Commentary & Analysis Events

Campaign Finance: Shining a Light on Political Power

As Americans become more and more interested in reforms to improve elections, like approval voting, there has also been increased scrutiny on money in politics and campaign finance. Who funds candidate campaigns for office? What role does lobbying play in creating policies that affect all of us?

These are some of the questions that Open Secrets, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) money in politics watchdog, is dedicated to answering.

We sat down August for a conversation with Pete Quist, Deputy Research Director for Open Secrets, to dig deep into this important area of good government reform. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, OpenSecrets is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.

We discuss the types of political spending that influence elections and politics, approaches to regulating political spending, and key facts that you should know as a voter, including information about political funders, campaign finance, and the real costs of elections.

Some additional resources:

OpenSecrets – https://opensecrets.org/
Follow the Money – https://followthemoney.org/
State Laws Database – https://cfinst.github.io/#contribution-limits?question=IndividualToCandLimit_H_Max&year=2018
The Campaign Legal Center – https://campaignlegal.org/
Little Sis – https://littlesis.org/
Good Jobs First – https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/
Powermapping Tool – https://www.followthemoney.org/tools/power-mapping?j=CA&y=2020

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