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Government Ethics
Big Picture
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President Trump at Saturday's poorly attended campaign kickoff rally in Tulsa, Okla.

Trump’s latest baseless claim about mail voting sows doubts that could help him

Voting rights groups, good-governance advocates, independent fact checkers and Democratic operatives are working to repel President Trump's latest salvo against voting by mail: His unsubstantiated assertion that foreign governments plan to flood the country with bogus ballots to rig the results and create "the scandal of our times."

The bogus claim intensifies the president's campaign in recent months to sow doubt about the integrity of the November election — mimicking the sort of disinformation campaigns Russia mounted in 2016 and several foreign adversaries are working on now.

And his efforts to undermine the electorate's confidence in the system, under upheaval as states scramble to accommodate a voting-by-mail surge because of the coronavirus, ignores years of work by states to successfully safeguard against fraud, which now includes tracking systems to connect each ballot with a singular voter.

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Big Picture
Unbreaking America: Justice for Sale

New film argues political corruption prevents criminal justice reform

Griffiths is the editor of Independent Voter News.

Current events have turned everyone's attention to the nation's criminal justice system. Most Americans agree that the system is broken. Yet, in a new "Unbreaking America" film, RepresentUs makes the case that the criminal justice system remains broken because the broken U.S. political system keeps it that way.

"Even though crime rates across the U.S. are going down, America locks up seven times more people now than we did in 1970," actor and RepresentUs Cultural Council member Omar Epps says in the opening. "We, as Americans, put more people behind bars than any other nation in the world — both as a percentage of population and in total numbers."

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Government Ethics
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Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, announced that he will introduce legislation on Thursday to boost protections for the network of inspectors general which identify wrongdoing within federal agencies.

Grassley steps up to Trump with new bill protecting inspectors general

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, a longtime champion of government oversight, plans to introduce legislation Thursday to strengthen the inspectors general system in the wake of several firings by President Trump.

While Grassley is usually supportive of Trump's positions, he had become increasingly dissatisfied with the president's removal of IGs, putting a hold on several presidential nominations to force the administration to provide more detailed explanations for the dismissals.

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Government Ethics
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A new report from Issue One Action shows how the wealthy special interests have spread their influence under the Trump administration.

The D.C. swamp has gotten swampier under Trump, report finds

Four years after Donald Trump campaigned on "draining the swamp," wealthy special interests wielding power in Washington have only become more pervasive.

Spotlight on the Swamp, a new project launched last week by the bipartisan advocacy group Issue One Action, details how lobbying activity and spending has increased during the Trump administration, the "pay to play" system has persisted and D.C.'s ethical standards have fallen. (Issue One Action is affiliated with Issue One, which is incubating — but has no editorial say in — The Fulcrum.)

With the November election 20 weeks away, and Americans grappling with the compounded crises of Covid-19 and racial injustice, efforts to make the system more equitable and representative for everyone have become even more crucial.

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