Money in Politics Team: Two 2015 Studies

Join our work in studying how to control money in politics and address the problems of dark money and massive independent committee spending in campaigns.  We’ll also look at the constitutional amendment process: is it a good way to establish that money not equal to free speech and corporations are not people?

Contact Nancy Bickel if you’d like to work on this issue.

Below are updates from the national League from July 23, 2015 of background info and study kits for the two current LWVUS studies that we will be carrying out in our local league.


Money in Politics Review Paper on Independent Expenditures is Online (NEW)
The MIP paper on Independent Expenditures is now posted on the Money in Politics page. MIP: Independent Expenditures describes the history of independent expenditures and the evolution of regulations addressing them. It also examines recent trends in this type of spending and why it matters. A second link is also posted to the e-book entitled The New Soft Money by Daniel P. Tokaji & Renata E. B. Strause. This book documents the effect of the new soft money on federal elections by interviewing those directly involved with the system. A PowerPoint of Professor Tokaji’s presentation to Council 2015 can be found on the Convention and Council page.

Webinar Announcement: Overview of MIP and Constitutional Amendment Studies (UPDATED)
On Wednesday, July 29, at 3 p.m., LWVUS Board members, including the Chairs of the LWVUS Money in Politics Review and Constitutional Amendment Study Committees will provide a webinar with general background on national studies and an orientation to the two current studies. Registration for the webinar is now closed as we are at capacity. However, the webinar will be recorded and available in the LWVUS Webinar Librarywithin 24 hours of the webinar. For questions contact Betsy Lawson at

Money in Politics Review PowerPoint is Now Online(REMINDER)
The Money in Politics (MIP) Review and Update PowerPoint is a meeting-ready overview of money in politics issues for Leagues to use in meetings for members and the community. Along with “Meetings-in-a-Box,” and other materials posted on the Money in Politics Review page, these resources are intended to engage members and the general citizenry on MIP issues as they are evidenced nationally and in states and communities. In addition, the PowerPoint and Meetings-in-a-Box will help prepare members for the LWV update of its campaign finance position. This update of the League’s position on campaign finance will get member understanding and agreement on the extent to which the League thinks that financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment. Want to be a part of the discussion, join the MIP Google Group. Questions can be sent to

Constitutional Amendment Study: Consensus Questions and New Deadline! (REMINDER)
At its post-Council 2015 meeting, the League Board approved the Constitutional Amendment study questions so that Leagues can begin to meet and discuss this all important issue. LWVUS will be asking for the results of your consensus meetings by December 1, 2015. The consensus questions are accompanied by short PRO and CON statements that will help League members consider their responses. Educational materials can be found at theConstitutional Amendment Study page and others will be posted in the coming weeks. This will be an interesting, exciting and important way to kick off fall activities for the League!

See the recent post for more info.