In a unique Michigan quirk, the state’s campaign finance law predates the term limit law, and therefore “does not clearly allow for fundraising by lawmakers who can’t be re-elected,” according to Egan. A 1978 ruling by the Secretary of State sets precedent for a “fundraising event” to exclude anything that does not raise proceeds to influence elections, but there remains no explicit fundraising prohibition. In addition to the hazy legal ground, checks on state politicians are inadequate because the Bureau of Elections is understaffed and unable to scrutinize the thousands of campaign finance reports that it receives, Robinson said (and the director of the state’s Bureau of Elections didn’t dispute). Given this, the spotlight from the Detroit Free Press shines all the brighter.
United States Project
11:00 AM - July 3, 2012
Why are lame ducks still raising campaign funds?
The Detroit Free Press takes a look at the books of 22 state lawmakers
Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star
Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily
Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics
Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance
The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”
“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”
“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”
“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.