Ellen Miller

Ellen Miller is the publisher of TomPaine.com. She is a former senior fellow at The American Prospect and the Moving Ideas Network.

A public interest advocate with over 30 years experience in Washington, D.C., Ms.
Miller's career spans early work with Ralph Nader at the Center for Responsive
Law and the Center for Auto Safety, to positions on Capitol Hill at the House
Intelligence Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and the
founding and direction of two nationally prominent organizations in the field of
money and politics – The Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign.
Before joining The Prospect, she served as president of Youth Venture, a
nonprofit focused on creating a dramatic change in the role of young people in
contemporary American society.

A nationally-recognized expert on America's campaign finance system, Ms. Miller
is well-known as a public speaker, commentator, and writer on a range of issues.
 She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Earth
Action, the Center for Responsive Politics, and the Family Foundation, and lives
in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Richard, and their two daughters, Anne and

Recent Articles


As soon as the Senate passed campaign finance reform, the House started to undo it.

In a little-noticed measure, just as the Senate was moving toward final passage of the McCain-Feingold bill, House Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas (R-California) pushed through a provision to exempt certain political-action committees (PACs) from reporting requirements imposed on them some 20 months ago. The irony of the move was doubled when President Bush announced he would sign the larger reform legislation even though what he really favored was full and complete disclosure of all political activity.

With Victories Like These....

What a cruel twist of fate: campaign finance reform that benefits Republicans and big money.

Labor's Loss

As this year's presidential and congressional elections turn inexorably into high-priced auctions, much attention has been paid to the fact that Democrats have in some respects achieved parity with Republicans in the money chase. According to the Federal Election Commission, as of March 31, Senate Democrats had raised $35.1 million in hard and soft money; Senate Republicans had raised $41.3 million. On the House side, Democrats were nearly even with Republicans in the soft money chase, $25 million to $27.5 million; Republicans were still well ahead in the hard money category, $45.2 million to $20.8 million.

Guns and Money

More than a year after the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, Congress remains unwilling to pass even the most incremental legislation controlling access to lethal weapons. There is no better explanation for that than the role of money in politics.

Pay-to-Play Conventions

The Republicans had their time. Then AT&T, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft packed up the trade show we still call a "political convention" and moved it over to Los Angeles.

This year's conventions will cost an estimated $85 million--$25 million more than they did in 1996--and the long list of corporate sponsors to the convention's "host committees" reads like a "who's who" of companies whose profit margins are deeply affected by government decision making.