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More Money, More Problems: Open Mic at the Federal Election Commission

Stephen Spaulding | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics
Stephen Spaulding

Too much money in our elections undermines representative democracy. But the FEC can begin to right its wrongs. It should recommit to enforcing the law and safeguarding democracy. And perhaps sometimes soon, the FEC should invite the public back to the podium for some good old-fashioned free speech -- the kind that doesn't cost a dime.

New FEC Chief Vows To Go After Secretive Campaign Spending

Center For Public Integrity | Posted 12.17.2014 | Politics

This story was originally published by The Center for Public Integrity, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washingto...

Paul Blumenthal

Democrats Used Twitter, Too, To Coordinate With Outside Groups | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 11.21.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Republican Party committees and outside groups shared polling data over Twitter during the 2014 elections, according to a CNN report on ...

2014 Election Confirms Citizens United Decision Based on Fundamentally Flawed Premises

Fred Wertheimer | Posted 01.06.2015 | Politics
Fred Wertheimer

The Court majority in Citizens United explicitly based its misguided decision on two grounds: campaign expenditures by outside groups would be made independently from candidates and full disclosure of the campaign activities would provide accountability to citizens and shareholders. Neither has happened.

FEC Hunts Political Ghosts On Halloween

Center for Public Integrity | Carrie Levine | Posted 11.03.2014 | Politics

This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. The Feder...

Citizens United, Explained With Dogs

John Wellington Ennis | Posted 01.01.2015 | Comedy
John Wellington Ennis

John Oliver was right to challenge this seclusion from the public eye on his recent episode of Last Week Tonight when he had no choice but to dramatize courtroom proceedings with a bench of jurist dogs. Clearly a better means of public information is necessary for the highest court in the land.

FEC Does it Again: Permits Large Contributions to National Parties that are Prohibited by Campaign Finance Law

Fred Wertheimer | Posted 12.16.2014 | Politics
Fred Wertheimer

Four FEC Commissioners last week provided yet another example of the urgent need to replace the FEC with a real campaign enforcement and oversight agency.

Standing Strong for Free Speech: A Response to Geoffrey Stone

Ira Glasser | Posted 11.12.2014 | Politics
Ira Glasser

Any reader unfamiliar with the ACLU's history and its leadership would be led by Geoffrey Stone's assertions to believe that the new leadership of the ACLU has come in and turned the ACLU's policy on campaign finance and free speech upside down. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

When A Tie Vote Means Gutting Campaign-Finance Law

The New York Times | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics

The three Republican and three Democratic appointees of the Federal Election Commission had reached yet another deadlock: They would issue no advisor...

Sabrina Siddiqui

Justin Amash Got A Big Raise From His Dad Just Before Loaning His Campaign Money | Sabrina Siddiqui | Posted 07.02.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) received a handsome bonus from his father's company in 2010, the same year he first ran for Congress and loa...

FEC Unanimously Approves Bitcoin Donations For Political Committees

Reuters | Posted 07.09.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Election Committee said on Thursday that the virtual currency, bitcoin, could be used for donations to politic...

Senators Erroneously Receive Threatening Letters After Agency's Snafu

Center for Public Integrity | Dave Levinthal | Posted 04.23.2014 | Politics

By Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity The Federal Election Commission has issued 21 U.S. Senate candidates — both Democratic and Republi...

Michael McAuliff

Dems: GOP Outrage At IRS Is Really About Rove | Michael McAuliff | Posted 04.17.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Republican efforts to punish the Internal Revenue Service for its alleged partisan targeting of political social welfare groups may have...

Paul Blumenthal

After Today's Supreme Court Ruling, Here's How All This Will End | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 04.02.2014 | Politics

If understanding campaign finance laws is still on your to-do list -- what's the difference between a super PAC and a 501(c)4 again? what counts as il...

Time to Take a Stand Against Money in Politics

John Wellington Ennis | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics
John Wellington Ennis

That the Supreme Court even decided to hear the case over whether aggregate campaign contributions should be limited to "only" $123,600 indicates that the Roberts Court is poised to exacerbate the problem of money in politics.

Jason Linkins

Mystery Super PAC Theatre 2014: The Further Adventures Of Campaign B-Roll Video | Jason Linkins | Posted 07.10.2014 | Politics

As Paul Blumenthal reported last week, the hot new thing in the shady interplay between political campaigns and the super PACs that support them is th...

A Response to the Koch Brothers Claim of Entitlement to Anonymous Political Giving

Fred Wertheimer | Posted 05.28.2014 | Politics
Fred Wertheimer

The Koch brothers' enormous wealth does not entitle them to any special treatment when it comes to the right of the American people to know about political money being spent to influence federal elections.

Paul Blumenthal

Senate Candidates Find A Way To Give Those Friendly Super PACs A Helping Hand | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 03.27.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The latest trend in Senate campaigns is the posting of b-roll footage on the Internet, available to download. The goal isn't to draw the...

Congress Stalls On 'Long Overdue' Investigations

Center for Public Integrity | Dave Levinthal | Posted 03.11.2014 | Politics

By Dave Levinthal Center for Public Integrity Leaders on two U.S. House committees acknowledge that parallel investigations into computer security...

The McCutcheon Case: Consequences if SCOTUS Strikes Down Overall Contribution Limits

Fred Wertheimer | Posted 04.27.2014 | Politics
Fred Wertheimer

If the SCOTUS were to strike down the overall contribution limits in the McCutcheon case, we would be back to the same kind of corrupting contributions that resulted in the Watergate scandals in the '70s and the soft money scandals in the '90s. The legal and political consequences would be enormous.

FEC: Former GOP Senator Ignored Warnings, Spent Money Illegally

AP | JOHN MILLER | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal Election Commission lawyers urged a federal judge not to heed U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's contention that regulators are bei...

Campaign Cash Rules Drown in the Bathtub

Michael Winship | Posted 02.23.2014 | Politics
Michael Winship

What little power the government still has to regulate campaign finance donations -- already whittled to a minimum by Citizens United -- is being steadily eroded by funding cutbacks, intimidation, bureaucracy and an inability or refusal to enforce the few rules we have left.

Bitcoins Can't Be Used For Campaign Contributions, FEC Says

AP | JACK GILLUM | Posted 11.21.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's election regulator says that groups can't receive contributions in the form of Bitcoins, at least for now. The Feder...

Mitch McConnell Nets Massive Fundraising Haul

AP | ROGER ALFORD | Posted 10.11.2013 | Politics

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his over...

Paul Blumenthal

McCutcheon v. FEC: Supreme Court Skeptical Of Campaign Contribution Limits | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 10.08.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A slim majority of Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical Tuesday that the federal government may cap the total amount of money that in...