Campaign finance reform comes to Washington and South Dakota

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Two new fronts have opened in the focus on campaign finance reform. In South Dakota and Washington state, activists are on the cusp of securing ballot positions for omnibus reforms to each state's campaign finance, ethics and lobbying laws. This is just the latest development in a years-long trend of tightening election law compliance standards. Thanks to…

New websites, apps seek to address campaign finance criticism

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Politics is moving online. Sen. Bernie Sanders waged a durable insurgent campaign for the Democratic nomination using online fundraising. Donald Trump, Republican candidate for the Presidency, has shown that Twitter has the power to replace TV commercials and radio ads as the most powerful form of political communication. Nationwide, candidates and their Political Action Committees have…

State’s attorney candidate faces big fines for campaign finance violations

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Running a campaign without controversy seems to be close to impossible in our current political climate. Each day a new story emerges recounting the plight of a politician or political action committee's mistakes with election law; encounters that leave campaigns bruised and sometimes broken (or just plain broke).That may end up being the case in…

PAC website takes aim at superdelegate system

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In a long and brutal election season, every weapon in the arsenal is brought to bear against the competition. That includes political action committee websites. These platforms represent a relatively new entrant to the political battleground, one that can prove incredibly potent under the right PAC management.Cheap, adaptable, and above all else, efficient, PAC websites…

Divided FEC allows donors to remain nameless

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Increasingly vocal criticism and public frustration have seemingly had little effect on the continuing stalemate plaguing the Federal Elections Commission. Split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, the commission has been deadlocked for years on a variety of campaign finance reform and election law compliance issues.Critics of the FEC were given more ammunition when in early March…

FEC makes legislative recommendations to Congress

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In late 2015, the Federal Election Commission issued seven legislative recommendations to Congress that had been unanimously agreed upon by the commission. Each of the recommendations - which included changes to filing, administrative fines and campaign prohibitions, among other issues - came with the intent to strengthen the campaign finance and election processes.While the potential…

Financial disclosure problems and their software solutions

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As one after another primary date passes, it seems that the proximity of the nation's biggest political contest is awakening lawmakers and citizens alike to the topic of campaign finance. Since this election cycle started, politicians and political action committees have drawn more scrutiny and fire than seemingly ever before.Put under such a microscope, it…

A New York legislator faces $28,000 in fines for alleged election law violations

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One common complaint from campaign finance reform advocates is that when state or federal agencies do actually decide to go after offenders of election law, they choose only low-level candidates or parties that play well in the media without ever sending a real message. The New York Board of Elections took that criticism to heart…