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It's A Free Country ®

IAFC's Guide to Candidates and Their Super PACs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Well, here we go.

A year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election ruling severely relaxed any prohibitions on the use of corporate and union money in elections, the implication of that ruling for the 2012 elections is becoming evident.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Like All These New Campaign Ads? Thank Justice Alito

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The biggest change to campaign finance law in America: Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. More redistricting maps look to be heading to court, which opens up questions about which judges should decide the questions — and if they have time to do it before the next election. And while Christie basks in national spotlight, Romney and Perry try to dial back fundraising expectations before filing deadline. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Christie's National Fundraising Swing

Monday, September 26, 2011

In a break from previous practice, the public gets to see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's out-of-state fundraising schedule, which comes at a time of intense presidential speculation (again). Who's paying for your new redistricted Congressional map? It's no easy to find out. And it's early, but small donors to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign say they're already planning to sit this one out. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Judge Orders Review of Hispanic Voting Power in Nevada

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nevada's Hispanic population is up by more than 80 percent, and Democrats and Republicans are arguing about how that should affect the Congressional map. Fundraising limits on recall campaigns reveal true motives of campaign finance reform, argues George Will. Nevada's  And Obama fundraisers go back to school. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: GOP Congressmen Worry about Pennsylvania Electoral College Plan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pennsylvania Republican Congressmen tell the state's GOP governor that they worry that could be collateral damage if the state abandons its all-or-nothing electoral college math. The state Supreme Court in Montana hears arguments today on the 100 year-old ban on corporate political spending. And as the Justice Department reviews South Carolina's new photo ID law, the state offers free rides to the DMV for voters who don't have the required identification. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Biggest Spending Corporations Disclose Less about Political Activity

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Twenty-two percent of S&P 100 corporations disclose "little or nothing" according to a new index of corporate political disclosure from Baruch College. And the ones that spend the most disclose less than others. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: GOP Touts Big August Fundraising Haul

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Republicans tout the best ever fundraising during an August in a nonelection year, while Democratic officials say it wasn't such a hot month for them. Bloomberg says he did not violate campaign finance laws in reelection bid. California Democrats say a consultant's Madoff-like scam have wiped out their campaign coffers. Emails show the White House was very interested in the timing of a pending federal loan approval for a solar panel manufacturer, particularly as a scheduled press appearance with the vice president neared. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Redistricting Leaves Some Feeling Frustrated and Friendless at Capitol

Monday, September 12, 2011

Independent groups and campaigns aren't supposed to coordinate, but Obama fundraisers cheer on president at campaign headquarters, then are invited to SuperPAC fundraiser that immediately followed. Redistricting is fraying nerves of anxious lawmakers in Washington, causing some intraparty friction. In Wisconsin, a state agency memo is fueling the argument that a new voter ID law is designed to suppress turnout. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Chris Christie & the Koch Brothers

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Audio recordings of Chris Christie's keynote at a private Koch Brothers fundraising session is causing political troubles for him back home, Wisconsin continues to wade through recall questions, and in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, Virginia and Maryland keep partisan powerbases intact as they redraw Congressional districts. All this and more in our daily look at the details that can change everything.

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The Empire

New rules will make it easier to know who spends what on NYC elections

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Anna Sale over at our WNYC sister site,It's a Free Country, posted a great piece about the news rules that require groups like unions and political action committees to disclose the money they spend on campaigns in the city. From the piece:

These disclosure rules that the public can see who's spending what, and on behalf of which candidate, in city elections, in a database like the one that already exists for candidate spending. One of the more parts of the rules is how the board distinguished between campaign activity and membership-building communications. For example, is a union mailing to members weeks before an election a campaigned expenditure that needs to be disclosed, or is it internal communication with members?

Check out the rest of the story here.

