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Government Ethics
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"The issue at hand is whether Trump committed crimes grave enough to warrant his removal from office," writes Erica Etelson.

The one question every American can ask themselves about impeachment

Etelson is a member of Better Angels, a citizens group fighting political polarization, and the author of "Beyond Contempt: How Liberals Can Communicate Across the Great Divide."

In my one-year retrospective last month on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, I observed that partisan bias played a huge role in whether one believed nominee Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford. Extreme partisan disparity is evident once again in public opinion polls concerning impeachment.

Eighty-seven percent of Democrats and 23 percent of Republicans approve of Congress launching an impeachment inquiry, according to a September 26-27 YouGov poll commissioned by CBS News. Likewise, when asked whether Trump's handling of Ukraine is "typical — a thing most presidents do" or "unusual — something few have done," 71 percent of Republicans but just 15 percent of Democrats say it is typical.

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Big Picture
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"For Trump, impeachment is likely, removal is dubious, and a re-election campaign is all but certain," write Kristen Nyman and Anthony Marcum.

Three impeachment scenarios dangerous for democracy

Nyman is a government affairs specialist and Marcum is a governance fellow at the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.

Imagine the following: Early next year the House of Representatives impeaches President Trump. One of these three scenarios is likely to follow.

Behind curtain number one, the president is acquitted at the subsequent trial in the Senate. He then takes the stage in Charlotte, N.C., to accept the Republican nomination for president in 2020.

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State regulators dropping an inquiry into the political giving of retiring state Rep. Deborah Boone sparked changes to Oregon's campaign finance governance.

Oregon vows to wake up its campaign finance investigators

Oregon officials have announced efforts to strengthen enforcement of campaign finance laws after reporting from the state's largest newspaper found the supposed election watchdog sleeping on the job.

The Oregonian reported last week on the case of a state House member, Democrat Deborah Boone, allegedly laundering campaign contributions by accepting donations after she announced her retirement last year and then making gifts to several candidates for the Legislature at the direction of her donors. But the state's campaign finance agency, called the Elections Division, dropped its investigation this summer as soon as Boone denied she'd done anything improper.

On Tuesday, GOP Secretary of State Bev Clarno and other state officials promised to review the state's campaign finance investigation process, with plans to revamp the system.

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Government Ethics

A new report from the Coalition for Integrity scored states based on the transparency of their ethics enforcement.

Report: Few states shine in their transparency of ethics enforcement

Only a handful of states earned high marks in a new report analyzing the enforcement power and transparency of state ethics agencies.

The researchers behind "Enforcement of Ethics Rules by State Agencies" surveyed 2018 enforcement statistics for every state ethics agency and scored states by how well those agencies made their actions publicly available. The study was released last week by the nonprofit Coalition for Integrity, which works to combat corruption in both governments and business.

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