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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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If all three pending nominations are confirmed, the FEC would have a full slate of commissioners for the first time since March 2017.

The FEC may be back in business — right after the $14 billion election's over

The already minimalist regulation of money in national politics, which has been completely suspended for more than a year, may get started again. But it won't be until after the end of a campaign fueled by an astonishing $14 billion in donations and spending, some of it questionable and none of it policed.

The Senate seems likely to confirm three new members of the Federal Election Commission during its lame duck session starting the second week of November, creating the quorum needed to mop up after the voting is over — and the ocean of money has been given to and spent by congressional and presidential candidates.

A record-long logjam at the FEC started to break Wednesday, when President Trump announced nominees to fill two of the seats: Republican senior congressional aide Sean Cooksey and Democratic senior agency attorney Shana Broussard.

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"Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture," said Dan Coats, who was President Trump's first director of national intelligence.

Bipartisan panel of elders launches $20 million election integrity effort

Presidential contests may be the ultimate exhibition of polarized partisanship, but efforts are bubbling up in several places to put a bit of smoothing bipartisan spin on this election and its potentially messy aftermath. Two new ones, one bold and one narrow, were unveiled Wednesday.

A group of more than 40 formerly prominent Republicans and Democrats declared themselves the National Council on Election Integrity. The group then announced a $20 million advertising campaign to reassure the country the election will be safe and secure despite the coronavirus pandemic — and hammer at the message that all votes should be tabulated before a winner is declared.

And young members of the Wisconsin Legislature unveiled a modest campaign of their own — underscoring that Republican and Democratic politicians are unified in the view that as many people as possible should vote early in that battleground state.

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Big Picture
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We need someone, perhaps Tom Ridge, to be the leading voice fighting the president's voter suppression efforts, writes Michael Golden.

A national voice to fight Trump's rogue election tactics: Coming soon?

Golden is the author of "Unlock Congress" (Why Not Books) and a senior fellow at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy. He is a member of The Fulcrum's editorial advisory board.
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Campaign finance loophole allows for foreign election interference, report finds

Businesses that finance super PACs could be exploited by foreigners who want to secretly and illegally spend millions to influence American elections, a campaign finance advocacy group warned Wednesday.

So long as they disclose their donors, super PACs are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts in support or opposition of candidates for president and Congress. But these donations too often come from opaque shell companies, Issue One said in a new study, obscuring the true source of the money and opening campaigns to even more interference by overseas adversaries.

A bipartisan nonprofit that advocates for a broad democracy reform agenda, Issue One says the remedy is more regulation of these shell companies. (The group operates but has no journalistic say over The Fulcrum.)

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