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  • Campaign finance reform

Illinois AG Candidates Consider the Office “Front Line” Against President Trump

Sexual Harassment Claims Shed Light on Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight Gaps in the General Assembly

Illinois Continues to Lead Nationally in Fundraising for Governors’ Races

Illinois Lobbying: High in Numbers, Lacking in Disclosure

Ensuring Secure and Accessible Elections for Illinois in 2018

Pritzker Continues Spending Blitz in Governor’s Race, AG Race Heats Up

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ICPR Annual Awards Reception

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Sex-Harassment Bill Puts Illinois Leaders on the Defensive

Board Chair Susan Garrett was mentioned in this article. House Speaker Michael Madigan s legislation requiring sexual-harassment awareness training for virtually everyone working in the Capitol appeared proactive, an effort to get out in front of a roiling national issue that

Expensive Illinois Governor Race Spills Down The Ballot | State-and-Regional

Executive Director Sarah Brune was quoted in this article. Via- Poltical News By now, it’s already evident the 2018 race for Illinois governor is a contest like no other. The amount of money raised so far has already blown past

Editorial: Illinois Legislators Need Sexual Harassment Training

ICPR was mentioned in this article. Via Daily Herald Rumors have abounded for years that the atmosphere around the state Capitol in Springfield is one of, shall we say, excess. From that standpoint, it was not all that surprising

Campaign finance reform

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Campaign, TheHill, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


TheHill

  • Campaign finance reform

National poll: Majority says Moore should drop out

A majority of voters across the country believe Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore should drop out of the race due to the sexual misconduct accusations levied against him, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey.

  • Campaign finance reform

    Dem Jones avoids Moore attacks as allegations mount

    The bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore have roiled the state’s Senate race, giving Democrats an unusual chance to win a seat in the deep-red state.

  • Campaign finance reform

    Report: Adelson splits with Bannon over 2018 efforts

    GOP megadonor and Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson is reportedly breaking with ex-Trumpp adviser Stephen Bannon and switching his support to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over Bannon’s push to challenge Republican incumbents.

    1. Campaign finance reform

    Republican senators wrestle with their Roy Moore problem

    Senate Republicans are stepping up pressure on Roy Moore to withdraw from the Alabama Senate race after new sexual misconduct allegations on Monday, but many stopped well short of pledging to expel him if he wins the special election next month. .

  • Campaign finance reform

    GOP mobilizes against Moore

    Senate Republicans on Monday signaled that they will do whatever it takes to prevent Roy Moore from becoming the next senator from Alabama, though hopefully without letting the seat fall into Democratic hands.Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

  • Campaign finance reform

    Alabama rep: I m still backing Moore because he ll vote right

    Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Monday that he will still back GOP candidate Roy Moore, who is facing mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, in the Alabama Senate special election because Moore will “vote right” on Capitol Hill.“There are major.


  • Campaign Finance Reform – Naheed Nenshi for Mayor, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


    Campaign Finance Reform

    1. Home
    2. Policy
    3. Campaign Finance Reform

    Campaign finance reform

    If I am re-elected as your mayor, I will continue to advocate for new provincial rules to ensure we have a Smarter City Hall. The provincial rules established under the Local Authorities Elections Act should limit the timing of campaign donations, establish better rules for the use of campaign surpluses, set a spending limit of $0.65 per resident, address the growing role of anonymous third parties attempting to influence Calgarians, and force all candidates to disclose their donors prior to Election Day.

    Financial disclosure

    The current rules require that municipal campaign donations only be disclosed long after the election is over. This means that Calgarians do not have the ability to see who is contributing financially to a campaign prior to casting their ballot unless the candidates step up and voluntarily disclose their donors. I proactively disclosed my donors and will do so regularly until Election Day. I challenge all candidates for council to show leadership and disclose their donors before Election Day. See my disclosure list here.

