Blockbuster Bart Gellman Atlantic Cover Story on Potential Election Meltdown Quotes Republican Sources Saying Trump Campaign May Try to Push State Legislators to Choose Presidential Electors Directly

…election before resorting to such a ploy? Trump’s base would exact a high price for that betrayal, and by this point party officials would be invested in a narrative of fraud. The Trump-campaign legal adviser I spoke with told me the push to appoint electors would be framed in terms of protecting the people’s will. Once committed to the position that the overtime count has been rigged, the adviser said, state lawmakers will want to judge for them…

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Watch Archived Video of UCI Event, “Are U.S. elections rigged, broken or dependable? Lessons from Canada and Australia Offer Insights for Improvement” (featuring Yasmin Dawood, Graeme Orr, and me, with Victoria Jones)

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqzDtWmVHTw&feature=youtu.be This webinar, recorded on September 21, 2020, covers international perspectives relevant to the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election. Co-sponsored by The UCI Office of Global Engagement, UCI Law and the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy, this webinar is intended as a resource for UCI faculty, staff and students and the general public. Discussion topics include: -…

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APSA Campaign Finance Panel

…y, Sept. 12, 2 PM MDT (4 PM EDT)Panel link: https://apsa.conferencecontent.net/session/1635868 Working paper available as an APSA Preprint: https://preprints.apsanet.org/engage/apsa/article-details/5f47bafcf169bd00127836dc Abstract: This working paper steps away from the speech-and-corruption debates that have dominated campaign finance conversations. Instead, it offers a proposal that fits well within current constitutional law while being more e…

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“Facebook Says Trump’s Misleading Post About Mail-In Voting Is OK. Employees Say It’s Not.”

…d.”… Rather than remove Trump’s post, Facebook eventually decided to add a generic label with information about voting. It later changed that to a label emphasizing the security of mail-in voting. “Voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is predicted this year. (Source: Bipartisan Policy Center),” the second label reads. Separately, Facebook said it had removed posts containing video footage of a Trump speech on…

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Important New Project: The Election Integrity Partnership

…e: the Stanford Internet Observatory and Program on Democracy and the Internet, Graphika, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public. We will be working with stakeholders in civil society as well as election officials to find instances of election-related misinformation, analyze reports from public sector and NGO partners, and route our findings to the appropriate parties…

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Oregon: “Ninth Circuit Denies Motion to Keep Redistricting Reform off the 2020 Ballot”

…ly reported that the Court’s denial in that case was unanimous. See Nathan Brown, Reclaim Idaho to resume signaturegathering on school funding initiative, POST REGISTER (July 9, 2020),https://www.postregister.com/news/education/reclaim-idaho-to-resume-signaturegathering-on-school-funding-initiative/article_b548b864-aaf5-5702-a5eaf6769621fd17.html.)…

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“Voting Rights Leaders Call for Universal Voting in the U.S.”

…versal Civic Duty Voting” is available on the Brookings website at https://www.brookings.edu/research/lift-every-voice-the-urgency-of-universal-civic-duty-voting. At 1:00pm EST on July 20, Brookings and the Ash Center will co-host an online discussion about the report and panelists will answer viewer questions. Tune in to watch it live at https://www.brookings.edu/events/lift-every-voice-the-urgency-of-universal-civic-duty-voting/. Archival video…

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The Rise of Outside Money and Congressional Dysfunction

…ies anyways.’ And then I said, ‘Well, don’t you understand if you take the soft money away from political parties, where it has to be disclosed’—we had to disclose every single dollar that I raised to the DCCC from corporations and unions and large contributors— ‘’you’re going to force it out to the wings, out to the extremes, some of whom don’t have to report.’” Former DCCC and Democratic House Caucus Chair Vic Fazio (2016): ‘‘[Then president of…

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“USC CID Voting Location Siting Tool is Expanding to Ten States”

…eveloped in 2018 by CID, a neutral academic research center at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, this growing public resource will help inform the equitable siting of U.S. voting locations in the November 2020 General Election. Currently, the Siting Tool is available for California and Colorado. The Siting Tool will be expanded to all California counties and launched in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Te…

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“Democratic-allied group gives a boost to conservative Kobach in Kansas Senate primary”

…eviewed by CNN, bashes Republican US Rep. Roger Marshall as a “phony” and “soft on Trump” and notes that Kobach is called “too conservative” who “won’t compromise on building a wall” or “getting tough on China.” Kobach, an immigration hard-liner and voter fraud crusader with staunchly conservative views in line with President Donald Trump, has long maintained that the criticisms he would be a weak general election candidate are misplaced, in part…

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“‘Epic failure’: U.S. election officials warn of November chaos due to budget crunch”

…budget cuts after tax revenues plunged in the virus-stricken economy, two dozen election officials across several battleground states told Reuters. The consequences, they warn, go beyond practical headaches to the risk voters’ faith in the process will be undermined. “What kind of price tag are you going to put on the integrity of the election process and the safety of those who work it and those who vote?” said Tina Barton, the city clerk and chi…

