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Issue One

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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Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge ranks among the leading Republicans who support voting by mail.

GOP support for mail voting is growing, but hard to hear over Trump

President Trump's increasingly hyperbolic attacks on voting by mail, amplified by Attorney General William Barr and the Republican National Committee, have triggered alarms that the country is heading toward another contested election.

Trump appears to be gearing up to cast doubt on an outcome that doesn't go his way. Primaries marred by hours-long lines, voting machine malfunctions and controversies over absentee ballots have many bracing for a meltdown starting Election Day. A much bigger surge of mailed-in votes in November virtually guarantees the results won't be known for days, setting the stage for a crisis in voter confidence if the results are close enough to be challenged, as happened in 2000.

Yet for all that, voting rights advocates mobilizing to secure the election and neutralize Trump's divisive voting rhetoric have surprising and influential allies in their corner: many leading Republicans.

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Democracy reform groups seize time of racial protest to press their cause

A week of escalating and violent protest against racial injustice has prompted democracy reform groups to start uniting behind a message that resonates with their own goals.

Responding to the wave of demonstrations against the deaths of black people killed by police, many of these organizations are reaching out to declare unequivocal support for the marchers. But their statements, which grew in volume Monday, are also seeking to connect the furious urgency of the moment to the pursuit of their sometimes more esoteric sounding agenda.

Achieving racial justice and fixing all that's broken with governance and politics are two sides of the same pursuit, they say. Giving all Americans an equal standing is a prerequisite to securing a democracy that works for all voters, but reducing the current imbalance in democratic power is at the same time a prerequisite for giving all voices a chance to be heard.

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A party-line vote in the Republican Senate put conservative Texas attorney Trey Trainor on the Federal Election Commission.

Campaign watchdog agency can reopen — but has no new ability to function

After 262 days in limbo, the Federal Election Commission can operate again. But a toxic mix of partisanship and the agency's own rules provides little hope the campaign finance regulator will soon function.

The doors can symbolically reopen because the Senate voted Tuesday, 49-43 along party lines, to confirm conservative Texas attorney Trey Trainor as a commissioner — ending the longest period ever when the panel lacked the four-person quorum required to conduct business.

But it also takes four votes to do anything consequential. And the even partisan split Trainor creates means the FEC is returning to its life for the past decade — at an impasse on almost every question about enforcing the limited laws of money in politics. The persistent deadlock is one of the main reasons the campaign finance system is derided by critics as out of control.

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Citizen Leaders Book Club With Neal Simon

Organizer: American Promise

Neal Simon, author of the newly released book "Contract to Unite America, Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic," joins American Promise to kick of the new Citizen Leaders Book Club. Each quarter, we'll read a new book, and then meet together online with the author. We are pleased to be joined by some of our partners in the non-partisan reform movement – Issue One, Unite America, the Congressional Management Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and others.

As a four-time CEO and independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Neal will share insights gained from his political campaign on how the next era of American politics is being shaped by citizen-led reform movements – including American Promise's constitutional amendment. This is an interactive call and questions will be welcome.

Location: Virtual

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