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It's A Free Country ®

New Rules Proposed for Independent Spending Disclosure in NYC Elections

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The public will know more about how unions, corporations, and other groups spend money independently to influence elections in New York City. The Campaign Finance Board voted out proposed rules today to implement disclosure for the first time of independent expenditures, a requirement approved by voters last November.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Texas Redistricting Challenge Ensnares Perry

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Latino voting rights groups and Congressional reps worried about losing their seats have sued Gov. Rick Perry and the state of Texas, challenging new district maps drawn up by the legislature. GOP contenders are coming to California to debate, and raise wads of cash, and NYC is trying to regulate 'independent spending.' All this and more in our daily look at the details that can change everything.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Branding 'No Labels' with Starbucks

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Political Junkie Calendar: Wednesday with GOP contenders, Thursday with Obama, Tuesday with Starbucks CEO?: The centrist political group No Labels has joined forces with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who's trying to organize corporate executives to withhold campaign contributions "until Washington reaches a fair, bipartisan deal on our country's long-term economic future." This call to join a conference call was helped by full-page ads in the The New York Times on Sunday and in USA Today on Tuesday. This pitch for bipartisanship, of course, will be followed by Republicans and Democrats making their own pitches. Given all the confusion last week, I'll make those details super-clear. The latest GOP debate at the Reagan library on Wednesday at 8pm and televised on NBC. Obama's jobs speech to Congress on Thursday starts at 7pm and will be over by the NFL season kickoff, the White House promises. (No Labels)

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Wisconsin Recalls 'the Most Negative Ever'

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Wisconsin Recalls 'the Most Negative Ever': It was clear the Wisconsin recall elections were a politically nasty affair, but now there are numbers to back it up. "Out of an estimated $12 million in campaign ads in these four markets, roughly 95% was spent on negative ads, 5% on positive ads," writes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert, citing a study by an ad-tracking firm. The findings prompted the paper to call for the state Supreme Court to uphold a rule requiring the groups funding all those ads to disclose where they're money is coming from. "If negative campaigning is the rule of the campaign trail, don't the citizens of the state have a right to know who is shoveling all that horse patooie? Of course they do," the paper editorialized. Oral arguments in that case are scheduled for next week. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Obama Campaign Opposes Ohio Early Voting Changes

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama Campaign Joins Effort Against Ohio Election Changes: Obama's campaign staff is bolstering a petition effort in Ohio to block enforcement of a law that shortens Ohio's early voting period, moves Ohio's primary up from May to March, and eliminates "the so-called "golden week" during which people could register to vote and cast ballots on the same day," reports  and moved next year's presidential primary to May from March," reports Ohio political reporter Marc Kovac. Republicans backed the bill and Governor John Kasich signed it, arguing that it was needed to make rules more uniform across counties. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process Is Political: A New, Regular Roundup

Monday, August 29, 2011

Through the 2012 election cycle, It’s A Free Country will keep a focus on the mechanics of elections, from voting rules, political party rules to redistricting to, of course, the money that fuels campaigns.

As part of that, we'll be keeping a regular eye on top-line news, undercovered stories, and opinion on our changing political process in a weekly roundup. As with most things around here, we welcome tips, thoughts, and fierce debate about whether any or all of this is good for our democracy. 

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WNYC News

Campaign Finance Board Penalizes Three Councilmembers

Friday, August 12, 2011

The City's Campaign Finance Board has levied penalties against three members of the City Council for campaign finance violations dating back to 2009.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama's Poorly Timed Fundraiser

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Obama's poorly timed fundraiser is worse than just bad optics. It's at the root of bad policy. It's a reminder of what our leaders need to do to get elected. When you see from whom they get support, it's no surprise who their decisions support.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Country ®

Explainer: Understanding Public Matching Funds Means Following the Money

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The election that will determine the next mayor of New York City may not be for two years still, but the fundraising has already begun. As the races heat up, one huge player in New York City election financing will be the public matching funds program. But what is that program exactly?

It's A Free Country breaks down the massive undertaking that is the New York City Campaign Finance Board's public matching funds program.

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The Empire

Where are the mayoral candidates raising their money?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Will John Liu be flush from Flushing? Is Christine Quinn collecting checks in Chelsea? Will De Blasio get bank rolled by Brooklyn?

The presumptive 2013 Democratic mayoral hopefuls have until 5pm today to submit their third financial statement to the Campaign Finance Board. With the help of WNYC's map guru John Keefe, the Empire is giving readers a visual way to look at where the candidates are raising funds. The deeper the shade, the more the money. We'll update the map as the numbers come in, and will be sure to post the raw figures as well. Dig in and let us know if you find anything!

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