Political parties and other powerful players use the once-a-decade redistricting process to advance their own goals — often at the expense of voters. A recently released trove of email messages from Ohio offers a rare inside glimpse into how it works. The messages, sent from June to September, show collaboration between the national GOP and state Republicans to redraw Ohio’s maps and thus cement control of both the statehouse and a majority of congressional districts.
Political action committees in Georgia operate with little oversight. They don’t have to report spending that’s not campaign-related. Nothing in campaign law addresses how PACs spend their money, the State Ethics Commission observed in 2008. “We did some advisory opinions because we were hoping people would get outraged enough and push for legislation,” said Rick Thompson, the agency’s former executive secretary. It hasn’t worked so far. Georgia lawmakers are sifting through a slew of ethics bills, but none address PAC spending.