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-By Josh Gerstein
January 23, 2013- A Florida developer, Jay Odom, has been indicted on federal charges that he used straw donors to donate at least $23,000 to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Odom faces two felony counts: one of making contributions through others in excess of $10,000 to Huckabee's campaign and another of causing false reports to be filed with the Federal Election Commission. At the time, the maximum legally allowed donation for an individual to a federal primary campaign was $2,300.
The indictment released Tuesday by the Justice Department (posted here) lists ten $2,300 donations made to the Huckabee campaign in December 2007 by ten different individuals identified only by their initials. Huckabee's campaign is not identified by name, but FEC records make clear that campaign received the suspect donations.
-By Chris Gentilviso
January 21, 2013- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell doubled down on his criticism of the Republican Party on Monday, questioning the GOP's efforts to institute voter ID laws.
In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Powell stressed that the party needs to be inclusive when it comes to the polls.
“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference?" he asked. "The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier for people to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, and not to find ways to keep them from voting at all."
- By Chelsea Kiene
January 17, 2013- WASHINGTON -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced a new proposal Thursday to reform the state’s election laws, including a plan to increase the number of early voting days and locations.
The plan will allow supervisors of elections to offer more early voting, between eight and 14 days, and increase the number of early voting locations “to help reduce wait times, long lines, and to better convenience voters.” Scott also proposed reducing the length of ballots.
“Our ultimate goal must be to restore Floridians’ confidence in our election system,” Scott said in a statement. “We must continually push to make improvements, and I look forward to working with the Legislature on a bi-partisan bill to implement these reforms this session.”
A report from the Center for Public Integrity reveals that Citizens United allowed an extra $1 billion in special interest money in the last election.
-By Laura Gottesdiener
January 17, 2013- As the never-ending campaign ads demonstrated, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United flooded the most recent election with additional money, making it the most profit-fueled presidential election in U.S. history.
Now, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has put its finger on a figure of just how much more money the ruling ushered in: nearly $1 billion.