The People Power Newsletter - March 2015

The last couple months have seen a string of victories on campaign finance reform, hopefully building to a major victory this summer with a campaign to encourage President Obama to require all government contractors to disclose political spending.  More on this in the call to action below.

OR Passes Groundbreaking Voting Rights Bill

Under the recently approved bill, anyone who receives a driver’s license will automatically get registered to vote, adding an estimated 300,000 Oregonians to the voter rolls.


NJ Assembly Joins Senate, Other States in Call for Constitutional Convention

On a 44-25 vote, the New Jersey Assembly passed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to overturn Citizens United.  With the Senate previously passing the amendment, New Jersey joins the states officially calling for a convention.


Chicagoans Overwhelmingly Vote for Public Financing

In an unfortunately nonbinding resolution, 79% of Chicago voters favored establishing a public financing system in the midst of an extraordinarily expensive mayoral campaign. 


Pope Supports Public Financing of Elections, Emphasizes Transparency

When asked about corruption scandals in his native Argentine, Pope Francis responded that after special interests finance elections, “then they send you the bill.” 


NJ Leg Votes to Protect Pension Funds from Federal Contributors

Existing law prohibits state pension funds from being managed by companies whose executives contribute to state candidates, committees or parties (a rule which Gov. Christie has been accused of breaking); this law would include anyone who contributes to federal organizations in the prohibition. 


Federal: Gerrymandering Reform Bills Introduced with Bipartisan Sponsors

Jim Cooper (D, TN) and Reid Ribble (R-WI) have introduced a bill that would force states to create independent commissions for redistricting.  The second bill would require states to post gerrymandering data online and solicit public comments on new maps.


AR Senate Declines to Ask Voters to Choose Between Education, Public Financing Program

The proposal, which may return for a second vote, failed on a 15-13 vote.  If passed, voters in 2016 will be asked whether to continue the program, seriously hampered by court decisions, or transfer the $9 million to education.


WA Senate Unanimously Approves Bill Requiring Nonprofits to Disclose Contributions

In an unfortunately nonbinding resolution, 79% of Chicago voters favored establishing a public financing system in the midst of an extraordinarily expensive mayoral campaign. 


Incoming OR Governor Prioritizes Ethics, Transparency Reforms

Swept into office after her predecessor’s abuse of office and ethics scandals, Governor Kate Brown is proposing a series of ethics reforms targeted to the scandal.  With support from state legislative leaders, we’ll likely see something soon.


Jeb Bush Comes Out for Campaign Finance Limits

Oh wait – he’s asking donors to his campaign to voluntarily limit contributions to $1 million – for now.  So close.  Staffers say he wants to make sure he doesn’t appear ridiculously out of touch.  Mission Accomplished?

ACTION OF THE MONTH
Help push President Obama to sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose political contributions. All it takes is the stroke of a pen and we need to make him do it! 

Call (1-855-980-5638), tweet about it and share this graphic!

 

 

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