What a year! So much craziness, both in the presidential primary and with money in politics, specifically. Even now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is continuing his favorite holiday tradition of using the must-pass budget bill to pass campaign finance laws to strengthen political parties, this time by allowing parties to spend unlimited amounts in direct coordination with candidates. This will allow candidates to raise significantly MORE money for their campaigns, using the party as a money laundering machine and giving parties significant more control over candidates. Merry Christmas America, just what we wanted!
ACTION OF THE MONTH:
President to Respond to Requests for Executive Action on Disclosure
Over 110,000 people have signed a petition on WhiteHouse.gov calling for the president to use the IRS, SEC and FCC to act to improve disclosure of elections. This meets the threshold of 100,000 required to receive an official response from the White House. The president has been hit this month for failing to match action to rhetoric on campaign finance reform, This Is His Chance!
Public Financing May Be Coming to Washington, D.C.
On December 1, 2012, Council member David Grosso introduced a bill to establish a public financing system in our nation’s capital! Though not, unfortunately, for Congress. The proposal calls for matching funds for contributions up to $100 for city council members.
Can Math Save Us from Gerrymandering?
With more and more district maps ending up in years-long court battles after they are implemented, it’s exciting to see an easy, math-based way to identify gerrymandering! Simple calculations on the outcomes of elections in a state make it easy to see how much of an impact gerrymandering has had on electoral outcomes.
Rand Paul Accidentally Makes Pretty Good Argument for Free Air Time
When questioned over his failure to rise in the polls, Paul noted that Trump had received over 100 hours of discussion, preventing Paul from getting any attention, and argued that all he needed to succeed was “more airtime” to make his case heard. Hey, Paul, we know a policy that can help with that….
Washington Activists Collect Minimum Signatures to Put Constitutional Amendment on Ballot
On December 8th, WAmend Initiative 735 hit 254,000 signatures, the minimum amount needed to put I-735, which calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, on the ballot in 2016. WAmend is still working to collect an additional 60,000 signatures as a safety margin.
Supreme Court May Change One Resident, One Vote to One Voter, One Vote
Some members of the Supreme Court appeared open to redefining how districts are drawn so that districts are drawn based on the number of voters, rather than the number of residents, as it is currently determined. This would shift power from urban, younger areas with children and immigrants who cannot vote to rural, older areas.