On Oct. 9, Ben Carson appeared at the National Press Club to promote his new book. His campaign manager, Barry Bennett, told The Daily Beast that Carson’s publishing company set up the event and paid for his transportation to D.C. to speak there. And just like that, Carson may have violated campaign finance law.
Hillary Clinton has put forward a plan for campaign finance reform. But how much will she focus on it? Will she campaign hard on her proposals? Or will they just be one of many policies in a long list? One challenge for Clinton: If she runs on the claim that the system is corrupt and broken, how does that square with the fact that her party has been in the White House since 2009?
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will propose a slate of campaign finance reform measures on Tuesday aimed at limiting political donations by corporations and large donors and increasing transparency in election spending. Clinton, who is seeking the nomination to be the Democratic candidate in the November 2016 presidential election, identified measures she would pursue if she becomes president.
If you’ve been following recent political news, you’ve probably seen stories about senior Republicans acknowledging that it’s time, finally, for the Party to confront the issues of rising inequality and income stagnation. Speaking in Detroit last month, Jeb Bush said, “Far too many Americans live on the edge of economic ruin, and many more feel like they’re stuck in place, working longer and harder, even as they’re losing ground.” According to numerous reports, Bush is now working toward an economic plan, in anticipation of his expected run for the G.O.P. Presidential nomination, that would tackle some of these issues.
The richest Americans hold more of the nation’s wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses. And also on politics. In fact, their political spending has been growing faster than their spending on anything else. It’s been growing even faster than their wealth.
The 2014 election season acquired its fair share of nicknames: the Nothing Election, the Seinfeld Election, and the Meh Midterms. Here's another: the Year of Koch. Big money from outside spenders like the Koch brothers' political network and the pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC dominated this year's elections. In the battleground states, a voter couldn't watch five minutes of television, listen to the radio, or cue up a YouTube clip without being bombarded by political ads, most of them of the minor-chord, attack-ad variety. Broadcasters in Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, and other critical states collected money by the fistful. Major candidates galore had a deep-pocketed super-PAC or a political nonprofit in his or her corner.
The Daily Show declared money in politics as the true victor of the 2014 midterm elections, in an acknowledgement of just how much money was spent on all the races this past year. Before adjusting for inflation, this year's congressional races were the most expensive ever. The Senate race in North Carolina, for example, was the costliest in history.
Rick Weiland is trying to sing his way to the Senate. As national Democrats finalize plans to pour $1 million into South Dakota to help Weiland, the Democrat is flooding television airwaves with country song parodies. Since April, his campaign has aired three music videos in the state that put an election-year spin on songs like Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” Weiland, 56, has made campaign finance reform a central plank of his campaign. In one parody, “Big Wheel,” inspired by Old Crow Medicine Show’s rendition of “Wagon Wheel,” Weiland sings, “So I’m running for the Senate but I’m not a big wheel, don’t have an RV, just my automobile / Hey, no one’s bought me.”
Well so far this election year in Alabama - a year many observers consider to be one of the dullest political years in four decades - candidates and the donors who support them have still manage to spend an estimated $10 million on 30,000 political ads.
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly is going to hear from 20,000 Hoosiers on Wednesday. Not individually. But a broad coalition of activists representing state and national organizations said it will be delivering petitions with 20,000 Hoosiers' signatures to his Downtown Indianapolis office during a noon rally. They want him to join most of his fellow Senate Democrats in co-sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment that would override the U.S. Supreme Court rulings that opened up unlimited campaign spending by corporations and individuals.
The Federal Election Commission on Thursday unanimously said that political committees could legally accept small bitcoin donations — acknowledging for the first time that digital currencies are a form of “money or anything of value.”
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens is taking aim at the Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision to eliminate the limit on a person's aggregate expenditures to political candidates and committees in an election cycle. "The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate," he told the New York Times, criticizing what he views as the premise of Chief Justice John Roberts' controlling opinion. "It's really wrong."
The biggest campaign finance case since Citizens United, explained.
Defenders of embattled conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza are alleging that a far-reaching conspiracy on the part of angry liberals is to blame for his recent indictment for campaign fraud. Media Matters has published a round-up of some of the right-wing players who have gone to bat for D’Souza since it was announced that he was indicted on federal campaign finance charges.
Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate. According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D'Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate's campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment.
Dinesh D’Souza, a best-selling conservative author and filmmaker, was indicted on Thursday on charges that he used straw donors to illegally donate to a 2012 Senate campaign. Mr. D’Souza is an outspoken political commentator who directed “2016: Obama’s America,” a scathing anti-Obama documentary released in the final months of the president’s re-election campaign.
It’s an off election year, but the super PAC fundraising numbers so far in 2013 probably don’t look like what you’d expect: liberal groups are bringing in more cash than conservative ones. Liberal-aligned super PACs raised a combined $40 million in the first half of 2013, according to the Center for Public Integrity, which reviewed filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission. Conservative groups, meanwhile, raised a combined $20 million.
In order to fully understand what the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court have been up to when they make decisions that affect our democracy, as they did last week on voting rights, you need to understand what the Republican Party has been up to.
We might wish the uproar from the convention halls of both parties these busy weeks were the wholesome clamor of delegates deliberating serious visions of how we should be governed for the next four years. It rises instead from scripted TV spectacles -- grown-ups doing somersaults of make-believe -- that will once again distract the public's attention from the death rattle of American democracy brought on by an overdose of campaign cash.
How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Ciitzens United decision.