Featured & Recent

Post-Soviet Disinformation: How Tinder Becomes a Weapon

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the latest Rainey Center study examines how Russian propaganda efforts are being conducted through a surprising medium: online dating apps.A new white paper by Rainey Center Associate Fellow and Ukrainian political scholar Veronika Velch shows how a female university student's accusations of sexual harassment against a high ranking Ukrainian police official -- including fake screenshots of Tinder messages threatening her and her family -- went viral, causing immeasurable harm to his reputation and increasing distrust of the police.


Achieving California's Climate Goals with a Binding Clean Energy Standard

Rainey Center co-founder and President Sarah Hunt has authored a new policy paper advocating for California to adopt a binding, clearly defined expansion of their Clean Energy Standards under SB 100. California has been a leader in efforts towards energy sector de-carbonization, and access to affordable, clean energy is essential for the state's future.In the paper, Hunt discusses six critical policy elements needed to achieve this goal. These include adopting phased-in expansion benchmarks that will reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2038, passing new statutes to clearly define what qualifies as "clean energy" or "zero-carbon," enacting cost control measures to protect California families from "rate shock," removing outdated and overlapping mandates, limiting the liability of power producers, and guaranteeing the integrity of California's clean energy grid by ensuring low carbon imported electrons.


The Future of Data Privacy?

A new policy paper, originally published by Protego Press, makes the case for modernizing voter data privacy laws in the digital age. Rainey Center co-founder and CEO Sarah Hunt, along with associate fellow Dr. Veronika Velch, examine voter privacy issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.They found that Canadian political parties were using door-to-door canvassers to document details about people's personal lives based on objects in their homes. In the United Kingdom, parties bought data without conducting due diligence on how it was collected. Right here in the United States, Cambridge Analytica is accused of using an innocent-looking online personality test to harvest voter data ahead of the 2016 election.


Russian Disinformation and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the beginning of 2020, the world has seen the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus which became a global emergency1 on January 30 and a pandemic2 on March 11. While everyone from physicians and epidemiologists to teachers and grocery store workers have sought means of combatting the spread of the disease, masks and social distancing have done little to combat the spread of misinformation - which can be almost as dangerous. Our enemy is not only the pandemic, but “also an “infodemic” of misinformation,”3 as UN SecretaryGeneral António Guterres reminded the world.


Municipal Approaches to Climate Policy

The Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, a post partisan think tank based in Washington, DC has published a new Report examining effective municipal approaches to climate change policy. The Municipal Approaches to Climate Policy Report analyzes successful initiatives taken at the local level that have resulted in reduced carbon emissions and cleaner air as juxtaposed to tacticsthat only escalate the politicization of the climate issue without achieving notable environmental protection or long term benefits for the community.