Updates / Campaign Finance


By / 7.1.2011

Being a campaign finance reformer in the era of Citizens United is good for job security and bad for one’s sense of personal achievement. Most people agree that the need for sweeping reform is greater than ever and most people fear that it’s harder than ever to achieve. “Most people” are right. And as if […]

By / 6.24.2011

While ordinary Americans celebrate the start of summer warm weather and bemoan the lack of progress on a deficit reduction deal in Congress, members of Congress themselves have been gearing up for the July 4th recess by engaging in a different sort of Washington pastime–by raising money. The week before the July 4th recess has […]

By / 6.17.2011

In the era of big money, it is a familiar, if sobering, theme in modern presidential administrations, and this week President Obama’s administration took its turn. A report published this week by iWatch news details the nearly 200 “bundlers” – individuals who channel multiple large donations to particular candidates – from President Obama’s 2008 campaign […]

By / 6.10.2011

As if the damage to fair and accountable campaigns in Citizens United was not enough, a decision this week in the Federal District Court of Virginia raises the daunting prospect that the Supreme Court’s logic in favor of corporate speech can be extended to a second, more direct, form of political participation: contributions to political […]

By / 5.27.2011

In recent weeks Mitt Romney has been seeking to bolster his claim to be the mainstream establishment candidate capable of beating Barack Obama in the general election. It’s a logical enough claim for any candidate to seek to make, except that his most compelling argument has had more to do with dollars than ideas. Last […]

By / 5.19.2011

This week Donald Trump officially announced that he would not run for President in 2012 saying, “business is my greatest passion” and that he was not ready to leave the private sector. A look at Trump’s contributions to political campaigns suggests that he is quite prepared to put his money where his mouth is when […]

By / 3.2.2011

One of the salient realities of politics is that much of the contention revolves around efforts to get the news media and the public to focus on events that reinforce one group’s point of view over others.  There are, of course, front-and-center national and international news developments that literally command attention.  But when it comes […]

By / 10.28.2010

If Republicans do better than expected on November 2, there will be a lot of talk about voter anger and anxiety, Democratic misteps, the economy, the fiscal situation, health care reform, and so on and so forth. Some of this talk will be interesting and relevant But any analysis of surprising Republican wins (if they […]

By / 10.20.2010

Writing in yesterday’s New York Times, columnist David Brooks proposes to the media and campaign reformers, “Don’t follow the money” when it comes to spending in this year’s highly competitive mid-term elections. On one point, at least, Brooks is right. On a few others he is quite wrong. Brooks is right that additional spending in […]

By / 10.18.2010

Just like their crazy-as-a-FOX cousins, the Wall Street Journal editorial page has indulged yet again in a spectacle of tragicomical self-victimization. An especially shameless recent raving targets the Democrats’ efforts to expose the furtive corporate backing behind their array of political front groups, of the sort that Rupert Murdoch, the brothers Koch and their band […]