State Reform

Small Donors Will Fund Tallahassee 2016 Elections

Today’s reminder that reform isn’t just about winning an election!  Tallahassee, Florida, where a Tea Party/progressive grassroots alliance passed strong new ethics rules and citizen-funding of elections, is officially turning on the engine of their new system. The 2014 ballot initiative was backed by 67 percent of voters, and is proof that the push for a stronger democracy transcends party lines. Back

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Why doesn’t Missouri already have these basic ethics laws?

File this one under “Obvious, Captain.”: Missourians overwhelmingly support tougher ethics laws for public officials, according to a new poll. Ethics rules are some of the least discussed (but most critical) aspects of a strong, robust campaign finance system. When elected officials are truly beholden to the people they represent instead of special interests who may try to influence our

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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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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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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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What’s Happening in the States? July 2015 Edition

We’ve entered the dog days of summer, but around the country, states and municipalities are working toward reducing the influence of money in politics. In this post, we highlight some of the innovative reforms being made nationwide. For more state-level action, check out last month’s entry, and this comprehensive list from Politico. The Tempe, Arizona City Council will reportedly discuss

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Reform in the States: A Roundup

This is part of a series examining ethics, transparency and campaign finance proposals in the states.  Washington, D.C. is the only place in the country where money-in-politics reform is a tough sell. Outside the Beltway, America’s cities and states are taking the lead in implementing innovative policy solutions that get to the heart of the problem. Here’s a run-down on what’s happening right

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