What do all these campaign contributions buy?

OpenSecrets recently released a report that estimates that the midterm elections will cost more than $9.3 billion – and they admit that’s a conservative estimate. Just let that sink in. $9.3 billion, and it’s not even a presidential election year. Even adjusted for inflation, that figure will blow away the previous record. If you’re thinking… Read more

Citizen Spotlight: Rick Hubbard is Walking across America to Fix Our Democracy

This month, we’re spotlighting Rick Hubbard, who is walking across America to help inspire us to fix our broken democracy. Rick is a Vermont native and former national board member of Common Cause who previously walked with Granny D and has long advocated for ending the corrupting influence of big money in politics. Rick’s walk… Read more

Big Money, January 6, and the Future of Democracy

If you’ve been following the coverage of the January 6 hearings, you might have noticed a troubling connection: big money and brazen efforts to undermine our democratic elections. The Supreme Court’s misguided 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo established that the federal government could not restrict independent political expenditures. By essentially decreeing that “money =… Read more

Foul Play: Money in Politics and the NFL

There’s something unique about the culture of sports in America. No matter your politics or your background, you can find a sense of pride and community in supporting your team. This sense of camaraderie is on full display at the Super Bowl. Every February, tens of millions of Americans tune into the most-watched television event… Read more

Closing a Major Citizens United Loophole

We’ve established that Citizens United was a disastrous decision for American democracy. But did you know that it also allowed foreign interests to dodge federal laws to influence our elections? According to federal election law, foreign governments and individuals are not allowed to participate in U.S. elections. But after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens… Read more

The Corporate Corruption of Kyrsten Sinema

The Senate is in the midst of a contentious battle to pass a $3.5 billion social and climate spending package. As negotiations continue, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, one of the two centrist Democrats holding up the process and staunchly defending the filibuster, is making headlines for some controversial campaign fundraising. In September, Sinema held a… Read more

Florida’s Dark Money Dark Horse

In America’s two-party system, the presence of third-party candidates is often met with mixed responses. Often, when a third-party candidate with a similar platform to a major-party candidate enters a race, they cause division among voters, resulting in a win for the opposition. Case in point: Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election, or Eliot… Read more

Public Campaign Financing in New York State: Explained

Last month, New York became the second state to institute a system of public campaign financing. It follows an eight-month development process by an independent Public Campaign Finance Commission. While the new system might serve as a model for other states wishing to combat the role of big money in politics and amplify the voices… Read more

Berkeley’s Fair Elections Act is a Success!

In 2016, Berkeley residents chose to establish a system of public campaign financing by passing the Fair Elections Act. The city’s 2018 elections served as the system’s first test, and it appears to have worked exceedingly well. Under the city’s new public financing system, candidates for city council and mayor who opt into the program… Read more