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Today's top new stories about money in politics and democracy.
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NEWS & ANALYSIS
Thursday

March 26, 2020

Top Money in Politics News

Coronavirus Package Would Bar Trump And Lawmakers From Funds, Top Democrat Says (NPR) “Businesses controlled by the president, senior executive branch officials or members of Congress will be barred from receiving funds under the huge economic rescue package the Senate could vote on as early as Wednesday, according to the Senate's top Democrat.

The provision, tucked inside the massive, $2 trillion spending package that aims to shore up the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, also prohibits the children, spouses and in-laws of those officials from getting loans or investments from Treasury programs.”

I Helped Write the STOCK Act. It Didn’t Go Far Enough. (POLITICO) “The Covid-19 crisis is exactly the kind of moment when we need our leaders to reassure and protect us most. Instead, recent reports suggest several United States senators responded by protecting themselves first, selling stock to avoid personal financial losses from a growing public health crisis that they knew, from confidential intelligence briefings, was probably going to be much worse than the public knew at the time.

Congressional filings show that some members sold millions of dollars in investments, while another sold a very significant percentage of his total net worth and privately issued a grave warning to wealthy donors while publicly taking a much more sanguine tone.”

Also see: Amid coronavirus outbreak, not all congressional stock trades are created equal (Center for Responsive Politics) 

10 Years of Super PACs Show Courts Were Wrong on Corruption Risks (Brennan Center for Justice) “Congress is on the brink of passing the biggest stimulus bill in history. The last time there was legislation like this, super PACs didn’t exist. Today, the campaign finance regulation system is in far worse shape, and wealthy donors can use their influence to try to obtain big payouts from the government.

Meanwhile, the influence of unlimited big money has already been affecting the 2020 election. The evidence is everywhere from one donor spending nearly $15 million through a super PAC backing one primary candidates to the presidential contenders arguing at a debate about accepting money from wealthy supporters through super PACs.

The law limits the amount one individual can donate directly to a campaign, in part because of fears that that type of transaction could lead to corruption. But wealthy donors are still able to exert immense influence over our political process, thanks in part to a federal appeals court decision 10 years ago this month that was based on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.” 

SOCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

ON CORONAVIRUS
Public service shouldn’t be profitable. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/25/821431823/coronavirus-package-would-bar-trump-and-lawmakers-from-funds-top-democrat-says

ON STOCK ACT
Our elected leaders should serve the public’s interest not self interest. 
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/25/congress-stock-trade-148678

ON SUPER PACS 
“Today, the campaign finance regulation system is in far worse shape, and wealthy donors can use their influence to try to obtain big payouts from the government.” https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/10-years-super-pacs-show-courts-were-wrong-corruption-risks


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