States have the authority to design their voting systems, so long as they do not violate the Constitutional Amendments or federal laws that prohibit them from discriminating against voters by gender or race. In a 1997 case the US Supreme … Read More
The impact of money on politics has become increasingly pronounced as a 2012 chart by Mother Jones makes clear States, cities and the federal government have tried in various ways to curb the corrupting influence of money on political elections … Read More
On May 21, 2009, Vancouver passed an important resolution to encourage technological openness in the City. The city is committing to making more data available, which will encourage citizen oversight and understanding of what the city government is doing.
The city is committing to open/accessible data, open standards, and open source software (not by mandating it, but by mandating its consideration when replacing or acquiring new systems).
Prior to June 2007, a Vermont town that wanted to create a community broadband network would have to amend the town charter and get it approved by the Vermont Legislature to gain the necessary authority to do so. Public Act 79 of 2007 changed that, granting broad authority to communities to create their own networks.
The national telecommunications companies like Comcast and Verizon had largely ignored Vermont, like other upper New England states. These companies invested little in the low density communities – preferring to invest where they could maximize profits. Realizing the future required fast broadband networks, the Vermont Legislature and Governor Douglas partnered, forming an overwhelming majority to pass legislature to encourage broadband investment.… Read More
In late-May 2005, Maine’s governor signed LD 1128, which clarifies local government authority to offer Internet services. The act also instructs the State Planning Office to study the “economic, technological and funding issues associated with municipalities providing wireless Internet services to their communities.” … Read More
The US Supreme Court’s 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo constitutes a central obstacle to effective campaign finace reform. The ruling does this in two ways: First, equating money with speech, the decision prohibited governments from imposing spending limits on candidates.… Read More
Over 80 local governments have passed some form of campaign finance legislation. The National Civic League has compiled an Inventory of Local Reforms of those it knows about. Over half of those reforms have been enacted since 1990 and it is likely that there are more reforms out there yet to be discovered.… Read More
Oregon’s 1994 Ballot Measure 6 amended the state constitution to allow candidates to "use or direct only contributions which originate from individuals who at the time of their donation were residents of the electoral district of the public office sought by the candidate."(Oregon Constitution Art. II, § 22) It imposed a 10 percent cap on the total amount of money a candidate could accept from contributors residing outside the district.… Read More