Presidential Primary Elections and Financial Transparency

Presidential Primary Elections and Financial Transparency

As the field for the primary elections narrows, only one remaining presidential hopeful has introduced detailed platforms related to transparency in politics. While Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, Jr. have outlined their general views on government ethics and transparency reform, neither has released detailed positions on the issue. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has publicized various proposals for reforms to federal ethics legislation relevant to financial disclosures.

A Commission on Federal Ethics that enforces federal ethics law serves as a cornerstone of Joe Biden’s policy proposals. This commission would establish a single agency to oversee and enforce anti-corruption and ethics laws. Currently an assortment of mandates and agencies oversees federal ethics legislation, resulting in a lack of statutory authority and compliance. In addition to centralizing federal ethics legislation oversight and enforcement, this new agency would also expand the accessibility of public data tracking campaign contributions and lobbyist behavior.


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A Brief History of the STOCK Act

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The STOCK Act was first introduced in 2005 in the House, accompanying significant publicity for an academic study suggesting that Members of Congress beat the market significantly with their own investments.

EIGA and What Politicians Have to Disclose

EIGA: What Politicians Have to Disclose

Senior members of each branch of the federal government are required to routinely disclose their financial interests and activities to the public under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA).

Supreme Court Wealth

How Rich is the Supreme Court?

We estimate that the wealthiest Supreme Court Justice (Roberts) has an investment portfolio worth 400 times that of the least wealthy justice (Kavanaugh). In total, the nine justices hold approximately $49 million in assets, and all employ unique investment styles.

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