April 18, 2014

Rules of the Game Archive

Will McCutcheon Ruling Boost Political Parties?

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus could hardly contain his glee during a conference call with reporters shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to strike the aggregate limit on campaign contributions.

Supreme Court Rejects Aggregate Contribution Limits

Updated, 11:45 a.m. | In a long-awaited ruling in the case known as McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court today struck the aggregate limit on campaign contributions as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

Christie's Contractors: Backers Barred From Donating Found Loophole

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may manage to put the George Washington Bridge scandal behind him, but even if he does, his ethics troubles won’t be over.

Democrats' Anti-Koch Attacks Have a Familiar Ring

There is an oddly familiar ring to Democrats’ escalating attacks on the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.

Firewall Between Candidates and Super PACs Breaking Down | Rules of the Game

When the Supreme Court deregulated independent political spending four years ago, the court reasoned that unrestricted money posed no corruption risk because a firewall separates candidates from their outside benefactors.

Will McCutcheon Replay Citizens United? | Rules of the Game

Four years after the Supreme Court deregulated independent campaign spending in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the high court is poised to yet again turn American elections upside down.

The Year in Political Money: Less Transparency, More Deregulation | Rules of the Game

Campaign spending trends were not as sensational this year as in 2012, when super PACs and other outside groups pumped more than $1 billion into politics, three times what they spent in the previous presidential election cycle.

Blame the IRS or Fix It? | Rules of the Game

When Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., launched his hearings into improper IRS targeting of tea party groups, some voiced hope that the probe would shed light not just on what went wrong at the IRS but on how to fix it.

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Senators Touting Transparency Should Look in the Mirror | Rules of the Game

Senators on both sides of the aisle have demanded transparency lately from a growing list of government agencies: the State Department, the Justice Department, the IRS, the National Security Agency.

Rules of the Game: Lame-Duck FEC Invites Scofflaws

Already short one officer, the Federal Election Commission will soon have a dubious distinction: As of April 30, all five of its remaining commissioners will be serving expired terms.

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Rules of the Game: Hispanic Caucus Leverages Latino Power

The growing clout of Latino donors and voters has quietly boosted the fortunes of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has gained members, political leverage and fundraising power in the 113th Congress.

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Rules of the Game: Obama's Nonprofit Carries on Dubious Tradition

A Democratic rising star who campaigned on a platform of sweeping ethics changes draws fire once in power, after his top campaign donors bankroll a secretive nonprofit promoting his agenda.

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Rules of the Game: Sequester Spells Bitter K Street Failure

The seemingly inevitable sequester cuts that will slash $85 billion from the federal budget on Friday reflect not only Washington’s political paralysis but a bitter lobbying failure for K Street interests across the board.

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Rules of the Game: Democrats' Super PAC Promotion Signals Shift

A recent video starring seven House Democrats promoting the super PAC that helped elect them speaks volumes about how few rules constrain such political action committees — and how wholeheartedly Congress has embraced them.

Rules of the Game: Obama's Ethics Agenda Backfires

Four years after President Barack Obama promised to change the culture of Washington, it’s hard to imagine how his ethics, transparency and campaign finance pledges could have backfired more thoroughly.

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Rules of the Game: Unions Leveraging Election Day Wins

Unions buffeted at the state level are enjoying more success on Capitol Hill, where the fiscal cliff debate is shaping up as a key test of labor movement political clout.

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Bevy of Fixes Might Complicate Efforts To Reshape Campaign Finance System

Unrestricted spending in the 2012 elections has created tantalizing openings for advocates of overhauling the campaign finance system, but it’s also fueled a rush of competing remedies that might complicate attempts to rewrite the rules.