    As there will inevitably be some candidates who choose not to voluntarily disclose their donors, the rules should be changed to mandate disclosure of the names of donors and the categories of each donation amount prior to Election Day.

    Third-Party spending

    Encouraging participation in our elections is critical to the health and success of our democracy. But we need to be wary of those who would try to influence Calgarians without accountability by spreading misinformation and refusing to reveal the identities of their funders. If I am re-elected mayor, I will work with the provincial government to establish rules to counter the influence of anonymously-funded American-style political groups. The best remedy to the undue influence of these groups is to mandate strong, recurring disclosure requirements for their funders with significant, escalating financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Limiting when donations are allowed

    Campaign donations are currently allowed at any time, up to a maximum of $5,000 per year. This means that over a four year term an incumbent mayor or councillor could raise $20,000 from a single donor. This provides incumbents with an unfair advantage over potential challengers. My solution is to only allow donations during the calendar year of the election. This would allow adequate time before an election to fundraise and immediately afterward to address any campaign debts. I have only sought donations for my election campaigns during the calendar year of the municipal election.

    Spending limits

    Currently, no spending limits are in place for municipal campaigns. This gives incumbent members of council a significant advantage over their challengers trying to get their name out there. I believe that the province should establish a spending limit of about $0.65 per resident. The limit could be adjusted based on the civic census and adjusted for inflation between election cycles. In the mayoral race, this rule would cap campaign spending at $812,000 in 2017, which is more than enough to run a successful campaign. In this election, I commit to spending less than $0.65 per Calgarian.

    Campaign surpluses

    Currently any money not spent in a municipal campaign period can be carried over for a future election. Allowing these surpluses to be carried over means that incumbent members of council can begin the next election with a potentially massive financial advantage over their opponents.

    I believe that all campaign surpluses should be donated to the City or to a registered charity after the election in order to give challengers an equal playing field. In this election, whether I win or lose, I commit to donating any campaign surplus. If re-elected as your mayor, I will push for new provincial rules mandating that campaign surpluses be donated.

    Read Naheed’s Full Platform

    Sign in if you’d like new recruits to be credited to you.


    Campaign Finance Reform – Naheed Nenshi for Mayor, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


    Campaign Finance Reform

    1. Home
    2. Policy
    3. Campaign Finance Reform

    Campaign finance reform

    If I am re-elected as your mayor, I will continue to advocate for new provincial rules to ensure we have a Smarter City Hall. The provincial rules established under the Local Authorities Elections Act should limit the timing of campaign donations, establish better rules for the use of campaign surpluses, set a spending limit of $0.65 per resident, address the growing role of anonymous third parties attempting to influence Calgarians, and force all candidates to disclose their donors prior to Election Day.

    Financial disclosure

    The current rules require that municipal campaign donations only be disclosed long after the election is over. This means that Calgarians do not have the ability to see who is contributing financially to a campaign prior to casting their ballot unless the candidates step up and voluntarily disclose their donors. I proactively disclosed my donors and will do so regularly until Election Day. I challenge all candidates for council to show leadership and disclose their donors before Election Day. See my disclosure list here.

    As there will inevitably be some candidates who choose not to voluntarily disclose their donors, the rules should be changed to mandate disclosure of the names of donors and the categories of each donation amount prior to Election Day.

    Third-Party spending

    Encouraging participation in our elections is critical to the health and success of our democracy. But we need to be wary of those who would try to influence Calgarians without accountability by spreading misinformation and refusing to reveal the identities of their funders. If I am re-elected mayor, I will work with the provincial government to establish rules to counter the influence of anonymously-funded American-style political groups. The best remedy to the undue influence of these groups is to mandate strong, recurring disclosure requirements for their funders with significant, escalating financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Limiting when donations are allowed

    Campaign donations are currently allowed at any time, up to a maximum of $5,000 per year. This means that over a four year term an incumbent mayor or councillor could raise $20,000 from a single donor. This provides incumbents with an unfair advantage over potential challengers. My solution is to only allow donations during the calendar year of the election. This would allow adequate time before an election to fundraise and immediately afterward to address any campaign debts. I have only sought donations for my election campaigns during the calendar year of the municipal election.

