New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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CREW Sues the Federal Election Commission over Case Dismissals

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Melanie Sloan, its executive director, recently filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for continually dismissing cases without providing information about the decisions. Those who file complaints with the FEC are often unable to legally challenge the commission's dismissal actions or obtain the reasons for the dismissals.

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OMB Watch Applauds White House Move to Quickly Fill Ethics and Government Reform Roles upon Norm Eisen Departure

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2010—Today, OMB Watch joined with several other good government groups to applaud the work of Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform. The groups also expressed appreciation that the White House has moved swiftly to replace Eisen, who is departing to become Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

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Legislation to Overhaul Public Funding for Presidential Campaigns

Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 6061 and S. 3681) to revise the outdated presidential public campaign financing system. Seeking to encourage smaller individual contributions, the bill would match small contributions of $200 or less with public funds at a 4-to-1 ratio.

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AU Asks IRS to Investigate Oklahoma Group for Electioneering Against Transgender Candidate

Last Week, Americans United for Separation of Church and State urged the IRS to investigate an Oklahoma religious organization for violating federal law prohibiting tax-exempt groups from electioneering.

Americans United claims that Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, a tax-exempt organization, sent out an e-mail urging those on its email distribution list to support Rep. Sally Kern in her reelection campaign for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

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Bill Would Create a Task Force for Enforcing the LDA

The Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act passed the House to establish a task force to strengthen enforcement of rules for federally registered lobbyists. Originally, the bill was the Fees on Lobbyists Act. It would have set up registration fees and fines for lobbyists' late filings to fund enforcement. However, the bill was amended to simply create the Lobbying Disclosure Enforcement Task Force.

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Groups Work to Change the LDA

Reportedly, the American League of Lobbyists is working with the Sunlight Foundation to change the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Once again Tom Daschle is the poster child for why such reform is needed. "Daschle, working with his firm's lobbyists, uses his decades of congressional experience to tell clients how to favorably influence policy.

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Unsurprisingly, Senate Will Not Debate the DISCLOSE Act

With a vote of 57-41, the Senate voted against proceeding to debate the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628. The bill will likely not be addressed again before the August recess.

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FEC Approves Advisory Opinions for Independent Expenditure Committees

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) recently voted 5-1 to approve advisory opinions allowing two political organizations to collect unlimited contributions for independent expenditures in federal campaigns. The groups, the conservative Club for Growth (the Club) and pro-Democratic Commonsense Ten, will disclose their donors and spending to the FEC. The opinions provide some guidance to entities that wish to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to run ads supporting or opposing candidates for federal office.

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Senate Will Consider DISCLOSE Act Next Week

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a revised version of the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628) on July 21, in hopes of gaining some much needed support from moderate Republicans before the upcoming August recess.

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Reid Plans to Bring DISCLOSE Act to Senate Floor before August Recess

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the DISCLOSE Act (the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act) to the Senate floor before the August recess. It was introduced in April by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to mitigate the effects of the January U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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