CREW employs its potent combination of research and legal expertise in the fight to reduce the distorting influence of money in politics, to promote ethics rules, and to increase transparency in government. We recognize the importance of these issues at both the federal and the state and local levels, so we work with coalitions of national and local groups to ensure that all citizens have an equal voice in their government.
Money in Politics
CREW supports efforts to reform federal and state campaign finance systems so that the rules governing elections are strong, clear, and fairly enforced. In some cases, this means supporting Congress as it considers major legislation like the Government By the People Act or the DISCLOSE Act and encouraging the President to issue an executive order (add link) to require federal contractors to disclose political contributions. In other cases, it means advocating at agencies like the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service for better rules and better enforcement of the rules to prevent anonymous transmission of money for political activities through non-profits and shell companies. Sometimes, it means supporting efforts of groups of local citizens working in places like Seattle and Maine to run local elections that allow ordinary citizens to have an equal say in the process and that set an example for the rest of the country.
CREW supports strengthening federal corruption law through legislation like the Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act. We support reform efforts that eliminate loopholes in federal lobbying rules, strengthen reporting requirements for lobbyists, and require greater reporting of lobbying and its accompanying activities. CREW also backs efforts to require greater disclosure for groups and individuals in the political intelligence gathering industry.
In addition, CREW supports strong, independent ethics bodies in government, including the House Office of Congressional Ethics and the House and Senate Ethics Committees in the federal government, and in state governments.
Increasing Government Transparency
CREW works to ensure that government is as transparent as possible by supporting efforts to preserve and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, including broad-based FOIA reform legislation that narrows exemptions, reduces delays, addresses fees, strengthens the FOIA ombudsman (OGIS), embraces proactive disclosure, and supports online request tracking and document publication.
CREW also promotes other measures of transparency, such as publishing White House visitor logs and protecting whistleblowers who identify and report abuse, fraud, and waste within their agencies.