Never allow your wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interests of others and live simply so others may simply live
Saturday, June 12, 2010
From Public Citizen
an e-newsletter about the movement to curb corporate influence in politics and restore our democracy
Issue #16 • June 11, 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:
Number of financial industry lobbyists who used to work for members of the newly appointed financial reform conference committee: 56
U.S. Supreme Court puts public funding of elections in Arizona on hold
Arizona's popular law providing public financing of elections has been put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court. The purpose of the law is to provide a way for average citizens to run for office, rather than just limiting the field to the powerful and well-financed. Under the system, the state provides matching money for candidates who raise small quantities of money from ordinary citizens and adhere to fundraising limits. Six past and future candidates and two political action committees challenged the law's constitutionality, claiming that the law burdens their exercise of protected speech by punishing them for raising money. If they raise too much money, they trigger the release of matching funds to their opponent, which makes them curb their fundraising and thereby chills their speech, they claimed. A district court agreed, finding the law unconstitutional. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed the ruling; the Supreme Court then intervened.
If Citizens United is a media company, than we're a mega-corporation
It's unbelievable but true: The Federal Election Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to give Citizens United, the conservative advocacy group based in Virginia, an exemption to campaign finance requirements. Citizens United argued that since it produced documentary films, it should be considered a media company and be exempt from disclosure requirements. Amazingly, the FEC agreed. This could have profound implications for future elections. For those of you keeping score at home, it's now Citizens United 2, Democracy 0.
DISCLOSE Act in trouble
Behind-the-scenes wrangling over the DISCLOSE Act continues. It isn't looking good for advocates of reform. The act is designed to let the public know which and how much money corporations are spending to influence elections. It was crafted in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court said corporations could spend unlimited amounts to elect or defeat candidates.
More Citizens United fallout: Minnesota complaint may not fly
Minnesota's Republican Party wants to file a complaint about a poll paid for by a corporation, which the party says constitutes an illegal contribution accepted by gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner. But the law on which the complaint is based was struck down in May, another casualty of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which permitted corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections.
Ohio state senator explains need for Citizens United legislative response In a recent op-ed, Ohio state Sen. John Carey laid out the case for transparency in campaign spending. Legislation that Carey co-sponsored would require corporations to report all independent campaign expenditures of $500 or more and disclose the names of the donors. The bill, Senate Bill 240, has passed the Senate.
The progress of social justice is slow and measured. Its growth depends on an increasing number of us becoming aware of the truth and consequences of our actions.
I believe that it is morally wrong to allow our wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interests of other sentient beings.
I believe the physical and psychological abuse – confinement, social deprivation, mutilation, genetic and reproductive manipulation, and profit exploitation – imposed by us on other animals is morally wrong.
I believe the suggestion that the exploitation of other sentient beings by humans can be achieved without cruelty, violence, or injustice is false and misleading.
As an advocate for all life, committed to compassion and justice, I refuse to take part in the exploitation of other sentient beings or to collaborate with those caught up in such injustice.
I pledge to do my best to live a life that conveys a clear, sincere and uncompromised message that is free of resentment, fear, exploitation, anger, cynicism, and manipulation.
Furthermore, I pledge to continue to support a broad range of nonviolent initiatives and programs that will hopefully one day eliminate the needless pain and suffering we inflict upon all the many wonderful creatures with whom we share this planet.