campaign finance

  Money in politics — it’s widely cited as one of democracy’s biggest ills.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from the second district, concludes his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

 

Americans love prohibitions rather than investments. That’s tragic because prohibitions often work poorly while investments pay off.

  Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. 

In Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It , Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day.

Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont State Police will meet with federal authorities Friday to determine if an investigation is warranted, and who would have jurisdiction, regarding allegations of criminal misconduct by Vermont’s Attorney General.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo continues to say that he will propose major reforms in the New Year, in the wake of the conviction of the two top legislative leaders on multiple corruption charges. But the governor, in a radio interview, says there’s only so far that he can go to reign in campaign donations.

  Congressman Chris Gibson of New York’s 19th District is exploring the possibility of running for Governor of New York in 2018. 

In today’s Congressional Corner he speaks with Alan Chartock about some important things to be considered before he makes a decision. 

  Gary Hart is an American politician and a former Colorado senator, serving in Congress from 1975 to 1987.

His new book, The Republic of Conscience, is a meditation on the growing gap between the founding principles of the United States Constitution and our current political landscape.

Campaign finance reports were due at the Vermont Secretary of State’s office Wednesday. While many candidates have yet to gear up for the 2016 campaign — which features a rare open gubernatorial seat — there a few are aggressively fundraising for the state’s top offices.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

A former member of the Vermont House of Representatives will review campaign finance complaints against the state's attorney general.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell is rejecting a request that he appoint an independent counsel to investigate allegations that he has violated Vermont's campaign finance laws.

The Vermont Attorney General's office has filed a civil lawsuit claiming the publicly-financed candidate in last year’s race for lieutenant governor committed campaign finance violations. Now, the former candidate has filed a countersuit.

Vote sign
wikipedia commons

The Vermont Attorney General  has filed a civil lawsuit against the losing candidate in last fall’s Lieutenant Governor’s campaign.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned aside a challenge to Vermont's campaign finance law, ending a five-year legal battle.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Attorney General William Sorrell calls it a good day for Vermont. That's his reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court turning aside a challenge to Vermont's campaign finance law, letting a lower court's decision stand.

Comptroller DiNapoli.
Photo by Pat Bradley

 An experimental public campaign finance system for the state Comptroller’s race has fizzled, after the lone candidate who applied for the program failed to meet the minimum threshold to obtain the public monies.

The pilot public campaign financing program was limited to just the state Comptroller’s race as part of a state budget deal.

It was widely condemned at the time by reform groups as fatally flawed. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group called it “cynical.”

The test of public campaign financing in the New York comptroller race has proved ineffective, with the incumbent declining to participate and the challenger falling short of the thresholds that would parlay his $200,000 into $1.2 million.

Republican Robert Antonacci has raised more than $200,000 so far, meeting the minimum required to receive 6-to-1 state funding for his bid to become the state's chief financial officer.

But about $50,000 of that comes from donations greater than $175, too large to be counted.

America’s campaign finance system has been awful for many years.  But thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, that bad situation has gotten worse.  In its landmark decision Citizen United, the Court ruled that corporations have the same free speech rights as flesh and blood human beings.  As such, corporations can spend as much as they want on elections, as long as such spending is not coordinated with a candidate.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Candidates, political action committees and parties in Vermont were required to file updated campaign finance reports Tuesday. Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin’s account is far ahead of his key challenger, while the lieutenant governor’s race is competitive.
Steve Johnson/Flickr

Republican candidate for governor, Scott Milne of Pomfret has logged contributions of more than $20,000 for his campaign this reporting period.

Flickr/Andrew Magill

A Hudson Valley congresswoman has added her name to co-sponsors of a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics.

Following recent federal court decisions, New York's Board of Elections says the $150,000 limit on state campaign donations by an individual will no longer be enforced . That means an individual, or limited liability corporation, with deep pockets can contribute to as many statewide and state legislative candidates, political parties and advocacy groups as they wish, subject only to the recipients' restrictions.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Vermont’s Attorney General has issued an opinion following confusion over the implementation start of new campaign finance law.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell says the state's campaign finance contribution limits will remain the same through the end of the year.

Karen DeWitt

New York Democrats pressing for bills to reform the state’s campaign finance system, say the US Attorney’s investigations into a panel controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo might help spur action on their measures.

    The Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision echoed 2010’s Citizens United case.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that campaign finance reform is now highly unlikely at the presidential level.

[WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas]

The U.S. Supreme Court Decision McCutcheon v FEC, striking down some campaign donation limits, is expected to have an effect in New York. Reform advocates say Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers missed a key chance this week to counteract the ruling.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck a limit on the total amount individuals can donate to political campaigns. In a hastily organized protest, about a half-dozen people held placards at one of Plattsburgh’s busiest intersections.

4/3/14 Panel

Apr 3, 2014

    

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany professor and Investigative Journalist Rosemary Armao and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus, Ira Fusfeld.

Topics include:
Fort Hood
SCOTUS Political Donation Cap
Campaign spending polls
ACA Numbers
Texas Abortion lawsuit

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Campaign finance reports were required to be filed this week at the Vermont Secretary of State’s office. The March filing shows that there are no Republican challengers to any of the Democratically-held statewide elected officers.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

An attempt to delay implementation of Vermont’s new campaign finance law has been forestalled by the Vermont House.

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