    Spending limits

    Currently, no spending limits are in place for municipal campaigns. This gives incumbent members of council a significant advantage over their challengers trying to get their name out there. I believe that the province should establish a spending limit of about $0.65 per resident. The limit could be adjusted based on the civic census and adjusted for inflation between election cycles. In the mayoral race, this rule would cap campaign spending at $812,000 in 2017, which is more than enough to run a successful campaign. In this election, I commit to spending less than $0.65 per Calgarian.

    Campaign surpluses

    Currently any money not spent in a municipal campaign period can be carried over for a future election. Allowing these surpluses to be carried over means that incumbent members of council can begin the next election with a potentially massive financial advantage over their opponents.

    I believe that all campaign surpluses should be donated to the City or to a registered charity after the election in order to give challengers an equal playing field. In this election, whether I win or lose, I commit to donating any campaign surplus. If re-elected as your mayor, I will push for new provincial rules mandating that campaign surpluses be donated.

    Read Naheed’s Full Platform

    Sign in if you’d like new recruits to be credited to you.


    Campaign Finance Reform – Naheed Nenshi for Mayor, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


    Campaign Finance Reform

    1. Home
    2. Policy
    3. Campaign Finance Reform

    Campaign finance reform

    If I am re-elected as your mayor, I will continue to advocate for new provincial rules to ensure we have a Smarter City Hall. The provincial rules established under the Local Authorities Elections Act should limit the timing of campaign donations, establish better rules for the use of campaign surpluses, set a spending limit of $0.65 per resident, address the growing role of anonymous third parties attempting to influence Calgarians, and force all candidates to disclose their donors prior to Election Day.

    Financial disclosure

    The current rules require that municipal campaign donations only be disclosed long after the election is over. This means that Calgarians do not have the ability to see who is contributing financially to a campaign prior to casting their ballot unless the candidates step up and voluntarily disclose their donors. I proactively disclosed my donors and will do so regularly until Election Day. I challenge all candidates for council to show leadership and disclose their donors before Election Day. See my disclosure list here.

    As there will inevitably be some candidates who choose not to voluntarily disclose their donors, the rules should be changed to mandate disclosure of the names of donors and the categories of each donation amount prior to Election Day.

    Third-Party spending

    Encouraging participation in our elections is critical to the health and success of our democracy. But we need to be wary of those who would try to influence Calgarians without accountability by spreading misinformation and refusing to reveal the identities of their funders. If I am re-elected mayor, I will work with the provincial government to establish rules to counter the influence of anonymously-funded American-style political groups. The best remedy to the undue influence of these groups is to mandate strong, recurring disclosure requirements for their funders with significant, escalating financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Limiting when donations are allowed

    Campaign donations are currently allowed at any time, up to a maximum of $5,000 per year. This means that over a four year term an incumbent mayor or councillor could raise $20,000 from a single donor. This provides incumbents with an unfair advantage over potential challengers. My solution is to only allow donations during the calendar year of the election. This would allow adequate time before an election to fundraise and immediately afterward to address any campaign debts. I have only sought donations for my election campaigns during the calendar year of the municipal election.

    Spending limits

    Currently, no spending limits are in place for municipal campaigns. This gives incumbent members of council a significant advantage over their challengers trying to get their name out there. I believe that the province should establish a spending limit of about $0.65 per resident. The limit could be adjusted based on the civic census and adjusted for inflation between election cycles. In the mayoral race, this rule would cap campaign spending at $812,000 in 2017, which is more than enough to run a successful campaign. In this election, I commit to spending less than $0.65 per Calgarian.

    Campaign surpluses

    Currently any money not spent in a municipal campaign period can be carried over for a future election. Allowing these surpluses to be carried over means that incumbent members of council can begin the next election with a potentially massive financial advantage over their opponents.

