The biggest political story of June and July has, of course, been Donald Trump. Beyond his bombastic personality, his presence in the presidential race demonstrates many of the inherent problems of making our political system dependent on money. Trump stormed into the race, quickly hired talent away from other conservative groups, and will have the money to make sure that everyone in the country hears his message. Even if he doesn't win, his presence completely reshapes the race and drives up costs for other candidates.
ACTION OF THE MONTH
A fun and exciting way to participate this month is to join this video contest. Democracy for All is offering thousands of dollars for short, creative videos about money in politics. Submit a video between August 12 and December 2 for a chance at a weekly prize of $1,000 and a variety of larger prizes at the end of the contest.
First Person Ever Sentenced to Jail over Coordination, While WI Supreme Court Dismantles Coordination Rules
Tyler Harber was sentenced to two years in jail for working as a campaign manager for a Virginia candidate while helping create a Super-PAC and directing it to spend $325,000 in attack ads.
However, don't expect this to lead to convictions for 2016 campaigns despite blatant coordination, because two FEC commissioners had to petition their own agency to do its job. Over in Wisconsin, the Supreme Court ended an investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker illegally coordinated with outside groups, effectively making coordination limits in the state meaningless. Notably, some of these groups also provided millions of dollars in campaigns supporting two of the justices involved in the decision. Walker's support for a publicly-funded stadium owned by a major supporter of his presidential campaigns has also raised questions.
Low-Income, Minority Voters Dramatically Affected by Voting Challenges
A new report reinforces that low income and minority voters are greatly impacted by laws restricting voting. The report also found that increased voter participation results in greater social spending. Will this impact the ongoing arguments in court over North Carolina's voting changes that reduced voting opportunities?