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Learn About Corruption in Politics and How to Fix It

Organizers: RepresentUs and American Promise

A joint meeting hosted by Represent New Jersey and American Promise to educate people about how dark money influences and corrupts our government. At this meeting, you will learn:

  • What Dark Money is and how it influences our elections
  • Why public support has little effect on what laws are passed
  • How we can fix it!

This event is a great chance to get familiar with how Dark Money works and begin your journey in this movement!

Location: Washington Township Library, 37 E Springtown Rd., Long Valley, NJ

Big Picture
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden released a campaign finance and ethics reform proposal Monday, ahead of the fourth Democratic presidential debate.

Biden backs some, but hardly all, of democracy reform agenda in time for debate

Just in time for the first presidential debate of the fall, Joe Biden has laid out a plan for improving government ethics and campaign finance regulation that adds more substance to a democracy reform agenda he hasn't been very vocal about.

But the former vice president's package still does not come close to the expansiveness or specificity of the "good government" proposals of Elizabeth Warren, who currently stands near Biden as the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, or the other top-tier presidential candidates.

Whether these issues get any air time when a dozen of the candidates meet Tuesday night is an open question, however. To the dismay of democracy reform advocates, and in defiance of polling that shows fixing the system's brokenness is among the voters' top desires, the issue received only minimal attention in the three debates so far.

One reason may be that the debate moderators have chosen to emphasize the differences among the candidates on the most prominent issues likely to define President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, and the dozen Democrats on stage in Ohio stand in broad agreement on most of the top proposals for improving democracy.

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erhui1979/Getty Images

New Jersey's​ dark money law delayed

The donors behind New Jersey's most politically influential groups will remain a mystery indefinitely after a federal judge hit the pause button on a law that would have outed such "dark money" actors.

Set to go into effect later this month, the law would have required social welfare nonprofits and other nonprofit political organizations to disclose donors that gave more than $10,000 as well as spending related to elections and other political activity that exceeded $3,000. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the measure into law in June, despite previously vetoing the bill and calling it unconstitutional.

Soon after the governor signed the bill, though, Americans for Prosperity — a libertarian group funded by the Koch family, who would be affected by these new disclosure requirements — sued the state, arguing the law violated the First Amendment and targeted certain groups over others.

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Tomasz Zajda/EyeEm/Getty Images

Watchdog allowed to sue dark money group while FEC's in limbo

The campaign finance watchdog CREW has been given unique permission to pursue one of its longstanding targets in federal court rather than through the habitually deadlocked and currently neutered Federal Election Commission.

The group, formally Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has complained for years to the FEC about the right-leaning American Action Network. The watchdogs allege the conservative group has routinely been spending millions to back Republican candidates and has violated federal election law by failing to register as a political committee and comply with donor disclosure rules.

The FEC has dismissed the case twice. The first time, CREW followed the normal procedures and sued the agency in federal court in hopes of a reversal, which did not happen. After the second dismissal by the regulators, CREW sued AAN directly.

On Monday, Judge Christopher Cooper of U.S. District Court in Washington said the litigation could go forward, declaring it was the first time a "citizen suit" of this kind has gone forward since the agency was created 45 years ago.

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