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Special Interest-Funded Party Groups Spend Further and Further Down-Ballot

The growing emphasis on state policy goals by both political parties has led to the proliferation of political organizations designed to raise and spend money – much of it from special interests – to win specific state offices. The most prominent of these groups are the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations, but other party-connected groups target secretary of state, state legislator, and state Supreme Court races. Read More ›

McDonnell Decision Unjustified, but Leaves Avenues to Prosecute Corruption

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the bribery conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, a man who freely admits that he sold access to himself and to his subordinates to a wealthy business man to lobby them to use government funds to pay for a study for the businessman, all in exchange for nearly $200,000 in cash and luxury goods, including a Rolex watch and flights in a private jet. In doing so, the Court issued a badly reasoned decision that unnecessarily and without textual basis narrowed the scope of the federal bribery statute. As Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) stated in the wake of the decision, it will make important corruption charges more difficult to bring and more difficult to prove, and it may result in serious corruption going unpunished. Read More ›

Scandals and Scoundrels

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