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“Allowing Only Older Americans to Vote by Mail Leads to Severe Racial Disparities”

…husetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and West Virginia. See https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/. [2] See id; see also https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/04/26th-amendment-texas-absentee-ballots.html. [3] I used the 2014-2018 5-year sample of the American Community Survey to analyze the age distribution of voting age citizens across racial groups. [4] Under Kentucky law, a voter may vote by mail if “on account of age, disabilit…

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“Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him”

…emic and the protest movement, as well as contributed to polarization. And as Trump grew in power, the fear of his wrath pushed Facebook into more deferential behavior toward its growing number of right-leaning users, tilting the balance of news people see on the network, according to the current and former employees. Facebook is now confronting a mounting advertiser boycott that has pushed down its stock price as companies demand stricter policie…

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“The Damage of Trump’s Voter-Fraud Allegations Can’t Be Undone; A new study suggests that even fact-checking the president’s false claims won’t restore confidence in elections.”

…and his allies significantly undermine faith in the American election system, especially among voters who support him. Worse, the damage seems to be resistant to repair by fact-checking. “It may be that confidence in the election system is a soft target,” Brendan Nyhan, a political-science professor at Dartmouth and one of the authors of the new paper, told me. “It’s complicated, hard to observe, unintuitive, and relies on trust. Trust in institu…

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“The Right-Wing Legal Network Is Now Openly Pushing Conspiracy Theories”

…sion into the allegations, Kavanaugh was confirmed, and Whelan has paid no price for it. Now things have taken a turn from court-packing to a side-grift in vote suppression. According to new reporting from The Guardian and Open Secrets, Leo, Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, and their dark-money backers are promoting the Orwellian-named “Honest Elections Project” to pressure elections administrators to limit access to the ballot and…

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“Failing to Respect the Passive Virtues: A Critique of RNC v. DNC”

…have to be that way. 1 The 7th Circuit’s decision can be found at https://www.wpr.org/sites/default/files/7th_circuit_20200403_order.pdf. Though the brief opinion does not expressly address that part of the District Court’s order postponing the deadline for the casting as well as the receipt of absentee ballots until April 13th, it is clear the 7th Circuit approved of that part of the order. The District Court order had set aside the state requir…

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“Price Talks: Policy in a Pandemic”

…Jack Knott, Dean of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy presents Price Talks: Policy in a Pandemic, a virtual series examining policy challenges around the COVID-19 pandemic. USC Price faculty share their expert perspective on the critical policy issues that are important to us all in 30-minute lunchtime Zoom presentations open to the entire Price community. Topics will include examining the impact…

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“We Cannot Hold an Election Without a Functional Post Office”

…officials nationwide for COVID-19 related expenses, although the necessary price tag may be $2 billion. But whether or not Congress acts, mail-in ballots will naturally be more in demand for the general election if the pandemic continues to affect daily life. Five states already conduct elections mostly by mail. They are among the two-thirds of states, including many of the swing states, offering any voter who wishes to vote by mail to do so. Thes…

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“Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness”

…mid-February, all but two of which were sales. One of Loeffler’s two purchases was stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and which has seen a small bump in its stock price since Loeffler bought in as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil….

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“Political ads are flooding Hulu, Roku and other streaming services, revealing loopholes in federal election laws”

…ng. “The ‘deep state’ is trying to inject our health system with socialist price controls,” a narrator then interjected, before a banner flashed at the bottom of the screen: “TEXT ‘SOCIALISM SUCKS’ TO 41490.” But neither FreedomWorks, the conservative group behind the ad, nor Hulu, a television-and-movie streaming giant, is required to reveal much more to the public about the 30-second spot or whom it targeted, leaving watchdogs and regulators fea…

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Political Brands by Prof. Torres-Spelliscy (Post 4 of 4)

…a campaign finance lawyer by training. And one of the drivers of the high price of political campaigns is the exorbitant cost of advertising. What first got me interested in branding was a statement from Senator Russ Feingold, who warned in 2011 that “We’re going to have Republican and Democrat toothpaste.”  His quote inspired me to look at commercial branding, political advertising and how these two spheres intersect.  And that was all before Tr…

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“Iowa Democratic Party projects Pete Buttigieg the winner of the delegate race, with Bernie Sanders preparing a challenge”

…heets because they represented legal documents, according to an email Troy Price, the state party chairman, sent to members of the state party’s central committee. “It is the legal voting record of the caucus, like a ballot,” Shayla McCormally, the attorney, wrote in an advisory included in the email from Price. “The seriousness of the record is made clear by the language at the bottom stating that any misrepresentation of the information is a cri…

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“Bloomberg Fueled His Campaign With $200 Million From His Own Fortune”

