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Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.

Greenhouse is a browser app for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari that allows you to mouse over any Congressperson's name in your browser to reveal where their campaign money comes from. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Jun 24, 2014 - 23 comments

Mayday, Mayday, democracy in danger . . .

The Mayday SuperPAC. Yesterday Lawrence Lessig announced the launch of the Mayday SuperPAC, "The SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs." Its ultimate goal is to achieve constitutional campaign finance reform. They've set out specific funding goals--$1 million in 30 days, $5 million in the next 30--which will be matched by Lessig and other (currently) anonymous funders once achieved. Their initial goal is to influence races in five House districts and if successful they hope to expand in 2016.
posted by schroedinger on May 2, 2014 - 94 comments

some people might call that chutzpah

We have explained that the matching funds provision substantially burdens the speech of privately financed candidates and independent groups. ... We have explained that those burdens cannot be justified by a desire to “level the playing field.” In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down an Arizona law that provided public funds to candidates who have been outspent by either private funding or independent spending. Link to PDF of full decision. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jun 27, 2011 - 105 comments

New Supreme Court Opinions

A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions). In Wilke v. Robbins, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case and the school assignment cases. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios on Jun 25, 2007 - 224 comments

Then I'll get on my knees and pray ... we don't get fooled again. No, no...

Straight Talk Is Cheap: How John McCain became the capo of the new, reformed campaign finance syndicate. "McCain isn't breaking any campaign finance laws. He wrote them so he wouldn't have to. But he's guilty of campaigning in exactly the manner he asserts is harming our nation. Senator McCain isn't reforming Washington. He is Washington."
posted by ZenMasterThis on Jul 25, 2006 - 24 comments

Send me someplace sunny...

Campaign Contributions and U.S. Ambassadors
In 1972 President Nixon appointed thirteen noncareer ambassadors to Western European countries; eight of them had contributed at least $50,000 to his reelection campaign...(-Source, scroll to item 2.)
In 1980 a federal law was created to combat this, stating that ambassadors must "possess clearly demonstrated competence, including, to the maximum extent practicable, a useful knowledge of the principal language or dialect of the country in which the individual is to serve, and knowledge and understanding of the history, the culture, the economic and political institutions and the interest of that country and its people. … Contributions to political campaigns should not be a factor in the appointment."
Currently 1/4 to 1/3 of U.S. Ambassadors are noncareer appointees, not experienced diplomats, causing criticism since the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Critics point out that neither the Pentagon, the CIA nor any other U.S. government agency must shoulder the burden of a significant cadre of "nonprofessionals" encumbering senior field positions. (-Source.)

HERE is the current tally of Embassy Row and their campaign contributions, including Clark Randt, Jr, former Geo W Yale fraternity brother who defended Bush against drug allegations during Bush's last campaign. "Rangers" and "Pioneers" abound. Mauritius is sunny, tropical, and expensive. (Inspired by this AskMe question.)
posted by Shane on Oct 14, 2004 - 14 comments

Trickle Down Political Fundraising

By the way, you'll earn 30% of each donation you bring in for the RNC. The people who brought you fun customized campaign posters return for an encore with an affiliate program for fundraising. Rather than relying upon real grassroots fundraising, why not just offer commissions to anyone who'd like to promote your candidate? Just how many ways can the Internet come up with to violate campaign finance law? Ready ... set ... link!
posted by bclark on Jul 7, 2004 - 20 comments

George F. Will, a professed conservative, has criticized President Bush, not once (on steel tarrifs), not twice (on policy towards Israel), but thrice (on campaign finance reform) this month. Am I missing something, or is Bush not adequately protecting his right flank?

Granted, Will is a conservative of the tory variety, but it's still a noticeable change in tenor since fawning over Bush's decision on stem-cell research.
posted by sillygwailo on Mar 31, 2002 - 34 comments

House set to vote on campaign finance reform

House set to vote on campaign finance reform It would be the biggest overhaul of the nation's campaign finance laws since Watergate. "We should win it," Shays, R-Conn., said Monday. "We've had the votes in the past and, frankly, I think our cause is just." Some people are against it.
posted by kliuless on Feb 12, 2002 - 30 comments

Is this a real chance at campaign finance reform

Is this a real chance at campaign finance reform or are we just in for more partisan back and forth that in the end won't change much of anything? (NY Times link) And how long will the "Enron effect" last?
posted by willrich on Jan 25, 2002 - 6 comments

Richard Reeve calls campaign finance reform "Joke of a Nation".

Richard Reeve calls campaign finance reform "Joke of a Nation". Sadly enough, he backs it up with some good points. Is a city, state, or national office going to become the new status symbol of conspicuous consumers?
posted by Ufez Jones on Jan 9, 2002 - 14 comments

Campaign finance reform gets 2 weeks of debate in the Senate starting today. It has become a battle between the McCain-Feingold bill and the Dubya-D-40 backed Hagel-Landrieu bill. Will anything meaningful get passed? Will it matter if it does?
posted by quirked on Mar 19, 2001 - 18 comments

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