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In Fight Over Right To Repair Equipment, Farmers Are Outspent 28-to-1

June 06, 2017 | dark money watch | Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

This story was published in partnership with Civil Eats. When Tom Schwarz was growing up on his family’s 2,500-acre Nebraska produce farm and their International tractor broke down, fixing it was pretty simple. “You bought a new part,” said Schwarz, 58. “Or, you bought a used part. You replaced what was broken, and you moved … Continue reading “In Fight Over Right To Repair Equipment, Farmers Are Outspent 28-to-1”

Is There A Gas Line Near Your House? How Anadarko Petroleum Killed A Bill Forcing Fossil Fuel Companies To Tell Homeowners

May 19, 2017 | Dark Money Watch | Andrew Perez and David Sirota

Anadarko, an oil company that fought a bill that would tell Colorado homeowners how close they live to oil and gas operations, also funded a dark money group that helped Colorado Republicans preserve their majority in the state Senate. May 17, 2017 – Days after a gas line linked to an Anadarko Petroleum well ignited … Continue reading “Is There A Gas Line Near Your House? How Anadarko Petroleum Killed A Bill Forcing Fossil Fuel Companies To Tell Homeowners”

Long Overlooked, Case That Laid Foundation For Citizens United Marks Tenth Anniversary

April 28, 2017 | dark money watch | Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

When talking about large amounts of money flooding elections, one landmark Supreme Court case is generally cited as the cause: Citizens United.  The 2010 ruling allowed corporations to spend unlimited money in elections, provided they didn’t coordinate their expenditures with a candidate. Yet Citizens United didn’t happen in a vacuum; its foundation was laid in … Continue reading “Long Overlooked, Case That Laid Foundation For Citizens United Marks Tenth Anniversary”

Dozen Instances of “Dysfunction and Deadlock” Cases Spurred FEC Member’s Resignation

March 17, 2017 | dark money watch | Frank Bass and Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

The Federal Election Commission’s reputation as the “Failure to Enforce Commission” took another hit last month when Commissioner Ann Ravel resigned, blasting the panel in a scathing, 25-page report. While Ravel’s resignation leaves the commission with one vacancy and five members whose terms have expired, the Democrat said the agency’s dysfunction had reached the point … Continue reading “Dozen Instances of “Dysfunction and Deadlock” Cases Spurred FEC Member’s Resignation”

Contraceptive Makers Helped Elect Republican Congress Ready To Defund Planned Parenthood

March 02, 2017 | MapLight | Andrew Perez

Leading manufacturers of birth control pills and contraceptive devices helped elect Republican lawmakers eager to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to a MapLight review of federal campaign finance data. Through their own political action committees, the six firms provided a combined $1.9 million in direct support to GOP House and Senate candidates during … Continue reading “Contraceptive Makers Helped Elect Republican Congress Ready To Defund Planned Parenthood”

FEC Member Quits, Citing “Free Pass” for Campaign Finance Violators in Scathing Report

February 19, 2017 | MapLight | Frank Bass

Major campaign finance violations “are swept under the rug and the resulting dark money has left Americans uninformed about the sources of campaign spending,” a Federal Election Commission member wrote in a scathing report released with her resignation letter. Ann Ravel, an FEC member appointed to the six-member regulatory panel in 2013 by former President … Continue reading “FEC Member Quits, Citing “Free Pass” for Campaign Finance Violators in Scathing Report”

U.S. Churches Shouldn’t Play Politics

February 08, 2017 | Bloomberg | Opinion
President Donald Trump has promised to eliminate a longstanding prohibition on political campaigning by religious organizations. It’s a bad idea, and the devout should be first in line to oppose it.
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