Morning Reads

– A diverse coalition of organizations is urging President Obama to sign an Executive Order to ban dark money.

– The Governmental Operations committee in Montgomery County, Maryland recommended funding its brand new Fair Elections program with $2 million.

– The New York Board of Elections split along party lines, leaving the so-called LLC loophole in campaign finance rules intact. In other news, the GOP co-chair of the board was replaced the night before the vote.

Campaign Finance

Still wondering why Doug Hughes flew is gyrocopter to the Capitol? Here’s the video explaining his mission to bring more attention to campaign finance reform.

The good news is that Hughes’ flight worked in the short term, campaign finance reform was mentioned over 3,000 times on broadcasts during Wednesday and Thursday.

Sarbanes op-ed: Restoring people’s faith in government
“Just imagine your representative in Washington standing in your living room, listening to your priorities and making policy decisions that benefit you — all because your voice matters. That’s the promise of a small-donor matching system.”

Here are some more stories on the LLC loophole from Capitol Confidential, Gotham Gazette,, Capitol Soup, and lohud.

Why investors should be worried about the 2016 election now
“Thanks to a loophole in our system, corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections without having to disclose any of it to their shareholders.”

Big money from super PAC is eroding the power of parties
“There’s no question that the new combination of unlimited super PAC contributions and online fund-raising has eroded the control of party elites over the last two decades.”

A snapshot of the campaign finance landscape
Three takeaways: early money for presidential candidates, congressional leadership reigns supreme and some members of Congress are hoarding cash.


Clinton campaign will accept donations from lobbyists and PACs
David Donnelly:”Americans should be much more interested in the proposals her campaign will share about how to address the problem of money in politics — and more importantly, what she’ll pledge to do to make those proposals a reality if elected.”

The irony is rich: Hillary Clinton might be progressives’ best hope at campaign finance reform
“If Congress won’t act, and a constitutional amendment is all but impossible, then the best and perhaps only chance at meaningful campaign finance reform during the next decade is likely to come from the Supreme Court. That can’t happen unless we have a reform-minded president in office the next time a conservative justice retires.”

The rise of Rubio
“Rubio’s candidacy, has at least three donors who have pledged $10 million or more to back their efforts.”

Congressman admits ‘private and personal’ affair with lobbyist
“House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster is dating a top lobbyist for the leading U.S. airline trade association, an organization that spends millions of dollars trying to influence his panel.”

Scott Walker’s backers formed a super PAC, which makes 14 sanctioned super PACs supporting presidential candidates while only four candidates have declared.

Sen. Cruz already raising campaign funds
In just nine days, Ted Cruz raised over $4 million for his presidential campaign.

House quietly passes tax exemptions for megadonors
“The legislation, which now heads to the Senate, is seen by fundraising operatives as removing one of the few remaining potential obstacles to unfettered big-money spending by nonprofit groups.”


Goals clash as Wisconsin prepares to rewrite campaign finance laws
“I don’t think there’s much question about where the majority in the Legislature is likely to go,” said Jay Heck of Common Cause. He expects more spending and less transparency.

General Assembly approves campaign finance reform bills
“Four bills were approved to tighten Rhode Island campaign finance reporting laws. Lawmakers began reviewing the campaign finance system after ex-House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty last month to exploiting weaknesses in it.”

National experts debate campaign finance reform in Elkins Park
“Craig Holman of Public Citizen and John Samples of the Cato Institute sat down with WHYY and NewsWorks Philadelphia’s Chris Satullo for a moderated civil discourse about campaign finance reform.”

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Adam Smith is the communications director at Every Voice. He has worked in money-in-politics advocacy since 2006, managing or advising communications efforts for policy and field campaigns in Congress and states across the country. As communications director, he manages media relations and oversees the research and digital teams. Follow him on Twitter: @asmith83.

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