Urban Institute. October 21, 2014.
This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key. Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice. [Note: contains copyrighted material]
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413249-Labor-Trafficking-in-the-United-States.pdf [PDF format, 307 pages]
Brennan Center for Justice. October 21, 2014
Using newly released FEC data, Election Spending 2014: 9 Toss-Up Senate Races examines outside spending in 2014’s nine most competitive U.S. Senate races, the outcomes of which will likely determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years. The report found record highs in total outside spending, “dark money” spending by groups that conceal the identity of their donors, and spending by single-candidate groups. In fact, it is likely that eight of these nine races will match or exceed the previous record high for spending in a Senate race, while less than half the expenditures so far have come from the candidates themselves. In other words, outside money made possible by weak regulation and Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United is giving wealthy spenders more power than ever to buy influence over elections. [Note: copyrighted material]
Brookings Institution. October 22, 2014.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government…whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights,” he certainly could not have conceived of secret money’s impact on elections and policy-making. But every year that goes by with Congress failing to address secret campaign spending challenges the founding father’s time-tested wisdom. [Note: contains copyrighted material]