Democracy

Report | Maryland PIRG, Demos | Democracy

McCutcheon Money

This term, the Supreme Court is considering a challenge to aggregate contribution limits in a case called McCutcheon v. FEC. The current limit on what one person may contribute to all federal candidates, parties and PACs is $123,200. Absent this limit, one wealthy donor would be permitted to contribute more than $3.5 million to a single party’s candidates and party committees (plus a virtually unlimited amount to supportive PACs).

Media Hit | Democracy

Payday lenders move online as regulators crack down

The banner ad atop the website features a wide-eyed baby cradled in an adult's hands with the words, "Did that special vacation for two end up producing a third? Castle Payday has life's unexpected expenses covered." On a growing number of sites like this one, short-term loans are just a click away for Web-surfing borrowers, regardless of any history of bankruptcy, bounced checks or other credit problems. The catch is that these so-called payday loans often come with sky-high interest rates of 400 percent or more. The Castle Payday website advertises an effective 888 annual percentage rate, meaning a 14-day loan of $500 will end up costing the borrower $675.

It’s up to the IRS to ensure that nonprofits are not being used as illicit vehicles to funnel untraceable money into our elections. However the agency’s handling of this responsibility has been thoroughly outrageous, the latest scandal being just the latest example of disturbing action—or, as has been more often the case, inaction.

Maryland PIRG 2013 Testimony: Same Day Registration

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Same day registration during the early voting period has potential to increase voter turnout among all demographics, but most especially among groups that have historically experienced low turnout, such as young voters.

Maryland PIRG 2013 Testimony: Election Day Registration

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Election Day registration has potential to increase voter turnout across the board.

Maryland PIRG 2013 Testimony: Voter ID

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Voter ID would exacerbate low voter turnout, a major problem confronting our democracy.

Maryland PIRG 2013 Testimony: Shareholder Approval

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

SB 772 requires that corporations and businesses operating in Maryland provide an opportunity for their shareholders to vote on any political spending by the company.

Maryland PIRG 2013 Testimony: HB 1499

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Maryland PIRG supports passage of HB 1499, which includes important reforms to increase transparency in campaign finance, close loopholes that allow big donors and corporations outsized influence in politics, and enables local governments to introduce public financing of elections.

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Democracy

“A Huge Step Forward for Voter Participation”

The House of Delegates today gave final approval to SB 279, which would expand early voting and allow same day voter registration at early voting centers.  If the Senate concurs with the House amendments the bill will move to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Voting Rights Take Center Stage at the General Assembly

By | Laura Muth
Democracy Associate

Last week was a big week in Maryland politics. One of Maryland PIRG’s top priorities, same-day voter registration (SDR), got plenty of airtime. We worked with a broad coalition of partners to provide testimony on a bill introduced by the governor that aims to expand voting rights by letting eligible Marylanders to register to vote at polling places during the early voting period, as well as increasing the number of early voting days to eight and increasing the number of polling places during early voting.

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