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Issue One is the leading cross-partisan political reform group in Washington. We unite Republicans, Democrats, and independents in the movement to fix our broken political system. We believe we are uniquely positioned to seize this historic opportunity and win bold, national political reforms — to strengthen ethics laws, reduce the influence of big money on politics, modernize elections and end the pay-to-play culture in Washington. Our Reformers Caucus of more than 200 Republican and Democratic former members of Congress, Cabinet officials, and governors is the largest bipartisan coalition of its kind ever assembled to advocate for solutions to fix our democracy.

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Protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court on the day, 10 years ago, the Citizens United case was decided.

Five major reflections 10 years after Citizens United

Ten years ago exactly — on Jan. 21, 2010 — the Supreme Court gave the green light to unlimited political expenditures by corporations, labor unions and nonprofit groups. The decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which said curbs on such spending violated the First Amendment, fundamentally changed the way elections are financed today.

A decade later the majority opinion in Citizens United is labeled, more often than any other single thing, as the ultimate antagonist of the democracy reform movement. The ruling has become so infamous it's used as shorthand for a campaign financing system that gives lopsided political advantage to the wealthiest over everyday citizens, including for reasons that have nothing to do with that case. That said, however, the decision has permitted groups that are not affiliated with any candidate or political party to pour almost $4.5 billion into the subsequent campaigns for president and Congress — an astonishing six times the total for all such independent expenditures in the two previous decades.

The 10-year anniversary has campaign finance experts all along the ideological spectrum reflecting on what the decision has meant for American politics, and what changes to laws and regulations might withstand court challenges and limit the impact of Citizens United in the decade ahead — on the assumption the ruling is on the books for at least that much longer.

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Big Picture

TV stations fight FCC over political ad disclosure

Broadcasters are pushing back against the Federal Communications Commission after the agency made clear it wants broader public disclosure regarding TV political ads.

With the 2020 election less than a year away and political TV ads running more frequently, the FCC issued a lengthy order to clear up any ambiguities licensees of TV stations had regarding their responsibility to record information about ad content and sponsorship. In response, a dozen broadcasting stations sent a petition to the agency, asking it to consider a more narrow interpretation of the law.

This dispute over disclosure rules for TV ads comes at a time when digital ads are subject to little regulation. Efforts to apply the same rules for TV, radio and print advertising across the internet have been stymied by Congress's partisanship and the Federal Election Commission being effectively out of commission.

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Big Picture
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who tops the second tier of presidential candidates, is emphasizing democracy reform issues more than others seeking the Democratic nomination.

Klobuchar picks Georgia to do what rivals haven’t: Lean in to democracy reform agenda

A top issue on the democracy reform agenda — protecting elections against both disinformation and cyber hacking — is getting some unusual attention this week in the Democratic presidential campaign.

Amy Klobuchar, arguably at the top of the second tier of candidates given her rising support in Iowa, went to Atlanta on Monday to highlight her efforts in the Senate to enhance election security and to unveil some additional proposals.

The choice of location made sense for two reasons. She and nine other Democrats will meet in the city Wednesday night for their latest in a series of debates where the governing system's problems have so far received short shrift. And Georgia has emerged as the most prominent state where bolstering voting rights and election integrity have become a top priority of the Democratic establishment.

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The Honest Ads Act, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Mark Warner, would directly counter the tactics used throughout the 2016 election that led to more than 126 million Americans consuming disinformation. writes McGehee

Foreign interference in our elections is an American crisis

McGehee is executive director of Issue One, a cross-partisan political reform group. (It is incubating, but journalistically independent from, The Fulcrum.) She leads its Don't Mess With US project to stop foreign interference in our elections.

The debate around election security has been fierce and full of misinformation in recent days. Now that it's circled all the way back around to the cable news and pundit class, it is time to clear the air around what's quickly devolved into a partisan, points-scoring exercise.

Foreign interference is a national crisis, and stopping foreign interference is about the integrity of our elections, not political wins.

Remember: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and others don't see political party; they see weaknesses and vulnerabilities to exploit and divide our nation. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and we need a strong and unified response because they are working to weaken America as we speak. This impacts all of us.

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