Here’s what I learned when I helped Stephen Colbert set up his Super PAC

It’s been five years since the Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United decision. The ruling gave rise to a complicated mess of super PACs, dark money, and “coordinated non-coordinated expenditures” — a world that likely surprised even the Supreme Court.

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Are U.S. rivals hacking the American electoral system? Why it’s impossible to know.

 

The Chinese government hacked into U.S. defense systems. What makes Americans think that the Chinese — or the Russians, the Iranians or other foreign interests — are not also hacking into U.S. elections?

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When it comes to money in politics, the Supreme Court lives in a different reality

The national elections since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — two midterms and one presidential — demonstrate a gaping disconnect between the justices’ reasoning in the opinion and the reality of how campaigns operate.

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An Important Victory in the Supreme Court

Monday, campaign finance reformers scored an important victory when the Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in Vermont Right to Life Comm. v. Sorrell.  The Court let stand a Second Circuit decision that held that an “independent” political committee must be truly independent to qualify for the right to receive unlimited individual contributions. The Second Circuit accepted the district court's fact-finding of extensive connections between the committee and candidates and other political groups, and therefore found that this committee was not entitled to operate outside the state contribution limits. This decision provides an important foundation to attempts to ensure that “Super PACs” remain independent of candidates and political parties as a condition for relief from limits on their fundraising – a requirement that has been ever more ignored in recent federal elections.

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The Uncovered Money & Politics Stories of 2014

Bill Moyers’ wrapped up 2014 in Money & Politics with a half-dozen brief commentaries from experts on the “Most Undercovered Stories” of the year.  Legal Center President Trevor Potter and Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert weighed in with their thoughts on foreign ‘dark money’ in our elections and the run of disclosure victories in courts around the country this year.

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