News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.
Newsletter

FEC can't help Kentucky GOP because of ... Kentucky’s McConnell

News

FEC can't help Kentucky GOP because of ... Kentucky’s McConnell

The Kentucky Republican Party is alleging campaign finance wrongdoing by a radio host considering a longshot bid for Mitch McConnell's Senate seat. But the complaint won't ever get answered without the help of the Senate majority leader himself.

That's because the case has been filed with the Federal Election Commission, which is now into its third month without the minimum membership necessary to begin even the most routine enforcement proceedings. And the reason for that is Kentucky's own McConnell. He views the FEC that regulates best is the one that regulates least, and so he's bottled up the nomination that would give the agency a four-person quorum.

Keep reading...

Ohio GOP candidate faces week's most notable vote fraud charge

Two Republicans have been charged with distributing phony sample ballots in an Ohio city. The purported small-town crimes are misdemeanors but still stand as the most prominent allegations of election fraud so far in this off-year election.

GOP officials lambasted the timing of the charges as despicable. But the top prosecutor in the case says the law was clearly violated.

The incident is also a reminder that — while President Trump has made repeated, emphatic and unsubstantiated allegations about widespread voter fraud by the Democrats in 2016 and other contests — election malfeasance is a bipartisan problem and the biggest instance of election tampering in the 2018 midterm was perpetrated by Republicans, prompting the do-over of a North Carolina congressional race.

Keep reading...

Meet the reformer: Justin Giboney, who wants to put more Gospel into politics

In the 13 years since earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, where he played football as an undergraduate, Justin Giboney has been an attorney and political strategist in Atlanta. Two years ago he founded the And Campaign, which uses the logo (&) and describes itself as a coalition of urban Christians seeking to infuse American political culture with the Gospel. His answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

What's the tweet-length description of your organization?

A Christian civic organization that helps believers engage politics more faithfully through a framework that emphasizes the compassion and conviction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Describe your very first civic engagement.

My father took me up to the Colorado state Capitol to watch the legislative process.

Keep reading...

Debate

Better governance through crowd sourcing

"Digital technology makes it easier for larger groups of people to inform themselves about, and participate in, potential solutions to public problems," argues Bernd Reiter of University of South Florida.

Community

Represent Charlotte City Council Strategy Session

If you live in Charlotte, NC, join RepresentUs at the Charlotte City Council strategy session on Nov. 12 where they'll be considering anti-gerrymandering resolution.

News. Community. Debate. Levers for better democracy.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter.

Congress
Getty Images

Republican Tom Graves (left) and Democrat Derek Kilmer lead the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which demonstrated unanimous support for all of its proposal to the full House of Representatives.

Panel charged with fixing Congress is given another year to try

The House has rewarded its special "fix Congress committee" for its wholly bipartisan and relatively productive first year by extending its life for another year, giving the panel time to tackle some of the more contentious problems on its watch list.

With polarization, dysfunction and gridlock now Capitol Hill's three defining characteristics, the panel was created in January to set the stage for different behaviors to germinate — by proposing how the House could become a more efficient, transparent and up-to-date place for members to pass bills and conduct oversight, and for staffers to help them.

The idea is that it's essential for Congress to get back some of the capacity, stature and muscle ceded in recent decades to the president and the courts — and thereby recalibrate the balance of powers at the heart of a thriving federal republic.

Keep reading... Show less

Residents of Texas may register to vote when they apply for or renew a driver's license in person, but not online. A lawsuit that had been intended to change that was thrown out by an appeals court.

Online voter registration ban in Texas survives in federal court

A federal appeals court has blocked a lower court ruling that had opened the door to online voter registration in Texas.

The decision is a setback for advocates of easing access to the ballot box. They contend the nation's second-most-populous (and increasingly purple) state is being improperly strict in its interpretation of a federal law requiring states to give residents an opportunity to register when they apply for or renew driver's licenses.

But the ruling is not necessarily the final word on easing voter registration in Texas.

Keep reading... Show less