Resources on Campaign Finance Reform
Including Disclosure, Public-Funded Elections, Issues, and Data
National Institute on Money in State Politics
The National Institute on Money in State Politics is the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states. Our comprehensive and verifiable campaign-finance database and relevant issue analyses are available for free through our Web site FollowTheMoney.org. We encourage transparency and promote independent investigation of state-level campaign contributions by journalists, academic researchers, public-interest groups, government agencies, policymakers, students and the public at large.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike. We are committed to improving access to government information by making it available online.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Elections Division
For 2012 Reports: http://sos.nh.gov/2012ReceiptExpend.aspx
For 2010 Reports: http://cfs.sos.nh.gov/cfs/Public/SearchCommittee.aspx
For Groups Registering: http://cfs.sos.nh.gov/cfs/Public/CommitteeList.aspx and http://www.sos.nh.gov/Pacs2010.html
Brennan Center for Justice – Campaign Finance Reform Project
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution – part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group – the Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector.
Common Cause Money in Politics Project
The problem with money in politics is not so much the amount that is spent on campaigns as it is who pays for them, what they get in return, and how that affects public policy and spending priorities.
Big money has long dominated our elections, and the problem only got worse in 2010 after the Citizens United ruling, in which the Supreme Court turned its back on more than 100 years of law to pave the way for billionaires to spend unlimited amounts of money on direct campaigns to elect or defeat federal candidates, adding to the enormous influence they already have within the political process.
Common Cause is working diligently to expose the role of special interests, and promote reforms that put democracy back in the hands of “we the people.”
Free Speech For People
Free Speech For People works to challenge the misuse of corporate power and restore republican democracy to the people. We catalyze and advance the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United, Buckley v. Valeo, and the fabrication of corporate constitutional rights. We engage in legal advocacy to confront the misuse of the U.S. Constitution to claim corporate exemptions from our laws, which damage our communities and undermine freedom and self-government. We renew and reform corporate charter laws and other tools to make corporations responsible and accountable to the public.
Public Citizen – Government Reform, Money in Politics Project
here is a fundamental flaw with elections in this country: big money. Politicians need big bucks to run their campaigns and they get most of it from wealthy donors and special interests. Those contributors expect paybacks in the form of special access, favorable legislation, earmarks, government contracts, or plum government jobs. Because of this corrupting influence of money, many Americans have lost faith in politics and feel neglected by our democracy.
Ordinary citizens who want to serve in government don’t have access to money and are locked out of the system, unable to afford running for office.
Americans for Campaign Finance Reform
We are a community of citizens who believe passionately that public funding is the single most critical long-term public policy issue our nation faces. What’s at stake are nothing less than the health of our democracy, the quality of our leadership, and our government’s ability to tackle the serious problems that affect us all: health care, energy policy, education, the environment and the economy.
Clearly, incumbents have an interest in keeping the current system in place – because it keeps them in place. It will take a powerful, non-partisan, grassroots movement to demand their support for a new kind of politics in America.
We have a vision of a better America, and a return to a more responsive, participatory democracy. It’s a nation whose leaders are accountable to the voters, and elected according to their abilities, their qualifications and their character. A nation whose citizens once more have confidence in their leaders and in the integrity of the political system. A nation where cynicism and apathy are replaced by the true American ideals of optimism and activism.
Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. In short, the Center’s mission is to:
- Inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives
- Empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information
- Advocate for a transparent and responsive government
We pursue our mission largely through our website, OpenSecrets.org, which is the most comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis available anywhere. And for other organizations and news media, the Center’s exclusive data powers their online features tracking money in politics — counting cash to make change.
Democracy 21 is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to making democracy work for all Americans. Democracy 21, and its education arm, Democracy 21 Education Fund, work to eliminate the undue influence of big money in American politics and to ensure the integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections. The organization promotes campaign finance reform and other political reforms to accomplish these goals.
Founded by Fred Wertheimer in 1997, Democracy 21′s efforts have been recognized by The Wall Street Journal which observed that Wertheimer is “perhaps the capital’s longest-toiling advocate of reducing the role of money in politics” and by Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, who has described Wertheimer as “the eminence grise of the campaign reform movement.”
