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Politics and Economy:
Money and Politics
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Useful Web Sites

Below you'll find useful sites for research the complicated relationship between money and politics in America today. Delve into campaign finance, the federal budget process and earmarks and "pork" below.

Campaign Finance Reform:

The American Conservative Union on Campaign Finance Reform
The American Conservative Union (ACU) commissioned this report, Who's Buying Campaign Finance Reform? to shed light on where the anti-First Amendment campaign 'reform' movement gets its money and what its leaders, followers and funders really want for America.

Campaign Finance Reform
This page on conservative U.S. politics asks if campaign finance reform is solving a problem or restricting free speech by providing bulleted lists of reformers' views and opponents' views, and links to resources.

The Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The site outlines the contributions of Enron and Andersen to Congress, including a breakdown of Enron's top individual donors.

Common Cause
This Common Cause Guide to the Enron Collapse features articles which illuminate the course of events and regularly publishes investigative studies on the effects of money in politics and reports on a variety of ethics and integrity-in-government issues. Also on this site, an extensive section on campaign finance reform.

In Depth on Campaign Finance Reform
A consortium of over 80 top public policy organizations and advocacy groups, the Electronic Policy Network provides timely information and leading ideas about policies and politics. Inside this site, EPN offers up-to-the-minute information on new releases from member organizations; the latest columns and editorials from policy debate shapers; and includes a catalog of articles on topics of soft money, financial disclosure, campaign finance reform and free speech, clean money, and other related topics.

Public Campaign
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of special interest money in America's elections and the influence of big contributors in American politics. Public Campaign works with various organizations, particularly citizen groups around the country that are fighting for change in their states. On the site, frequent updates and press releases give you the latest news on campaign finance reform.

Money and Politics
The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. In the articles on this web site, Cato scholars explain why the various proposals for extensive new regulations on campaign finance are unconstitutional, based on faulty assumptions and destined to result in unintended and undesirable consequences.

The Federal Budget Process:

Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office is a small, nonpartisan agency that produces policy analyses, cost estimates of legislation, and budget and economic projections that serve as a basis for the Congress's decisions about spending and taxes. Every piece of legislation affecting the use of the nation's resources undergoes CBO's scrutiny.

The Office of Management and Budget
Issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other related and supporting budget publications, such as the Economic Report of the President, are included, which may vary from year to year.

White House Budget 2006
The documents housed on the White House site include the "Mid-Session Review, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006;" which contains revised estimates of budget receipts, outlays, and budget authority for fiscal years 2005 through 2010 and other summary information. You can also find "Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006" which contains analyses and detailed information on Federal borrowing and debt; baseline or current services estimates; and other technical presentations.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a policy organization working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals. The Center's site has an easy-to-understand introduction to the federal budget process.

Budget Explorer
An interactive site that lets you determine federal budget priorities — using the actual numbers.

Tax Policy Center
The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. The Center is comprised of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy. The site hosts a feature on revenue and distributional impacts of tax proposals and many other federal budget analyses.

OMB Watch
OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability, citizen participation in public policy decisions, and the use of fiscal and regulatory policy to serve the public interest.

Earmarks and Pork:

Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization that conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. The Center maintains an extensive database on lobbying including top firms, top 527s and other organizations and a "Lobbying FAQ: What is Permissible? Out of Bounds? Punishable?"

Citizens Against Government Waste
CAGW is a private, non-partisan, non-profit, taxpayer watchdog organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. Since 1991, the annual Congressional Pig Book has provided a list of pork in the federal budget. A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition.

The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation presents its "Top 10 Examples of Government Waste," for 2005. The winners include Medicare Overspending, Unused Flight Tickets Totaling $100 Million and unreconciled federal budgets.

National Taxpayers Union
NTU was established in 1969 to educate taxpayers, the media, and elected officials on a non-partisan basis on the merits of limited government and low taxes. NTU uses a variety of means to accomplish our work including direct mail, research papers, public speaking, email, advertising, the Internet, and lobbying.

Open Secrets
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large.

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