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Money in Politics

South Carolina Politician on His Illegal Campaign Finance Scheme: It was a Free-Market Solution to a Fundraising Problem

Corey Hutchins | Posted 03.05.2015 | Politics
Corey Hutchins

South Carolina is the Pet Sematary of disgraced politicians: They come back to life and act weirder than ever.

The Religious Right's Crusade for More Money in Politics

Stephen Spaulding | Posted 03.05.2015 | Politics
Stephen Spaulding

A new report by Common Cause highlights a web of large, well-funded conservative religious organizations that have joined forces with Republican political operatives to tear down laws that protect our democracy from special interest influence.

The Crisis of Liberal Democracy

Michael Gould-Wartofsky | Posted 03.04.2015 | Politics
Michael Gould-Wartofsky

The class bias of American politics has not only cost us our democracy. It has also cost us our jobs, our health, and our security. For years, the recovery was crippled by the politics of austerity, as a bipartisan coalition took a butcher's knife to the public sector, and as balanced budgets took precedence over basic needs.

Sick of Money Corrupting Politics? Take the Fight Local

Charlotte Hill | Posted 03.03.2015 | Politics
Charlotte Hill

Until now, perhaps the single greatest stumbling block for the reform movement has been that many Americans are convinced victory is impossible, especially in a post-Citizens United world. This notion is unequivocally false.

People Power Beat Big Money in Chicago

George Goehl | Posted 02.27.2015 | Chicago
George Goehl

Cynics said Rahm and his cronies on the City Council could not be beat. Plutocrats spent millions trying to make sure they were right. A group of dedicated grassroots activists just proved that they were wrong.

The Awesome Life of an American Congressman

Michael Winship | Posted 02.24.2015 | Politics
Michael Winship

Like one of the characters from "Downton Abbey," Aaron Schock has made quite a climb, from public servant downstairs to pampered upstairs aristocrat.

An Under-Examined Angle on Money-in-Politics: 'Winner-Take-All' Elections

Brian Boyko | Posted 02.23.2015 | Politics
Brian Boyko

There is a broad understanding among the American people that there's too much money in American politics and that the dependence on their donors to provide that money leaves elected officials without the autonomy to properly represent their constituents.

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.

If You Were Dating Congress, You'd Dump Them Immediately

Mansur Gidfar | Posted 02.17.2015 | Politics
Mansur Gidfar

Can you imagine being in a relationship with somebody who never listens to you? Somebody who never cleans up their messes or owns up to their mistakes? Somebody who keeps promising they'll change, year in and year out, but never does?

What the Anti-vax Movement Tells Us About Corruption

Brian Boyko | Posted 02.17.2015 | Politics
Brian Boyko

The anti-vax movement does show that even when the government isn't corrupt, when it appears to be, it has dire consequences.

6 Ways the League of Women Voters Has Impacted Your Life

Elisabeth MacNamara | Posted 02.14.2015 | Impact
Elisabeth MacNamara

This year, the League of Women Voters celebrates our 95th anniversary. The League was founded by suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt on February 14, 1920 -...

The Politics of Responsibility, Not Envy

Richard Kirsch | Posted 02.12.2015 | Politics
Richard Kirsch

According to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers -- who is emerging as a key economic advisor to Hillary Clinton -- the big political challenge in addressing economic inequality is not to embrace "a politics of envy." No, Mr. Summers, it's not the politics of envy. It's the politics of responsibility.

Was Reagan Right?

Edward Flattau | Posted 02.11.2015 | Politics
Edward Flattau

I have always viewed the federal government as an essential cog in the organized effort to curb pollution and resource degradation. It was therefore alarming to me that President Ronald Reagan's tart observation that "the 10 most frightening words in the English language are 'I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help'" was beginning to make sense.

