Holding Politicians Accountable

Posts tagged elections

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As mind-boggling as that seems, a billion-dollar donor is only a matter of time.
Center for Responsive Politics Executive Director Sheila Krumholz on the ever-increasing cost of elections and big donors. (CNBC)

Filed under billionaires 2014 elections

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Our elections: a shouting match between wealthy Democrats:

"In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own."

and wealthy Republicans:

A group of major GOP donors, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer, is quietly expanding its political footprint ahead of the midterm elections in an increasingly assertive effort to shape the direction of the Republican Party.

Filed under campaign finance politics elections billionaires

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Center for Public Integrity: How Washington starves its election watchdog

The Federal Election Commission is in trouble, according to the Center for Public Integrity:

  • The commission over the past year has reached a paralyzing all-time low in its ability to reach consensus, stalling action on dozens of rulemaking, audit and enforcement matters, some of which are years old.
  • Despite an explosion in political spending hastened by key Supreme Court decisions, the agency’s funding has remained flat for five years and staffing levels have fallen to a 15-year low.
  • Analysts charged with scouring disclosure reports to ensure candidates and political committees are complying with laws have a nearly quarter-million-page backlog. Commissioners themselves are grappling with nearly 270 unresolved enforcement cases.
  • Staff morale has plummeted as key employees have fled and others question whether their work remains relevant. Among top FEC jobs currently unfilled or filled on an “acting” basis: general counsel, associate general counsel for policy, associate general counsel for litigation, chief financial officer and accounting director. The staff director doubles as IT director.

Filed under FEC elections politics campaign finance

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Roll Call: Want to Run for Congress? Prepare to Ask People for Money 8 Hours a Day

"The dirty secret of campaigns is that unless a candidate is independently wealthy, the vast majority of his or her time will be spent raising money. Those kitchen table meetings with struggling parents and standing up for the Constitution on a street corner soapbox? They’re put on the back burner compared with fundraising for candidates who hope to win."

Filed under congress elections campaign finance