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Posted inElections

With Michael Bloomberg, Democrats smash against their own anti-big money firewall

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates betrayals of public trust. Sign up to receive our stories. Having bought himself into contention for the Democratic presidential nomination, billionaire Michael Bloomberg will tonight stand atop a debate stage in Las Vegas, a city where big money rules.  Despite President Donald Trump’s tweetsertion that […]

Posted inDemocracy

Study: Most Americans want to kill ‘Citizens United’ with constitutional amendment

Three-fourths of survey respondents — including 66 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats — back a constitutional amendment outlawing Citizens United. The study also indicates that most Americans — 88 percent overall — want to reduce the influence large campaign donors wield over lawmakers at a time when a single congressional election may […]

Posted inDemocracy

She wants to overturn ‘Citizens United,’ the decision that gave rise to super PACs. She’s also supported by one

June 4: This story has been updated. It’s a historic year for Native Americans in politics — and not just for the candidates. A one-of-its-kind bipartisan super PAC, bankrolled by tribes and a prominent abortion rights group, is attempting to boost Native American candidates at a time when a record-breaking number of indigenous hopefuls are […]

Posted inDemocracy

Prepare to be shocked! Trump’s one weird trick to avoid a campaign investigation.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates betrayals of public trust. Sign up to receive our stories. This is a tale of how President Donald Trump is avoiding judgment by the government agency that’s supposed to “protect the integrity of the federal campaign finance process.” It begins in June, when the Center […]

Posted inDemocracy

Debating Democrats tackle — and dodge — how money influences politics

The most telling tales of money in politics are sometimes the tales never told. During the first Democratic presidential debates this week — in an election that will easily be the nation’s most expensive ever — several notable candidates never addressed “dark money” in elections, campaign propaganda sponsored by Russians or the political influence of […]

Posted inDemocracy

A modern history of campaign finance: from Watergate to ‘Citizens United’

A legal war has been waged since the campaign finance reforms that followed the Watergate scandals, when Congress passed the bedrock for our modern money-in-politics regulatory regime. And while reformers have notched significant victories, deep-pocketed deregulators have slowly chipped away at major provisions by challenging them all the way to the Supreme Court. Here’s a […]

Posted inDemocracy

Steve Bullock hates ‘dark money.’ But a lobbyist for ‘dark money’ donors is helping his campaign.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is staking his name and presidential campaign on battling “dark money” — a commonly used term for secretive political cash meant to influence elections. He’s even suing President Donald Trump’s administration over it. But next month, Bullock is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., for a closed-door campaign fundraiser co-hosted by 11 […]

Posted inDemocracy

Democrats say ‘Citizens United’ should die. Here’s why that won’t happen.

Catastrophe seemed imminent. “In a certain real way, the republic is at stake,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “We’re really stress-testing our democracy in a way we never have before,” said attorney Lawrence M. Noble. The menace under the microscope? “Dark money” in politics. But the doomsday scenarios played out one by one in a […]

Posted inDemocracy

FEC lays bare internal conflicts and challenges in letters to Congress

The Federal Election Commission’s four leaders are offering lawmakers clashing perspectives on the agency’s very purpose. The FEC’s greatest challenge to fulfilling its mission is a misperception that “adherence to the rule of law and sensitivity to Americans’ First Amendment rights reflect hostility towards enforcing the law or, even, toward the Commission itself,” Republican commissioners […]

Posted in2020 Presidential Profiles

9 things to know about Michael Bennet

Update, Feb. 11, 2020: Michael Bennet has dropped out of the presidential race. The presidential field now has two Colorado Democrats vying for the nomination.   U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., today announced his presidential candidacy, joining his former boss — former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper — as a White House hopeful. Bennet, 54, served […]

Posted inDemocracy

Nate McMurray doesn’t like ‘giant super PACs.’ But will they be his unlikely salvation?

Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray is running to represent New York’s 27th District. This article is co-published by WBFO-FM 88.7 and WBEN-AM 930. Nate McMurray wanted nothing to do with the kind of big-money politics that typify competitive congressional races. “My campaign will be funded by gifts from ordinary people, not giant SuperPACs or […]

Posted inWatchdog newsletter

Homeland Security: Noncitizens’ barriers to health care thwart COVID-19 progress

The Department of Homeland Security published a post-Trump report recently recognizing that immigrants are up to three times more likely to work in “essential” jobs with high risk of COVID-19 exposure than U.S.-born Americans. Essential workers who are not U.S. citizens are “especially vulnerable” to the virus, the report warns, because they also face multiple […]

Posted inElections

9 things to know about Amy Klobuchar

Update, March 2, 2020: Amy Klobuchar has ended her presidential campaign. The self-proclaimed “senator next door” is officially hoping to walk through another door: that of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar — who today announced she’s running for president — is a popular politician in her state of Minnesota, gaining support and […]

Posted inDemocracy

Will Trump’s next Supreme Court pick be another millionaire?

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was instrumental to Supreme Court decisions involving same-sex marriage, abortion and campaign finance (the so-called Citizens United decision), announced that he will retire after a 30-year term on the bench. Following the announcement Wednesday, President Donald Trump issued a statement praising Kennedy and making clear that the search for a […]

Posted inDemocracy

Elizabeth Warren decries big money in politics. Her campaign treasurer embodies it.

FAIRFAX, Va. — With a sizable American flag as her backdrop and supporters toting signs reading “The Best President Money Can’t Buy,” Elizabeth Warren decried the role big bucks play in politics. This story also appeared in PRI “Corruption, the influence of money, touches every decision that gets made in Washington,” the Democratic presidential candidate […]

Posted inInside Public Integrity

Public Integrity staff share expertise in using data to cover inequality

Journalists from the Center for Public Integrity will facilitate discussions and training sessions addressing how data journalism can confront inequality at the Investigative Reporters & Editors’ 2023 NICAR conference March 2-5 in Nashville. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization’s own journalism confronting inequality, Public Integrity works to build investigative reporting capacity and […]

Posted inWatchdog newsletter

Biden’s immigration ‘reset’ faces some GOP roadblocks

Shortly after taking office Jan. 20, President Joe Biden ordered a 100-day moratorium on most deportations. Six days later, a federal judge in Texas blocked the moratorium with a 14-day restraining order. Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sought the restraining order, arguing that Biden was endangering the state. Paxton’s challenge is a sign that more […]

Posted inDemocracy

Democrats plan ‘aggressive’ oversight of Federal Election Commission

For most of this decade, Congress has all but ignored the perpetually gridlocked Federal Election Commission, which exists to enforce and regulate the nation’s campaign finance laws. No longer, two Democratic congressional representatives tell the Center for Public Integrity. The bipartisan FEC is broken and needs fixing, they argue. “In the next Congress, we will be […]