    I believe that all campaign surpluses should be donated to the City or to a registered charity after the election in order to give challengers an equal playing field. In this election, whether I win or lose, I commit to donating any campaign surplus. If re-elected as your mayor, I will push for new provincial rules mandating that campaign surpluses be donated.

    Read Naheed’s Full Platform

    Sign in if you’d like new recruits to be credited to you.


    Campaign Finance Reform – Naheed Nenshi for Mayor, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


    Campaign Finance Reform

    1. Home
    2. Policy
    3. Campaign Finance Reform

    Campaign finance reform

    If I am re-elected as your mayor, I will continue to advocate for new provincial rules to ensure we have a Smarter City Hall. The provincial rules established under the Local Authorities Elections Act should limit the timing of campaign donations, establish better rules for the use of campaign surpluses, set a spending limit of $0.65 per resident, address the growing role of anonymous third parties attempting to influence Calgarians, and force all candidates to disclose their donors prior to Election Day.

    Financial disclosure

    The current rules require that municipal campaign donations only be disclosed long after the election is over. This means that Calgarians do not have the ability to see who is contributing financially to a campaign prior to casting their ballot unless the candidates step up and voluntarily disclose their donors. I proactively disclosed my donors and will do so regularly until Election Day. I challenge all candidates for council to show leadership and disclose their donors before Election Day. See my disclosure list here.

    As there will inevitably be some candidates who choose not to voluntarily disclose their donors, the rules should be changed to mandate disclosure of the names of donors and the categories of each donation amount prior to Election Day.

    Third-Party spending

    Encouraging participation in our elections is critical to the health and success of our democracy. But we need to be wary of those who would try to influence Calgarians without accountability by spreading misinformation and refusing to reveal the identities of their funders. If I am re-elected mayor, I will work with the provincial government to establish rules to counter the influence of anonymously-funded American-style political groups. The best remedy to the undue influence of these groups is to mandate strong, recurring disclosure requirements for their funders with significant, escalating financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Limiting when donations are allowed

    Campaign donations are currently allowed at any time, up to a maximum of $5,000 per year. This means that over a four year term an incumbent mayor or councillor could raise $20,000 from a single donor. This provides incumbents with an unfair advantage over potential challengers. My solution is to only allow donations during the calendar year of the election. This would allow adequate time before an election to fundraise and immediately afterward to address any campaign debts. I have only sought donations for my election campaigns during the calendar year of the municipal election.

    Spending limits

    Currently, no spending limits are in place for municipal campaigns. This gives incumbent members of council a significant advantage over their challengers trying to get their name out there. I believe that the province should establish a spending limit of about $0.65 per resident. The limit could be adjusted based on the civic census and adjusted for inflation between election cycles. In the mayoral race, this rule would cap campaign spending at $812,000 in 2017, which is more than enough to run a successful campaign. In this election, I commit to spending less than $0.65 per Calgarian.

    Campaign surpluses

    Currently any money not spent in a municipal campaign period can be carried over for a future election. Allowing these surpluses to be carried over means that incumbent members of council can begin the next election with a potentially massive financial advantage over their opponents.

    I believe that all campaign surpluses should be donated to the City or to a registered charity after the election in order to give challengers an equal playing field. In this election, whether I win or lose, I commit to donating any campaign surplus. If re-elected as your mayor, I will push for new provincial rules mandating that campaign surpluses be donated.

    Read Naheed’s Full Platform

    Sign in if you’d like new recruits to be credited to you.


    Campaign Rules, campaign finance reform.#Campaign #finance #reform


    Campaign Rules

    California is aВ national leader in promoting transparency and fairness in elections. The PoliticalВ Reform Act requires candidates and committees to file campaign statements byВ specified deadlines disclosing contributions received and expenditures made.В These documents are public and may be audited by the FPPC and FTB to ensureВ that voters are fully informed and improper practices prohibited. It is the responsibility of candidates and committees to understand the rules regulating theirВ campaigns in California.

