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Courtesy Nabilah Islam

Nabilah Islam ran for a House seat in Georgia last year, despite lacking both a living wage and health insurance.

Are health care and a living wage too much for congressional candidates to ask?

Rotman is director of money in politics and ethics for Common Cause, one of the nation's oldest democracy reform advocacy organizations. From 2006 to 2011 she was the first director of Connecticut's public campaign financing program and before that was deputy general counsel of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

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Ahead of the Senate runoffs in January, True the Vote coordinated with the Georgia GOP on election integrity initiatives.

Georgia GOP, conservative nonprofit face campaign finance complaint

The Georgia Republican Party and a conservative nonprofit have come under scrutiny for allegedly violating federal campaign finance law during the state's Senate runoff elections in January.

A pair of good-government groups, the Campaign Legal Center Action and Common Cause Georgia, filed a complaint Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that True the Vote, which says its mission to restore confidence in elections by combating voter fraud, illegally coordinated with the Georgia Republican Party ahead of the runoffs.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, True the Vote is prohibited from donating directly or indirectly to a political committee. Because it coordinated with the Georgia GOP, the complaint alleges, both parties violated campaign finance rules.

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Because ... 2020.

Think you know how democracy fared in 2020? Test yourself.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic calamity will be remembered as the top stories of the year along with an extraordinarily contentious presidential contest — which faced extra challenges from Covid-19 and the incumbent president's unprecedented crusade to discredit American democracy. But the system survived, even as it got set back in some ways and improved at the margins in others.

How well do you remember the big moments in the world of democracy reform this past year? Take this quiz to find out.


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Shana Broussard at her confirmation hearing last month. The Senate voted Wednesday to make her the first ever Black member of the Federal Election Commission.

Senate votes mean campaign finance agency can tackle 446-case backlog

The already minimalist regulation of federal campaign money can resume, after it was suspended for almost the entirety of the 2020 campaign, because three new members of the Federal Election Commission were confirmed Wednesday.

The Senate voted 92-4 to make Shana Broussard, a veteran FEC attorney, the first Black commissioner since the agency was created almost half a century ago. A Democrat, she was tapped because federal law requires the commission to have partisan balance. The results fell along party lines for the Republicans put forward by President Trump: 49-47 for conservative think tank attorney Allen Dickerson and 50-46 for senior Senate aide Sean Cooksey.

The confirmations will allow the FEC to get back to work just in time for the start of the 2022 midterm campaign — but too late to have any meaningful role in by far the most expensive cycle ever. The cash poured into presidential and congressional races doubled from four years ago, to $14 billion.

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