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Meet Rand Paul’s Protege in Maine: State Senator Eric Brakey

In the 2014 election cycle, Rand Paul’s “leadership PAC” Reinventing A New Direction sent funds to just one candidate for the Maine State Legislature: Republican Eric Brakey of New Gloucester. With that kind of specificity, it’s fair to say that Rand Paul’s organization singled Eric Brakey as his kind of candidate. Brakey won office and […]

Jeb Bush PAC and Super PAC: Does This Look Like Coordination to You?

Jeb Bush Announcing that We're Launching the Right to Rise PAC on January 6 2015

“Right to Rise” is the name of both a Political Action Committee gathering campaign contributions for Jeb Bush to run for President, and of a Super PAC that is gathering unregulated campaign contributions to support the general idea of Jeb Bush running for President. Does that sound like a distinction without a difference to you? […]

The MayDay Super PAC Returns

“Embrace The Irony.”

Remember that phrase? It was the phrase that Lawrence Lessig used to launch a big-money-gathering political action committee called the MayDay Super PAC in 2014. The publicly declared purpose of the big-money MayDay Super PAC was to … wait for it … get rid of big-money-gathering political action committees. What could go […]

1787 for America winds down toward Oblivion

The nascent political party 1787 for America introduced itself in 2013 by promising it would provide an arena for populist, bottom-up participation in the choosing of the next President of the United States. Choose whomever you like — let the people decide, declared 1787 for America. But as with the billionaire-funded group Americans Elect, these […]

Susan Collins, Big Money Candidate. Shenna Bellows, Small Money Candidate. Who Wins?

Contribution totals in the Maine Senate race through October 15, 2014 have become available at the Federal Election Commission, and they tell a story of strong contrasts.

Here’s a graphic profile of Democrat Shenna Bellows’ campaign contributors:

And here’s a graphic profile of Republican Susan Collins’ campaign contributors:

Less than 1 in 10 […]

Mayday PAC Avoids Cronyism by Avoiding Nick Troiano

This last July, I found myself wondering aloud: would the Mayday Super PAC (using big money in politics to undermine the use of big money in politics) endorse and fund the campaign of Nick Troiano for Congress? If the Mayday PAC ended up funnelling money to Troiano, that would represent the crassest sort of insider […]

Susan Collins: More Donors from Beverly Hills than from Blue Hill

Last month, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted on behalf of large out-of-state donors who want to keep donating huge amounts of unregulated money. It turns out that Senator Collins is herself receiving huge amounts of money from those same large out-of-state donors. Senator Collins is taking significantly more money from outside the state of […]

Susan Collins Votes for Big Out of State Money… While Taking Big Out of State Money

On Thursday, September 11 2014, a minority of members of the U.S. Senate voted to block passage of S.J.Res. 19, a constitutional amendment that would let Congress and the states limit the influence of big money in politics:

Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government […]

Maine’s Biggest Employer, Maine’s Smallest Employer, and Eliot Cutler’s Campaign Account

Today, Independent candidate for Governor of Maine Eliot Cutler met the legally-required deadline for him to send campaign contribution data for the Spring of 2014 to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. I encourage you to take a look at the report for yourself. Here’s what I noticed.

Maine is not a […]

Rand Paul Partied with Lobbyists for Tax Cheats Before Introducing Bill to Let Tax Cheats off the Hook

November 6, 2012: Credit Suisse banker pleads guilty to participating in a scheme to help 150 ultra-wealthy Americans hide millions of dollars of income in Swiss bank accounts so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes like the rest of us.

First quarter, 2013: Credit Suisse hires lobbying firm Covington & Burling LLP to advocate on […]

Anomaly Explorer: Look for it from OpenSecrets

Notes from the 2013 Transparency Camp convention sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation indicate that some time during the next two weeks, OpenSecrets will be introducing an “Anomaly Detector.” That’s a neutral term, but the title of the presentation in which this tool was introduced shows its potential power: “Uncovering Corruption“. The tool will look for […]