    Who is Subject to the Act?

    AВ candidate’s campaign committee, a general purpose committee, a political partyВ committee, a slate mailer organization, a major donor, and a person or entityВ making independent expenditures on candidates or ballot measures in CaliforniaВ are all types of committees subject to the campaign rules under the Act.В

    Who Qualifies as a Committee?

    There are three ways in which a person or entity qualifies as a committee:

    1. Recipient Committee: ReceivesВ contributions of $2,000 or more per year for political purposes. This includes candidate controlledВ committees; committees primarily formed to support or oppose candidates orВ ballot measures; political party committees; and other general purposeВ committees (generally formed to support or oppose more than one candidate or ballot measure).
    2. Independent Expenditure Committee:В Makes independent expenditures of $1,000 or more per year on CaliforniaВ candidates or ballot measures. An expenditure is independent if it is not made in consultation, cooperation orВ coordination with the affected candidate or committee. These committees do notВ receive contributions.
    3. Major Donor Committee:В Makes contributions of $10,000 or more per year to or at the request ofВ California candidates or ballot measures. A business, individual, orВ multi-purpose organization (including a nonprofit organization) may qualify as aВ major donor committee. These committees do not receive contributions.

    Do the Campaign Rules Apply to Both State and Local Elections?

    Campaign finance and disclosure laws under the Act apply to both state and local candidates and committees. Many cities and counties have adopted local campaign ordinances that contain additional restrictions and requirements. Local candidates and committees should check with their local elections office or ethics agency to determine if there are additional local requirements and restrictions, such as contribution limits. For more information specific to local candidates and committees, see the FPPC’s campaign disclosure manual for local candidates and committees.

    Where Can I Find More Information about Campaign Rules?

    The FPPC offersВ valuable resources for candidates, political committees, treasurers, and filingВ officers. Click on one of the links below for an overview of key campaign rulesВ and answers to some of the most common questions.


    Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Campaign Finance Reform – Illinois Campaign for Political Reform #small #business #finance


    #campaign finance reform

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    Campaign Finance Reform See News

    ICPR supports efforts to explore using a small donor matching system or a taxpayer voucher system to move toward a system for public financing of campaigns in which politicians are dependent upon donations from the general public rather than upon a small number of wealthy special interests.

    One of the harshest realities of modern American politics is that a candidate s fundraising prowess is often represented as an important predictor of electoral success – more so than his or her experience, intelligence or commitment to public service. Public campaign financing is a sound option for minimizing such problems. Under a public financing system, candidates meeting certain thresholds of public support could draw campaign cash from a state-operated fund. Public campaign financing has been applied successfully in at least 25 states and new innovations are being studied around the country each year. States like Hawaii and Minnesota have implemented partial financing systems, so candidates can draw from both public and private sources of funds so they need to focus less on private fundraising. Other systems are more expansive, completely cutting out big donors. Maine is one of the states to have “clean elections,” where qualified candidates fund their campaign entirely with public funds, removing the need for fundraising. New York City has multiple matching funds, which magnifies the power of small donors.

    Small Donor Matching Systems

    Why do we need reform?

    In a large and complex representative democracy, there’s no good way around the fact that elections and campaigns cost money. And they’re only getting more expensive, forcing politicians to spend as much if not more time courting potential donors than meeting with average voters. This creates a dynamic where elected officials are forced to become overly reliant on funding from a small number of wealthy donors and special interests, possibly resulting in a less responsive approach to “everyday” voters.