Democracy 21 provides the public and media with the latest information and analysis on money and politics, and focuses its activities on:
- Promoting campaign finance reforms, such as the ban on soft money enacted in 2002, reforming the Federal Election Commission and fixing the presidential public financing system;
- Ensuring that the new campaign finance law and the nation’s other campaign finance laws are effectively implemented and enforced; and
- Defending campaign finance laws in the courts.
Campaign Disclosure Project at UCLA
Bringing sunlight to political money in 50 states including a database of state disclosure laws.
Center for Governmental Studies – Campaign Finance Project
Public Funding: http://www.cgs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=54
Campaign Finance Institute (CFI)
Informing national and state policy debates through objective research. CFI has successfully established its reputation as the nation’s pre-eminent think tank for campaign finance policy. That’s why the media listens. And why both parties use CFI data when crafting legislation. While other individual scholars and think tanks have campaign finance expertise, none have the critical mass of specialists to maintain the ongoing organizational expertise needed to provide continuity of objective analyses and data. From its beginning, CFI has been known for its:
- Timely analyses of fundraising by candidates and political parties,
- Innovative studies on the variety of ways in which interest groups spend money politically;
- Policy recommendations on effective disclosure, and
- Its well received books on the impacts of the last round of reform.
Sign up for regular e-mails that come 2-3 times per week giving current developments in campaign finance mostly at the federal level including all the new PACs and Super PACs, legislation, K Street machinations, fundraising activities and amounts raised, and Federal Election Commission actions and politics.
Public Campaign Action Fund
Public Campaign Action Fund is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws. We help enact, defend, and promote Fair Elections-style public financing in states around the country like Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine, and advocate for similar legislation for all federal elections. Public Campaign Action Fund also campaigns to hold elected officials and politicians accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for their political contributors. With its pro-reform Campaign Money Watch project, the organization engages voters in hotly contested elections around the country to educate them about the impact of big money from special interests on the policy-making process.
Since its founding in 1997, Public Campaign Action Fund has brought activists to the fight for comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s campaign finance laws and to make opposing reform a political liability for elected officials. The group has more than 70,000 online members and works with state organizations in approximately three dozen states.
United Republic envisions a nation where the will and concerns of the people aren’t drowned out by the financial influence of the few. Where politicians devote more time to their constituents than to their fundraising. Where political decisions are made on principle, without the distorting effect of lobbyists. Where individual citizens have access to clear information about their leaders and are empowered to end the imbalance of power in Washington and our state capitals. We believe this vision is achievable and central to the success of the republic.
United Republic is a new organization fighting the corrupting influence of well-financed special interests over American politics and government. We welcome the energy and creativity of citizens of all stripes – progressive, conservative and independent – who envision a nation where the needs and ideas of the many aren’t drowned out by the influence of the wealthy few.
Annie Leonard’s Video on the Story of Citizens United
An eight minute animated video that gives a remarkably clear and informative explanation of the huge role money plays in influencing our elections and determining the laws and decisions made by our elected officials at all levels – and in particular, how the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision that lifted restrictions on how much money special interests could contribute risks a corporate takeover of our democracy.
Wolf PAC NH
Our politicians are bought. Everyone knows it. Conservatives know it. Liberals know it. The Democrats are bought. The Republicans are bought. They don’t represent us. They represent their corporate donors who fund their campaigns and promise them well paying jobs after they leave office. We have taxation without representation. Our democracy is in serious trouble.
So what can we do to regain our ability to make our votes count and take back our democracy? We have to concentrate all of our resources into one single attack – making sure we take corporate money out of politics. The only way to do that is to bypass the corporate owned Congress and the Supreme Court – and pass a Constitutional amendment. We must pass an amendment saying that corporations are not people and they do not have the right to spend money to buy our politicians.
The objective of Wolf PAC will be to raise money and raise an army for the sole purpose of passing this amendment. We need a Constitutional revolution to get unlimited corporate money out of politics. Please join us and help retake our democracy.
Additional Online Resources
A Retrospective Look at Campaign Financing in New Hampshire and Surrounding States (PDF)
During the 2000 Election Cycle, April 2002. (NH Citizens Alliance)
Public Funding of Elections in Other States and Cities
New York City Campaign Finance Board