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Good Ole Mitch

End Citizens United releases ad critical of McConnell for not allowing vote on HR 1

A political action committee has launched a digital ad campaign attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not bringing House-passed government reform legislation to his chamber's floor.

The 30-second ad, titled "Good Ole Mitch," was released Tuesday by End Citizens United at a cost of $50,000.

The ad claims McConnell has a "long history of making sure politicians can be bought" and accuses him of opening "the floodgates for special interest money into our political system."

McConnell, the ad says, is now blocking consideration of the For the People Act. The comprehensive bill passed by the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Democrats, would strengthen ethics rules, expand voting rights and limit gerrymandering.

Campaign finance reform provisions in the legislation include establishing voluntary public financing for some campaigns, requiring super PACs and other groups to disclose their donors and supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which sanctioned unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions.

The measure, known as HR 1, passed in March on a party-line vote.

McConnell called the bill a "power grab to give Washington bureaucrats control over what American citizens can say about politics, how we can say it, and how we cast our ballots."

End Citizens United said the ad was the first of its campaign against McConnell during the 2020 election cycle.

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Open Government
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FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub

The struggle is real: FEC stalled on regulations for online political ads

The Federal Election Commission has once again punted on establishing rules for identifying who is sponsoring online political advertisements. Thursday marked the fourth consecutive meeting in which the topic fell to the wayside without a clear path forward.

FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub revived debate on the topic in June when she introduced a proposal on how to regulate online political ads. In her proposal, she said the growing threat of misinformation meant that requiring transparency for political ads was "a small but necessary step."

Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen and Commissioner Caroline Hunter put forth their own proposal soon after Weintraub, but the commissioners have failed to find any middle ground. At Thursday's meeting, a decision on the agenda item was pushed off to a later date.

Weintraub's proposal says the funding source should be clearly visible on the face of the ad, with some allowance for abbreviations. But Petersen and Hunter want to allow more flexibility for tiny ads that cannot accommodate these disclaimers due to space.

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Open Government
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California's Supreme Court is expediting President Trump's challenge to a new state law that would require him to release five years of tax returns in order to get on the state ballot for the 2020 election.

California court expedites Trump challenge to new tax returns requirement

The California Supreme Court is fast-tracking its review of a challenge to a new law that would require President Trump to make public his tax returns in order to get on the state's ballot for the 2020 election.

A lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the law was filed August 6 by the California Republican Party against Secretary of State Alex Padilla. It claims the law violates California's constitution.

Two other challenges, one filed by Trump's personal lawyers, are pending in federal court.

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