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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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A cross-partisan coalition has been running a social media ad calling on Congress to fund election integrity efforts.

Stimulus has $400 million to make voting safer, no mandates to make it easier

States will get $400 million to make voting in the coronavirus presidential election easier and safer, but with almost no strings attached, under the massive economic recovery package unveiled Wednesday.

The pot of money in the nearly $2 trillion stimulus deal, on a fast track to pass the Senate by day's end with the House vote timetable uncertain, is the result of an unusually intense and coordinated lobbying campaign by some of the major players in the democracy reform movement.

While celebrating a rare victory for one of their causes, some groups nonetheless said they would seek much more money in what's likely to be another pandemic response package from Congress this spring. These groups warned the initial infusion of cash will prove insufficient to prevent justifiable anxiety about voting this fall, and that an absence of any legislative mandates will allow too much of the grant money to get spent unwisely.

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One-time CIA Director Porter Goss was one of nine former members of Congress to sign a letter urging action to restore the FEC's quorum.

Fix the FEC quick, bipartisan group of former lawmakers pleads

With the Federal Election Commission ending its fifth month out of commission, an unusually bipartisan group of departed members of Congress says enough is enough.

Two former senators and seven former House members — five Republicans and four Democrats — pressed the Senate leadership Thursday to confirm new members of the commission right away, so that it can revive oversight of campaign donations and spending in this year's presidential and congressional campaigns.

The group joins coalitions of good-government groups and campaign finance lawyers who have issued similar appeals in recent weeks. But President Trump and Senate leaders are showing no signs of breaking their impasse and allowing the FEC to get back to work. It has been effectively shut down for lack of a quorum since Labor Day.

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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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