Reports

Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Tax

Transparency in City Spending

Cities across the country have been moving toward making their checkbooks transparent by creating transparency portals and posting recipient-specific spending data online. This report evaluates the progress of America’s 30 largest cities, including Portland, toward a standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

Report | USPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Elections Confidential

“Elections Confidential” describes how secret donors poured hundreds of millions into the 2012 election through social-welfare groups that are really political vehicles and via shell corporations formed as conduits to hide a funder’s identity. The first post-Citizens United presidential election cycle was bought and paid for by a handful of wealthy donors, but the corrosive influence of money in politics was amplified by the fact that we don’t know who – or what – actually provided much of the funding.

Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Outside Spending, Outsized Influence

The 2012 elections were by far the most expensive in history thanks primarily to the tidal wave of outside, special interest money triggered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.The federal House races in Oregon, where outside groups spent over $1.1 million, were no exception. 

Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Billion-Dollar Democracy

The first presidential election since Citizens United lived up to its hype, with unprecedented outside spending from new sources making headlines. Demos and OSPIRG Foundation analysis of reports from campaigns, parties, and outside spenders to the Federal Election Commission found that our big money system distorts democracy and creates clear winners and losers: favoring wealthy donors over average citizens and powerful special interests over the public interst.  

Report | OSPIRG | Tax

What America Could Do with $150 Billion Lost to Offshore Tax Havens

Many corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes—to avoid paying $150 billion in U.S. taxes each year. This $150 billion is a lot of money, especially at a time of difficult budget choices. To put this sum in perspective, we present 16 potential ways that income could be used.

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