Why I'm Spending $900 Million in 2016 -- And You Should Too

Jonathan Bines | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics
Jonathan Bines

If you believe in America, then there really is no excuse for not spending $900 million and joining the great American experiment that is our democracy. You see, $900 million may sound like a lot of money. But according to the Supreme Court, it's not. It's a lot of speech. The Koch Brothers understand this.

Republican "Money Primary" Claims Its First "Biggest Loser" in Mitt Romney

Miles Mogulescu | Posted 02.03.2015 | Politics
Miles Mogulescu

It's a year before the first actual citizens get to cast their votes in the 2016 Presidential primary election, but the even more important Money Primary is already going full tilt in back rooms, luxury resorts, and billionaire's private homes.

'Plutocrat Primary' Looms as First Real 2016 Test

Miles Rapoport | Posted 02.03.2015 | Politics
Miles Rapoport

In both parties, the first prerequisite for success in next year's White House contest will be a strong performance in the Plutocrat Primary. The candidates who do well there will go into the other primaries and caucuses -- the ones where the rest of us have a vote -- with resources sufficient to drown out their opponents and with big-time obligations to their wealthy donors.

Anti-Koch: The Fight for Green Energy Is a Fight for the 99 Percent

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 01.28.2015 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

It's getting harder to defend our economic and environmental interests against the corrupting influence of campaign cash. The struggle for a fairer economy is inseparable from the struggle to protect the planet -- and both will be more successful once we've removed big money from our political process.

Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O'Keefe Pay James O'Keefe for Hatchet Job on Wisconsin GOP Senate President?

Mary Bottari | Posted 01.28.2015 | Politics
Mary Bottari

One thing is for certain: the O'Keefes combined -- one a New Yorker and the other a Michigander -- have introduced a poisonous new element to Wisconsin politics.

5 Years After Citizens United, Big Oil and Gas Money Spills Into Colorado State Elections

Peg Perl | Posted 01.21.2015 | Denver
Peg Perl

Colorado law has attempted to blunt the crushing effect of big money in politics through strong public disclosure laws that require spending by each of these groups in candidate elections to be reported online to Colorado voters.

Saving Our Republic From Citizens United

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 01.21.2015 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

Today, in the face of limitless anonymous political donations and dramatically widening inequality, our government is slowly starting to look more like an oligarchy, governed according to the whims of a special few. Thankfully, there are straightforward steps Congress can take right now to reverse this deeply troubling trend.

A Democracy for All of Us

Marge Baker | Posted 01.21.2015 | Politics
Marge Baker

January in the year after an election is a busy time on Capitol Hill. As new members of Congress get settled in their offices and parties pick their leadership teams, political donors brave the cold to visit members of Congress they helped get elected.

The US Supreme Court and the Right to Choose... Happy Anniversary?

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf | Posted 01.20.2015 | Politics
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Bopp's decades-long crusade to dismantle campaign reform demonstrates how keenly he and his fellow conservatives understand the importance of the systems of democracy -- and that how we elect our representatives undoubtedly affects who gets elected.

Money, and Harmful Chemicals, in Politics

Michael Green | Posted 01.20.2015 | Green
Michael Green

The Supreme Court did more than open the door to the undoing of democracy in Citizens United. They also opened a potential floodgate of new chemical health threats backed by unbridled chemical industry spending.

Big Spending, Big Inequality

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi | Posted 01.20.2015 | Black Voices
Minister Leslie Watson Malachi

At the end of the day, money in politics cannot be "someone else's issue." Because it distorts who is heard by our elected officials, it affects what's in your paycheck, who ends up in prison, what kind of health care we have access to, what kind of environment we leave for our children, and much more.

Corporate Contributions (of Beer, Cash, or Anything else) Have No Place in Pa. Inauguration

Rick Claypool | Posted 01.19.2015 | Politics
Rick Claypool

Dick Yuengling is being snubbed. That's the accusation State Rep. Mike Vereb is making ahead of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's inauguration, whose planners have received over $1 million in contributions but allegedly turned down the offer of "free beer" from Yuengling's Pottsville-based brewery.