to help the public and the press identify coordination between outside groups and candidates.  This project detailed six questions to

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Coordination Watch: How candidates and outside groups work together to evade anti-corruption laws

In the 10 years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has not punished a single candidate or political group for illegally coordinating, according to Issue One’s new project, “Coordination Watch.”  The project highlights how outside groups that must, by law, be independent from candidates have regularly flouted anti-corruption rules and systematically coordinated with their

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New report: Digital Disaster — The failures of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s political ad transparency policies

Issue One’s latest report, “Digital Disaster: The failures of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s political ad transparency policies,” reveals how piecemeal, voluntary approaches by the largest social media platforms to stop disinformation campaigns fail to protect our political system from foreign interference.  As the report shows clearly, the companies’ political ad transparency policies are a mess, and they do not measure

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New documents affirm Issue One reports about the price of power in Congress

Recently leaked internal Democratic Party documents confirm a disturbing trend that Issue One has been calling attention to for years: Both the Democratic and Republican parties lean on members of Congress to raise astronomical amounts of money and expect House members serving on influential committees to pay for their positions. Both parties appear to follow the mantra that the more

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