Citizens United

How Campaigns Indirectly Communicate With Outside Groups
It doesn't amount to illegal coordination, but candidates find ways to give instructions to their allies.

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland talks with reporters before the senate policy luncheons in the Capitol, in April 2015. Strickland is running for the Senate in Ohio. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Most of Ted Strickland's website is clearly designed for voters.   

And then there's the section labeled "OH Needs to Know." In it, readers are instructed on what kind of message "Ohioans still need to know" about Senate Democratic candidate's opponent, Sen. Rob Portman, noting the incumbent Republican's support of NAFTA and the number of job losses the state has suffered as a result of free-trade deals. It even includes links to newspaper stories backing up those claims.   

Democrats Hold Up SEC Nominations, Seek Campaign Spending Accountability
Sens. Schumer, Warren, Merkley, Menendez oppose nominees before banking panel

Charles Schumer said answers so far have been "gobbledygook." (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A vote on a pair of Securities and Exchange Commission nominees was postponed Thursday as Senate Democrats sought more clarity on how they would use their roles to force more accountability on campaign financing.  

The SEC nominees, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, had been asked by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., to outline their positions on a proposed rule designed to require corporations to detail their political spending for investors.  

Protests Seek to Prod Congress on Political Money, Supreme Court
Liberal demonstrators to stake out Capitol in April

The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has spurred protests about the role of money in politics. (CQ Roll Call)

Activists from more than 100 progressive groups are mobilizing for demonstrations around the Capitol to prod Congress to pass legislation overhauling the campaign finance system, expand voting rights protections and to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.  

Organizers with the AFL-CIO, Public Citizen and People for the American Way plan rallies, protests, a sit-in and other acts of civil disobedience in coming weeks.  

Iowans Less Likely to Vote for Grassley for Holding Up Nominee
Most voters think president and Senate should fill Supreme Court vacancy now

Grassley, seen above speaking at a presidential campaign stop in Iowa, may face a credible Democratic challenger in November. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there's a face besides Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's behind Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on a President Barack Obama Supreme Court nominee, it's Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  

Since Antonin Scalia's death, polling has showed a majority of American voters don't like the idea of Congress refusing to hold hearings. Iowans are no exception. A new poll conducted for End Citizens United PAC from March 7 through 9 and obtained first by Roll Call found that 58 percent of likely general election voters in the Hawkeye State believed it is the responsibility of the president and the Senate to fill the court vacancy now. According to the survey, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and Normington Petts and Associates on both land lines and mobile phones, 47 percent of Iowa voters said they were somewhat less likely to support Grassley after hearing that "Grassley has joined with other Republican senators in refusing to hold these hearings, effectively stopping the confirmation process before there is a nominee." Among voters age 60 and older, 61 percent said they would be less likely to support Grassley.  

McConnell Hints at Prolonged Campaign Finance Debate

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are facing the prospect of Republicans voting to prolong debate on a campaign finance constitutional amendment, a move that could interfere with Democrats' plans for a barrage of pre-election votes on issues from student loans to the minimum wage to equal pay for women.  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has already scheduled a Monday evening vote to cut off debate on taking up a proposal sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. to amend the constitution to effectively overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which threw out many limits on campaign spending on First Amendment grounds. Republicans vehemently oppose the amendment and it seemed, at least at the outset, that Democrats were planning for a quick defeat.  

Reid, McConnell to Testify at Campaign Finance First Amendment Hearing

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Next week's Senate Judiciary hearing on campaign finance and the First Amendment will be getting some extra firepower.  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to make a highly unusual appearance, testifying before the Judiciary Committee next week on the issue of political donations and freedom of speech.  

Senate Will Vote on Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment, Schumer Says

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats plan to vote to amend the Constitution to upend recent Supreme Court decisions tossing federal laws restricting campaign contributions.  

That vote will take place at some point this year, news that was set to be announced at a Rules and Administration hearing on campaign finance policy.