The curious tale of the disappearing Election Day holiday bill
Making Election Day a new federal holiday has been one of the highest-profile parts of the Democrats' sweeping package for reforming elections, campaign finance and government ethics.
Plenty of prominent members of Congress such as Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is in his 13th term and a committee chairman, praised the holiday provision when the House debated the bill this spring.
The Associated Press mentioned the holiday language in stories about passage of the legislation, known as HR 1. So did CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Leading good-government advocacy groups, including Public Citizen, shined a light on the possibility of a holiday in praising the measure's advancement.
And what do all of them have in common? They all got it wrong.
Montanans advocating for political ad transparency are breathing a sigh of relief now that a federal appeals court has upheld their state's campaign disclosure mandate.
To counteract the unlimited political ad spending allowed by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, Gov. Steve Bullock pushed the requirement into law in 2015. He has ceaselessly promoted this accomplishment in his long-shot presidential campaign, citing it as evidence he's uniquely positioned in the giant Democratic field to extinguish dark money's influence in Washington.
The Montana law requires nonprofit organizations to register with the state as political committees and file disclosures if they spend $250 or more in the final two months of a campaign on advertising or mailers referring to a candidate, political party or ballot initiative. The educational and social welfare groups known as 501(c)(4)s, which usually evade disclosure requirements and are often behind dark money activity, are covered by the requirement.
Stacey Abrams, who lost her bid for the governorship of Georgia but gained national prominence in the process, is unveiling a multimillion-dollar campaign to support Democrats' voter protection efforts in next year's election.
Abrams planned to announce the initiative, called Fair Fight 2020, during her speech Tuesday at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades convention in Las Vegas.
The effort is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million and target 20 states, mostly battlegrounds in the Midwest and Southeast, according to news reports.
While pundits and politicians battle it out on television and Twitter, where does the average citizen go to weigh in on important issues? Evelyn Messinger of Digital Citizen wants to see a go-to place for voters to engage with each other — and leaders — around the troubles plaguing our democracy.
At the Iowa State Fair? Head over to the End Citizens United booth now through Aug. 18 to learn about campaign finance and how to make the system work for everyone, not just big donors.
The Federal Election Commission has once again punted on establishing rules for identifying who is sponsoring online political advertisements. Thursday marked the fourth consecutive meeting in which the topic fell to the wayside without a clear path forward.
FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub revived debate on the topic in June when she introduced a proposal on how to regulate online political ads. In her proposal, she said the growing threat of misinformation meant that requiring transparency for political ads was "a small but necessary step."
Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen and Commissioner Caroline Hunter put forth their own proposal soon after Weintraub, but the commissioners have failed to find any middle ground. At Thursday's meeting, a decision on the agenda item was pushed off to a later date.
Weintraub's proposal says the funding source should be clearly visible on the face of the ad, with some allowance for abbreviations. But Petersen and Hunter want to allow more flexibility for tiny ads that cannot accommodate these disclaimers due to space.
The California Supreme Court is fast-tracking its review of a challenge to a new law that would require President Trump to make public his tax returns in order to get on the state's ballot for the 2020 election.
A lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the law was filed August 6 by the California Republican Party against Secretary of State Alex Padilla. It claims the law violates California's constitution.
Two other challenges, one filed by Trump's personal lawyers, are pending in federal court.