    Small Donor Democracies may be a solution. Here are some key facts to know:

    • In a small donor matching system, candidates who reach a certain level of funding in small contributions become eligible for matching funds – typically at a ratio that increases the impact of those donations.
    • Small Donor Democracy has been a staple of municipal elections in New York City for more than 20 years and also has been implemented in a number of other U.S. municipalities and states.
    • For example, mayoral candidates in New Haven, Connecticut receive $50 per contribution for contributions of $25 or greater and a 2-1 match for anything less. The New Haven Democracy Fund provides matching funds up to $125,000 to those candidates who meet a threshold of 200 contributions from distinct donors all local residents within the range of $10 to $370.
    • The small donor match typically comes from public funds. However, given fiscal pressures on municipalities, ICPR is also exploring “hybrid” approaches that could draw upon privately raised “democracy funds” in addition to public funds.

    The Sunlight Foundation

    The Sunlight Foundation is a well-respected nonprofit organization that uses civic tech, open data, policy analysis, and journalism to increase transparency in government and politics, particularly within the realm of campaign finance. Visit their site SunlightFoundation.com to read more about transparency in campaign finance.

    Campaign Finance Links


    What are the benefits of campaign finance reform? The Washington Post #short #term #finance


    #campaign finance reform

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    What are the benefits of campaign finance reform?

    By Sam Power November 17, 2015

    Recently, Ray LaRaja and Brian Schaffener made a fascinating contribution to this blog outlining recent developments in party funding research. They essentially asked three questions:

    • Whether party funding reform can help tone down political polarization.
    • If states were to increase their funding of political parties, how it should be done.
    • How we can design a system that can allay public fears of corruption.

    Such questions keep party funding reformers up at night. I cannot necessarily provide solutions. But there might be some useful information in lessons learned from research on Europe, and more specifically, Great Britain.

    The overwhelming trend among European nations is to increase state funding for political parties, as you can see in the timeline below, with source data from van Biezen and Kopecký .

    Britain and the U.S. are the exceptions in the developed world. The government does not pick up much of the bill. Academics explain that British exceptionalism as the result of British citizens persistently preferring volunteerism over statism. A system of membership and donations is preferred to state funding — despite the many times in which Britons perceive corruption within this model.

    A system in which party membership and small individual donations make up most of a political party’s annual budget is undoubtedly preferable to one in which parties are propped up by the government. It is, however – especially considering the Europe-wide downturn in party membership – a utopian vision.

    But does national funding for parties reduce polarization?

    LaRaja and Schaffener remain unconvinced. Other studies tend to corroborate this skepticism.

    One scholar, Andrew B. Hall. studied five state legislatures and found that public funding for parties actually increased polarization. In these systems, small donations are matched with state funds. Small donations tend to come from party members, who, in turn, tend to be more extreme than the party elite – and, what’s more important, more extreme than the pool of potential voters.

    We see this currently in Great Britain with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour party. He is widely supported by grass-roots membership, less so by the parliamentary party .

    Polarization and state finance has also been studied elsewhere in Western Europe. Munich-based political scientist Michael Koβ shows that reform tends to happen when politics is more collegial. Again we can look to Britain to see why this might be.

    Polling consistently shows that the public believes large donations can buy political favors. However, the proposed solution – a cap on donations, offset with the introduction of increased funding by the state – remains publicly unpopular. Politicians have a better chance of surviving the damage at the polling booth if both or all parties have backed the reforms.

    But if the logic behind reform is to strengthen democracy, that might be contradicted by having (1) parties colluding to (2) introduce an unpopular reform which (3) increases the amount of funding they receive (4) from the taxpayer. In fact, it might actually increase the anti-establishment and anti-political feeling that some believe these reforms should quell.

    But even if you reject that argument, Democrats and Republicans are widely considered to be especially ideologically opposed just now. If funding reform tends to take place when the political climate is congenial, now might not be the moment.

    So would state funding of political parties decrease corruption?

    There is little evidence that introducing significant state funding will reduce corruption, and more importantl, perceptions of corruption. Just because you have state funding doesn’t mean your country is, or is perceived to be, less corrupt.

