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Q&A: Experts Discuss How to Find Undisclosed Campaign Donors

On Tuesday, a panel of top researchers, policy experts, and legal minds discussed lessons learned from the 2018 election and how groups- both liberal and conservative- have gotten better at hiding the source of campaign messages. (See video below.)

PANEL 1: Following dark money trail through 2020

Michael Beckel, Issue One, Manager of Research, Investigations and Policy Analysis
Bio: Michael’s latest project, “Dark Money Illuminated” revealed that 75% of dark money spending since Citizens United came from just 15 dark money groups. Before joining Issue One in March 2017, Michael spent roughly a decade as an award-winning journalist following the money in politics, including stints at the Center for Public Integrity and Center for Responsive Politics.

Anna Massoglia, The Center for Responsive Politics, Nonprofits and FARA Researcher
Bio: Anna researches foreign influence and dark money in politics for the Center for Responsive Politics, working on the OpenSecrets’ Foreign Lobby Watch project, dark money database and FCC political advertising database. Anna holds a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia and worked previously at Bloomberg BNA.

PANEL 2: Solving the dark money problem

Tyler Cole, Issue One, Legislative Director and Counsel
Bio: Tyler leads Issue One’s legislative reform efforts. He has had experience with money in politics for nearly a decade, and from both the inside and the outside, first as a campaign fundraiser and later as a reform advocate. Tyler has J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where he served an Assistant Director of the GW Political Law Studies Initiative.

Sheila Krumholz, The Center for Responsive Politics, Executive Director
Bio: Sheila is the Center for Responsive Politics’ chief administrator, the liaison to its board and major funders and its primary spokesperson. Sheila became executive director in 2006, having spent eight years as the Center’s research director, supervising data analysis for OpenSecrets.org and CRP’s clients. She first joined the organization in 1989 as assistant editor of the very first edition of Open Secrets, the Center’s flagship publication. In 2010, Fast Company magazine named Sheila to its “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.

Adav Noti, Campaign Legal Center, Senior Director, Trial Litigation & Chief of Staff
Bio: Prior to joining CLC, Adav served for more than ten years in several capacities within the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission. From 2013 to 2017, as Associate General Counsel for Policy, Adav oversaw all legal recommendations regarding the FEC’s regulations and advisory opinions. From 2007 to 2012, as Acting Assistant General Counsel and an attorney in the FEC’s Litigation Division, he litigated dozens of constitutional cases in district courts, courts of appeals and the United States Supreme Court, including the landmark cases of Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC.

Event: Dark Money 2020

Starting soon: top researchers, policy experts and legal minds Issue One, OpenSecrets.org and Campaign Legal Center talk about how to follow dark money in spending through the 2020 elections, and how to solve the problem. Learn more: https://www.issueone.org/event-dark-money-2020/

Posted by Issue One on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This presentation is brought to you by our INN affiliates Issue One, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Campaign Legal Center.

Type of Work:

Behind the Story Clarifies for the public how a story was reported.

Explainer A data-driven story that provides background, definition and detail on a specific topic.

News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

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Areas of Expertise:

Accountability Journalism

Location Expertise:

Buckeye State

Phone Number:

(646) 397-7761


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