…ose who have tracked Mr. Bloomberg’s television advertising, and the total price tag for his candidacy has soared far higher in the month since the end of the reporting period. But the filing on Friday is the most detailed description yet of how Mr. Bloomberg has deployed his personal fortune in a quest for the presidency that only started in late November. Since then, Mr. Bloomberg has climbed into the high single digits in national polls, largel…

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“Common Cause Files Complaint Against Pro-Bernie Sanders Group Our Revolution for Violating Soft Money Ban”

…6 and now supporting his 2020 presidential campaign, violated the federal ‘soft money’ ban. Sen. Sanders has been a longtime critic of super PACs and so-called “Dark Money” groups. The complaint documents that Our Revolution has solicited contributions explicitly to elect Sanders president, received contributions far in excess of the applicable $5,000 contribution limit and spent funds in connection with federal elections, including current voter…

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“Judge orders Fairfax to allow GMU students to vote after their registrations were rejected”

…after their voter registration applications were rejected for providing a generic university address.U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. ordered the county to allow students who submitted their applications on or before Oct. 15 to correct their address information, giving them until 5 p.m. Saturday to do so.If the students miss that deadline, they must be allowed to vote Tuesday with a provisional ballot at the university’s Merten Hall preci…

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“Census Bureau asks states for licenses that typically include citizenship data”

…mp’s efforts to make citizenship a key aspect of federal information-gathering in the run-up to the 2020 Census, despite this year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a specific citizenship question can’t be included in the 2020 Census questionnaire. Civil rights advocates worry that the wider net being cast by the Trump administration for such information could chill Latino participation in the population count, which will determine how many congres…

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Aprill: “A Tax Lesson for Election Law”

Ellen Aprill has an important new piece at Tax Notes building off the Price for Congress request for an advisory opinion, and lucky for us you can get it from behind the paywall: An August 22 deadlock by the Federal Election Commission regarding a request for an advisory opinion highlights the complicated role that tax law plays in regulating campaign finance. It underscores important differences between section 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organization…

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“SYMPOSIUM: Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections”

…a, Katie Harbath of Facebook, Kevin Kane of Twitter, Ginny Badanes of Microsoft, Nate Miller of Avaaz, and Laura Rosenberger of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, and Clement Wolf of Google. Doors open at 8 AM. We encourage you to arrive early to leave time for security procedures.  Please RSVP here by Friday, September 13: https://pen.org/event/digital-disinformation-2020-elections/  The event will be live-streamed at: https://www.fec.gov/disin…

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“The Influence of Technology on Presidential Primary Campaigns”

…nding since 1912. First radio, then television, and more recently the internet emerged as indispensable means of political communication. But the technological innovations have come with a high price for candidates and campaigns, driving costs relentlessly higher. This chapter examines how technology has shaped the presidential nomination process, making the pursuit of the White House an ever more expensive proposition. This work is a chapter in a…

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“DNC recommends scrapping Iowa’s virtual caucuses, Iowa Democratic Party chair insists Iowa will still be first”

…ence in U.S. elections. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price told reporters that while he didn’t know the path forward he was confident Iowa’s first-in-the-nation place will not be shaken. “Iowa will be a caucus. And Iowa will be first,” Price said multiple times when he met with the media Friday afternoon. But Price gave no timeline for how the party will proceed with allowing people who cannot attend in-person caucus locations to cast their…

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“Trial of High-Powered Lawyer Gregory Craig Exposes Seamy Side of Washington’s Elite”

…anted any image of Washington’s elite as sage Brahmins with a vivid picture of the ruling class at its avaricious worst. The details include a $4 million payment shunted through a secret offshore account to Mr. Craig’s law firm, a backdated invoice, a lying publicist, a scheme to net one player’s daughter a cushy job and a bungled wiretap by a suspected Russian intelligence asset nicknamed “the angry midget.”Taken together, they illustrate how law…

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FEC Deadlocks Over Advisory Opinion on Tom Price Attempt to Transfer Congressional Funds to Political 501(c)(4)

…-10 Price can now go ahead and try to do this anyway, but he cannot claim he relied upon a green light from the FEC. (Many more aggressive political folks use FEC deadlock as a green light.) If Price goes ahead, there could be an FEC complaint and lawsuits. But those will take a long time to resolve and Price might treat it as the cost of doing business….

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“WGME, other Sinclair stations, run stories promoting Trump campaign merchandise”

…t Again” hats, including a catalog-like description of the product and its price…. The story probably wouldn’t have to be reported as a campaign contribution under current federal campaign finance law, says campaign finance legal expert Richard Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine. “It wouldn’t be a contribution unless it was being done in coordination with a campaign, and even if it counts as a c…

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Four Separate Draft Advisory Opinions Signals Potential Deadlock at FEC on Tom Price Plan to Use Campaign Funds for 501c(4) Electioneering

…See here. If the FEC deadlocks, Price will have to decide whether to go forward with his plan and risk liability for doing so. But given how lax FEC enforcement is these days, it is not clear how much of a risk this is….

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