Friday, May 14, 2010

From Public Citizen

Public Citizen's 'Money and Democracy Update'
an e-newsletter about the movement to curb corporate influence in politics and restore our democracy
Issue #12 • May 14, 2010

We hope you enjoy this issue of Public Citizen's e-newsletter about the intersection of money and politics. This is part of the campaign we developed following the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts supporting or attacking political candidates. We'll update you regularly with select news stories and blog posts, legislative developments and ways to get involved.

Stunning Statistic of the Week:
Warning from the right: DISCLOSE Act calls for burning books, regulating the Internet, more
Sophists have long known that when you cannot defeat a proposal based on merit, then resort to groundless - or even false - accusations to create hysteria and confusion over the proposal. Those opposed to the recent health care reform legislation did exactly that when they invented the myth about "death panels." But that wasn't the point. The point was to spread hysteria and confusion about the legislation to defeat it. We are now hearing some of the same sophistry from opponents of the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175), a good but modest bill designed to open the books on who is paying for these unlimited independent expenditure campaign ads.

Here's why we need disclosure
A shadowy right-wing group is spending megabucks to run ads against a challenger to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who is trying to keep her seat in an upcoming primary. Americans for Job Security, whose funding sources are unknown, has spent $1.5 million on attack ads against Lincoln's challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. The trouble is, no one can say just who is paying for those ads. Halter has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the group.

Move afoot in California for public financing of elections
The nature of California's elections could change if Proposition 15, which will be on the June 8 ballot, is approved. The ballot measure would allow for voluntary public funding of elections for the secretary of state starting in 2014 and would repeal the state's longtime ban on public funding of campaigns. Candidates who limit spending under this pilot program would receive a minimum of $1 million, with possibilities for millions more if they are up against privately financed opponents.

Minnesota judge strikes down that state's campaign finance restrictions
A federal judge has ruled that Minnesota's rules restricting corporations from spending in elections are unconstitutional. The ruling is part of the continued fallout from the Supreme Court's January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court said corporations could spend unlimited amounts to sway elections.

For your amusement: If BP were a human being …
What if BP were a person, not a corporation? This person would have been married several times (thanks to corporate mergers) and would have several aliases. The person would be considered "a career criminal, a pathological liar and an international serial killer with a rap sheet several times the size of the Chicago Yellow Pages." Oh, the person also would be a flight risk.

Disclosure law lands on desk of Colorado governor
Legislation that is being called the "most significant campaign finance reform undertaken in the nearly completed legislative session" is headed to the Colorado governor's desk for his signature. The measure bans campaign contributions by foreign corporations and sets up registration, disclosure and disclaimer requirements for corporations that spend money on elections. The measure was passed in response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

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1 comment:

mythopolis said...

I especially, and bitterly, enjoyed the one about If BP were human.....