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Christian magazine endorses House Democrats’ HR 1

The House Democratic political process overhaul bill has secured the endorsement of The Christian Century, a magazine widely regarded as the most prominent voice for progressive American mainline Protestants.

"Assuring all citizens access to the ballot box was once – within living memory – a bipartisan pursuit," the magazine said in an editorial posted Monday. "Given that legacy, the voting rights provisions of the For The People Act introduced in Congress in January should be uncontroversial."

The editorial touted provisions in the measure, dubbed HR 1, that would expand early voting, ease voter registration, restore voting rights to felons and make Election Day a federal holiday. The legislation seems guaranteed of passage in the newly Democratic House but likely without any votes from Republicans. At a minimum they object to federalizing the administration of elections, which has historically been left to the states, but some in the GOP have also openly derided the bill as a "power grab" designed to tilt the electorate to the left.

"If the prospect of more people going to the polls makes any politicians uneasy, they might consider what that says about their own commitment to serving the welfare of all," the editors wrote.

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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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