Campaign Finance

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Let’s make campaign finance reform sexy

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was out on the hustings this week promoting his DISCLOSE Act, which would require the sort of independent political groups playing an outsize role in the presidential election to report on who is bankrolling thei
Going Big
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 20, 2012


David Segal, former Rhode Island state representative and Congressional candidate, has an interesting project in the works. He is organizing a Conference on the Constitutional Convention (ConConCon), starring...
By David Scharfenberg  |  August 10, 2011

Why Soros Sat Out

Doom for the Democrats this fall. George Soros thinks so: George Soros, the billionaire financier who was an energetic Democratic donor in the last several...
By David Scharfenberg  |  October 12, 2010

Bad behavior

The ghost of George W. Bush will haunt the this year's election season.
Corporate America's $200 million war chest, Apple's worm, Goldman's fine, BP's latest
By EDITORIAL  |  July 23, 2010

Snowe and Collins key to campaign-finance reform

Are you a fan of campaign finance reform? In the wake of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court (which banned limits on corporation...
By Jeff Inglis  |  July 19, 2010

Same Old Faces

If you're wondering who the geniuses are behind the political campaigns in Massachusetts this year — the strategists, media firms, ad teams, and fundraisers — well, it's a lot of the same folks who have been behind Massachusetts campaigns for a long time
It's an outsider's year for candidates, but the consultants are old Beacon Hill mainstays. Plus, who spent what at the conventions, and Baker goes on TV first.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 25, 2010

CPAs to the Rescue

Rhode Island politics is, in the end, an amateur affair. We've got a part-time legislature, after all - a not insignificant factor in our political...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 17, 2010

Whitehouse on the Citizens United Case

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has a piece in Politico today blasting the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. That decision opened the door for unlimited...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 10, 2010

A clean mind and dirty hands

Three people walk into a bank ...
Moral dilemmas for the Maine Clean Election Fund
By AL DIAMON  |  February 12, 2010

Beacon Hill's Top Lobbyists

Later this week you'll see an item I have in the new issue of the Phoenix about Massachusetts lobbying in 2009. Overall, there seems to...
By David S. Bernstein  |  February 02, 2010

Campaign Booty

According to reports, Scott Brown has $4 million left over in his Senate campaign account. That would give him the second-biggest war chest in the...
By David S. Bernstein  |  February 01, 2010


Free speech for me, but not for thee

Last Thursday's Supreme Court opinion striking down corporate campaign advertising restrictions might as well have been divorce papers in the rocky marriage between the political left and the First Amendment.
Freedom Watch
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  January 29, 2010

Q&A #4 -- SCOTUS Ruling And 3rd-Party Candidates

"Tim Grace" asks:Does the SCOTUS campaign finance rulling open the door for single-issue driven third party/independent candidates? Tim also asks whether Scott Brown drove the...
By David S. Bernstein  |  January 22, 2010

Supreme Court Ruling's Impact on Local Races?

The Supreme Court's earth-shattering ruling on campaign finance, which allows corporations to spend freely in their bid to influence elections, will undoubtedly have a major...
By David Scharfenberg  |  January 22, 2010

SCOTUS Opens Campaign-Spending Door

 The Supreme Court has finally ruled on the much-watched Citizens United case. The bottom line is that business and labor will now have more --...
By David S. Bernstein  |  January 21, 2010

Coakley cashes in at the bar

It's no surprise that Martha Coakley has raised much of her money for her US Senate campaign from lawyers — that has been her professional and social circle for pretty much her entire adult life.
Lawyering Up
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 04, 2009

ballot list

Greens see red, must seek more green

In a move Maine Green Independent Party leaders say unfairly targets them, but that Maine Democrats say is simply protecting taxpayer money, the Legislature last month passed a law requiring gubernatorial candidates to raise tens of thousands of dollar
Campaign planning
By JEFF INGLIS  |  July 31, 2009

Roast pork

Back in January, Governor Deval Patrick declared a "season of significant government reform" on Beacon Hill.
As our state's bumbling, craven, and inept elected officials stumble toward summer, we get a few good laughs out of their promises for reform
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 29, 2009

Capuano cornered?

Republican lobbying-ethics scandals helped convince voters to toss out the GOP and put Democrats back in control of the US House of Representatives.
Could a developing Washington probe hurt the Somerville congressman, and derail his Senate hopes?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 25, 2009

Advocates renew push for publicly-financed RI elections

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in the State House rotunda, proponents of significantly expanding publicly financed elections in Rhode Island — a concept they call "Fair Elections" — cited a litany of reasons for why it would be good for the
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 04, 2009

Money talks

To hear our state legislators talk lately, Beacon Hill is all about reforming the sketchy, poorly governed relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists.
Can Beacon Hill reform itself when the State Senate President and the new House Speaker rake in so much lobbyist cash?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 04, 2009

Fair Elections' proponents renew assault on Smith Hill

When a group of Brown students helped introduce Clean Elections legislation in 2005, Phil West, then...
By Ian Donnis  |  February 04, 2009

Caprio continues to set the fundraising pace

Kathy Gregg has the 4Q numbers: In the three-month stretch between September 30 and December 31, ...
By Ian Donnis  |  February 03, 2009
Tomorrow: advocates renew quest for publicly financed RI elections

Tomorrow: advocates renew quest for publicly financed RI elections

From Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections: State House Rally to Support the Re-Introduction of th...
By Ian Donnis  |  February 02, 2009
Weiners donate 100K for Obama inaugural

Weiners donate 100K for Obama inaugural

  Mark Weiner, the prodigious Democratic fundraiser and Clinton confidante, and his wife have ...
By Ian Donnis  |  January 08, 2009

Capital cash

A well-connected Rhode Island couple has donated $100,000 for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Weiners donate $100K for Obama's inauguration
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  January 07, 2009

The megabucks of Election 2008

The megabucks of Election 2008

Regardless of who wins tonight, the primary importance of money in our political system remains well-entrenched. Obama has succeeded in taking a page from the...
By Ian Donnis  |  November 04, 2008

RI ’08: Prelude to 2010

During a national election season in which “change” remains the dominant motif, Rhode Island politics is locked in a holding pattern marked by a Democratic stranglehold on state and federal offices.
In a national year of change, stasis is likely to prevail at the General Assembly
By IAN DONNIS  |  October 29, 2008

Playing the angel

Former congressman David Emery’s correct in thinking that public campaign financing is a luxury the state can’t afford, but his aversion to Clean Election money seems to be more a matter of convenience than conviction.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  October 27, 2008
What's Cicilline doing in 2010?

What's Cicilline doing in 2010?

  This question continues to hang in the air, with Frank Caprio and Patrick Lynch representing the most likely Democratic contenders for governor, IMHO, at this...
By Ian Donnis  |  October 22, 2008