    Take Denmark, which for the past three years has been at the top of the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index. Despite being a supposed beacon of integrity, Denmark has recently had its party finance legislation criticized by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) — particularly, its failures to meet the obligation to be transparent.

    Denmark has a robust system of state subsidy of party finances, with upwards of 75 percent of funding provided by public money. As the GRECO criticism shows, this does little to allay fears of corruption in the system or to improve the standing of the parties with the public.

    Another TI indicator, the Global Corruption Barometer, reported that 54 percent of the public believed that political parties were somewhat to entirely “run by a few big entities acting in their own best interests.”

    If reformers genuinely want to strengthen democracy, promising that public funding would deliver too much might disappoint, leaving citizens with still more anti-establishment and anti-political feelings.

    There are many reasons to enact reform. Certainly many people believe that politicians have better things to do with their time than begging for donations from a few rich backers. That does not mean, however, that the unique challenges reform presents should be ignored (a potential increase in political polarization being one).

    But those pushing for reform shouldn’t overpromise or expect too much. They should be considered within a wider package of reforms that address political disillusionment. If introduced as the attempt to reduce anti-democratic and anti-establishment feeling, or worse to reduce corruption in politics, they will disappoint.

    Sam Power is a doctoral researcher at the Sussex Centre for the Corruption, University of Sussex. His research is focuses on party funding regimes and corruption in Western Europe.

    What Twitter is talking about

    Since the beginning of August, tweets about immigration have made up about 18 percent of the Twitter conversation around core election issues. But tweets on the topic soared to almost 60 percent of the election-related Twitter conversation after Donald Trump’s statements about a potential “softening,” his visit to Mexico and then his address on the topic Wednesday night in Phoenix. This data comes from the Electome — a project of the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab that’s been analyzing social media data about the election

    Immigration is dominating the election conversation on Twitter

    Share on Facebook

    How much Hillary and Bill Clinton have donated to charity between 2001 and 2015. In that 15-year period — the years since the Clintons left the White House — they earned about $237 million in adjusted gross income,much of it from speaking fees and book royalties. So Clinton and her husband donated about 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income.

    How much The Post has been able to identify Trump as donating from his own pocket since 2001. According to tax records, the last donation shown from Trump to the Donald J. Trump Foundation was in 2008, for $30,000.

    What we know about the charitable giving by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

    Share on Facebook

    The fall 2016 debate schedule

    Mon. September 26

    Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

    Vice presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence

    Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

    Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

    Megyn Kelly thinks she knows why Donald Trump wants to change the debate dates


    Today – s Dose of Liberal Heresy: Campaign Finance Reform Isn – t That Big a Deal #car #finance #uk


    #campaign finance reform

    #

    Today s Dose of Liberal Heresy: Campaign Finance Reform Isn t That Big a Deal

    Kevin Drum May. 28, 2016 3:04 PM

    I was musing the other day about something or other, and for some reason it occurred to me that there are several subjects near and dear to progressive hearts that I flatly disagree with. I’m not talking about, say, charter schools, where there’s a robust, ongoing intra-liberal debate and both sides already have plenty of adherents. Nor am I talking about things like Wall Street regulation, where everyone (including me) thinks we need to do more but we disagree on technical issues (Bernie wants to break up big banks, I want to double capital requirements).

    I’m thinking instead of things that seem to enjoy something like 90+ percent liberal support and which I think are basically a waste of liberal time and energy. So if I write about them, a whole lot of people are going to be pissed off. Something like 90+ percent of my readership, I’d guess. Who needs the grief? After all, for the most part there’s usually not much harm in spending time and energy on these things (though there are exceptions).

    But let’s give it a go anyway. Maybe this will be the first entry in a periodic series. Maybe I’ll discover that I’m not quite as alone on these issues as I think. Here’s my first entry.

