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In May, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission released a report comparing election administration in urban and rural jurisdictions. The survey uncovered more similarities than differences, in part because many small, urban jurisdictions have more in common with rural offices than with very large metropolitan ones. The size of the registered voter population seemed to influence administration more than did the degree of urbanization.The report was based on a national survey of local election administrators that focused on voter-outreach efforts and office personnel -- topics identified by a working group of election officials and researchers as likely to vary based on a jurisdiction's urbanization.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
Summarizes an analysis of U.S. applications in the international Patent Cooperation Treaty database, with a focus on where innovation is occurring -- in which states, in which companies and universities, and in which technical areas.
Liberty Hill Foundation;
Examines the broad, multiracial, multi-sector movement building that has emerged in Los Angeles to demand community benefits agreements; better mass transit systems, school funding and curricula, and job training; and workers' and immigrants' rights.
Provides an exploration of how to engage the American public on a broad range of international issues and on fundamental questions about the U.S. role in the world. Features compact summaries of core arguments and messaging recommendations.
Examines the potential impact of climate change, including more disasters, economic stress, and social pressures, with respect to civilian and military response efforts. Calls for a coherent government approach and a strategic emphasis on long-term effect
Explains how to provide excellent teachers for every child every year by better identifying excellent teachers, removing policy barriers so they can teach more students for more pay, and catalyzing schools' and districts' will to put them in charge.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation;
Communities across our nation are experimenting with new ways to engage citizens in the decisions made by civic leaders from the public, private and non-pro!t sectors, working sometimes together and sometimes at cross purposes. Ultimately, success at making democracy work and sustaining healthy communities requires engaged individuals, organizations, and institutions.
Across our country, community engagement bright spots are emerging. These initiatives foster a sense of attachment, expand access to information and resources, and create opportunities for citizens to play more active roles in setting priorities, addressing issues, and planning the longer-term sustainability of their communities.
The National League of Cities, working with The John S. and James L Knight Foundation, selected 14 communities that the two institutions are engaged with to explore how well or poorly some of these experiments are faring today. This analysis then focused more closely on four communities -- Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Austin -- to document the lessons learned and the challenges ahead.
Pew Research Center;
Analyzes the demographic composition of voters in the 2008 elections and compares trends in voter participation rates and shares among all voters by race/ethnicity, gender, and age.
Reviews recent online misinformation campaigns and "cyberfraud" to suppress voting and skew elections, mainly in minority communities. Examines whether federal and state laws can sufficiently deter and punish perpetrators. Makes policy recommendations.
Peace and Security Funders Group;
Examines trends in grantmaking by U.S. foundations for civil society initiatives worldwide to promote peace and security, including by issue area, strategy, and foundation and grantee characteristics. Lists foundation giving by issue area and total.
Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.;
In October 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a case that challenges federal limits on the grand total an individual can contribute to federal candidates, political parties, and political action committees (PACs). In Part 1 of this two-part series, we examine several options available to the court and how potential outcomes could transform how candidates and parties can raise money.
Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.;
Many believe that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts will provide the swing vote in the court's decision in Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (McCutcheon), a case challenging the constitutionality of caps on the total amount of campaign contributions an individual may make to candidates, political parties, and political action committees. Based on his comments during oral arguments, some have speculated that Roberts will vote to strike down limits on aggregate contributions to candidates but will support maintaining limits on contributions to parties and political action committees (PACs).
We illustrated in Part 1 of this two-part series that eliminating limits on aggregate contributions to candidates while leaving other aggregate limits intact would enable joint fundraising committees (JFCs) operated by party leaders and elected officials to solicit contributions as large as $2.5 million from a single donor. This report shows that a supposed middle ground that permitted unlimited aggregate contributions to candidates but retained caps on contributions to parties would also likely end up eroding the integrity of limits on contributions to parties.
Under a scenario in which only caps on total contributions to candidates were struck down, the party leaders and elected officials who administer joint fundraising committees would likely end up soliciting checks of more than $2.5 million from major donors. The vast majority of these contributions would be distributed to candidates in increments of $5,200 per recipient. However, because candidates could transfer their share of contributions received from JFCs to party committees, leaders of JFCs, would likely pressure candidates, the majority of whom are running in uncompetitive races, to redirect that money to back party committees.
Using conservative estimates about the number of major donors that would contribute $2.5 million to a joint fundraising committee if the court eliminated caps on total contributions to candidates, and data on the number of competitive and non-competitive congressional races in recent election cycles, we estimate that eliminating the aggregate limit on contributions to candidates could enable candidates to transfer more than $74 million to the national party committees combined. Each donor would effectively be contributing the equivalent of more than $1.8 million to party committees, or more than 24 times the legal limit.