- Feb 11, 2016
Weeks before the election, confusion now surrounds whether you need proof of citizenship documents to vote in Kansas, Alabama and Georgia.
- Jan 27, 2016
Last week, before the snow storm brought Washington, DC to a halt, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by the Sunlight Foundation and Common Cause, filed reply comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to urge the agency to expeditiously adopt new rules extending the online public file requirements to cable operators, DBS providers, and radio and satellite radio licensees. The comments were filed in response to some last minute issues raised by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the American Cable Association (ACA).
- Jan 11, 2016
Last month, as politicos and policy wonks awaited the outcome of Congress' back room budget negotiations, rumors swirled around Washington over which last minute riders would make it into the final omnibus bill. Particularly troubling to many was a provision pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, D-Nev., that enabled party committees to spend unlimited sums in coordination with their candidates. This proposal would have put yet more pressure on office holders to raise money to pay for such spending. The proposal — which drew condemnation from liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans alike — was ultimately defeated, as were similar measures to end the presidential public financing "check off" system and block the president from issuing an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending. Even so, while these provisions may not have become law, anti-reform congressional leaders were still able to include riders banning the IRS from clarifying its regulations on dark money groups and preventing the SEC from requiring corporations to inform their shareholders whether their money is being spent on political causes.
Waller County, Texas Reverses Course on Decision to Close Polling Locations in African-American Community After Pressure from CLC, Voting Rights Institute, and the CommunityJan 6, 2016
On December 16, the Waller County Commissioners’ Court voted to drastically reduce the number of early voting locations (for the upcoming March primary) in the county from eight locations throughout the county to two locations. They did so without any discussion of the racial implications of the decision, which were plain. The new plan eliminated both early polling locations in the only majority-minority precinct in the County: one in the primarily African-American City of Prairie View and the other on the campus of Prairie View A & M University, a historically black university. Neither of the remaining two early voting locations was easily accessible to Prairie View students and residents. The County did so without any discussion of the County’s sordid (and recent) history of attempts to disenfranchise Prairie View A & M students, requiring the intervention of the Department of Justice on more than one occasion, including most recently in 2008.
- Jan 5, 2016
Recently, it was reported that in an interview at Harvard Law School, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy commented that campaign finance disclosure is “not working the way it should.” Justice Kennedy’s statement provides an important insight into why the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance decisions are undermining our democracy. These decisions have been based on how five Justices think the campaign finance laws should be working, which is far from the reality of how they are working.
- Dec 1, 2015
These days, advocates for reasonable campaign finance rules cheer when the Supreme Court chooses to do nothing at all. Yesterday, we welcomed the news that the high Court declined to grant certiorari in Yamada v. Shoda (Snipes), which leaves standing a strong Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld Hawaii’s ban on contributions from governmental contractors, as well as a bevy of state reporting and disclaimer requirements.
- Nov 18, 2015
A remarkable eighty percent of Americans – both Republicans and Democrats -- believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United should be overturned. Much of the public outrage and energy around undoing the damage done by the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence has focused on amending the Constitution. Amending the constitution however is no small feat and the barriers are significant. This backgrounder, prepared by CLC for Issue One, examines the procedural hurdles and potential shortcomings of such a course.
- Nov 18, 2015
Earlier this week, Charles Stewart, III of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project released a report entitled “Managing Polling Place Resources.” This report analyzes wait times at polling places over the past two presidential election cycles and makes recommendations for how election officials can meet the Presidential Commission on Electoral Administration’s challenge that voters not wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot. Among the report’s most interesting findings are:
- Nov 17, 2015
Opponents of the disclosure of political spending have been playing fast and loose with the truth. This FAQ, prepared by CLC for Issue One, sorts the myths from the facts when it comes to the laws and regulation of ‘dark money’ groups and their spending in federal elections.