    Campaign Finance Reform

    Liberals love campaign finance reform. Citizens United is our Roe v. Wade. and it’s become an even more central issue since Bernie Sanders began his presidential run last year. As near as I can tell, Bernie along with most liberals thinks it’s the key foundational issue of modern progressivism. Until we seriously reduce the amount of money in political campaigns, no real progressive reform is possible.

    I’m pretty sure this is completely wrong. Here are seven reasons that have persuaded me of this over the years, with the most important reason left to the end:

    1. Half a century has produced nothing. Liberal groups have been putting serious effort into campaign finance reform for about 40 years now. The only result has been abject failure. Ban union donations, they create PACs. Ban hard money, you get soft money. Ban soft money, you get Super PACs. Etc. None of the reforms have worked, and even before Citizens United the Supreme Court had steadily made effective reform efforts harder and harder. What’s even worse, the public still isn’t with us. If you ask them vaguely if they think there’s too much money in politics, most will say yes. If you ask them if they really care, they shrug. After nearly half a century, maybe it’s time to ask why.
    2. Other countries spend less. Most other rich countries spend a lot less on political campaigns than we do. Are they less in thrall to moneyed interests because of this? Some are, some aren’t. I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that there’s much of a correlation.
    3. Billionaires are idiots. Seriously. The evidence of the last decade or so suggests that billionaires just aren’t very effective at using their riches to win elections. This is unsurprising: billionaires are egotists who tend to think that because they got rich doing X, they are also geniuses at Y and Z and on beyond zebra. But they aren’t. This stuff is a hobby for them, and mostly they’re just wasting their money.
    4. The small-dollar revolution. Starting with Howard Dean in 2004, the internet has produced an explosion of small-dollar donations, accounting for over a third of presidential fundraising in 2012 and 2016. This year, for example, Hillary Clinton has so far raised $288 million (including money raised by outside groups). Bernie Sanders has raised $208 million, all of it in small-dollar donations averaging $27. Ironically, at the same time that he’s made campaign finance reform a major issue, Bernie has demonstrated that small dollars can power a serious insurgency.
    5. Money really is speech. Obviously this is an opinion, and a really rare one on my side of the political spectrum. But why should political speech be restricted? My read of the First Amendment suggests that if there’s any single kind of speech that should enjoy the highest level of protection, it’s political speech.
    6. We may have maxed out anyway. There’s increasing evidence that in big-time contests (governors + national offices), we’ve basically reached the point of diminishing returns. At this point, if billionaires spend more money it just won’t do much good even if they’re smart about it. There are only so many minutes of TV time available and only so many persuadable voters. More important, voters have only so much bandwidth. Eventually they tune out, and it’s likely that we’ve now reached that point.

    In the interests of fairness, I’ll acknowledge that I might be wrong about this. It might turn out that there are clever ways to spend even more; billionaires might get smarter; and Citizens United has only just begun to affect spending. Maybe in a couple of decades I’ll be eating my words about this.

  • Campaign spending hasn’t gone up much anyway. I told you I’d leave the most important reason for the end, and this is it. It’s easy to be shocked when you hear about skyrocketing billions of dollars being spent on political campaigns, but billions of dollars aren’t that much in a country the size of the United States. In 2012, Obama spent $1.1 billion vs. Mitt Romney’s $1.2 billion. That’s about 1 percent of total ad spending in the US. Hell, in the cell phone biz alone, AT T spent $1.3 billion vs. Verizon’s $1.2 billion. If you want to look at campaign spending, you really need to size it to the growth in GDP over the past half century or so.
  • So here it is. These two charts show our skyrocketing spending on presidential campaigns as a percent of GDP. Data for the chart on the left comes from Mother Jones . The chart on the right comes from the Center for Responsive Politics. Total presidential spending is up about 18 percent since 2000. I suppose I’d like to see this reduced as much as the next guy, but it’s hard to see it as the core corrupter of American politics. It’s a symptom, but it’s really not the underlying disease. There really are problems with the influence of the rich on American politics, but campaigns are probably the place where it matters least, not most.