The morning after his “State of the State” address where Governor Scott Walker reassured Wisconsin “We are turning things around. We are heading in the right direction,” the Milwaukee County District Attorney charged two more Walker staffers with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of misconduct in public office.
truth-out.org — Rarely have so few imposed such damage on so many. When five conservative members of the Supreme Court handed for-profit corporations the right to secretly flood political campaigns with tidal waves of cash on the eve of an election, they moved America closer to outright plutocracy, where political power derived from wealth is devoted to the protection of wealth. The decision in Citizens United giving corporations the same rights as living, breathing human beings will likely prove as infamous as the Dred Scott ruling of 1857 that opened the unsettled territories of the United States to slavery whether future inhabitants wanted it or not. It took a civil war and another hundred years of enforced segregation and deprivation before the effects of that ruling were finally exorcised from our laws. God spare us civil strife over the pernicious consequences of Citizens United, but unless citizens stand their ground, America will divide even more swiftly into winners and losers with little pity for the latter.
billmoyers.com — The public’s disgust with Congress has been confirmed in poll after poll; Americans are fed up with the combination of partisan squabbling and inertia that since last year has led to little or nothing accomplished. Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, told CNN on Tuesday, “I think that the 11 percent of Americans who think we’re doing a good job need therapy.” Several reports in the last day or two may finally convince that remaining 11 percent to head to the analyst’s couch. A headline in the congressional newspaper The Hill announces, “K Street Headhunters Enamored with Upcoming Class of Retiring Lawmakers.” The paper’s Kevin Bogardus writes, “The retiring class includes lawmakers who are known for their bipartisan ties, and others who have spent decades on Capitol Hill accruing seniority on powerful committees. That mix of attributes has many on K Street licking their chops…"
guardian.co.uk — The U.S. Constitution has served us very well, but when the supreme court says, for purposes of the first amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company's bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. That is why I have introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says simply and straightforwardly what everyone – except five members of the United States supreme court – understands: Corporations are not people with constitutional rights equal to flesh-and-blood human beings. Corporations are subject to regulation by the people. Corporations may not make campaign contributions – the law of the land for the last century – or dump unlimited sums of money into our elections. And Congress and states have broad power to regulate all election spending.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., speaks January 19 during a briefing on a petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission urging the agency require publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending. The petition is a response to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. more »
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Saturday is the two-year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.
Since then, our democracy has been drowning in a tsunami of corporate special interest money. Our government is under the thumb of the Koch brothers and other corporate moguls instead of the hands of the people.
The thing is, Romney's attacks on Santorum are spot on. It's not about Santorum's extremism, though there's more than enough material there. The label that may undermine Santorum with Republican primary voters isn't "extremist." It's "Washington Insider."
huffingtonpost.com — What do you do when people are growing increasingly angry about the influence of money on the political system — but that very same political system is too co-opted to care? Common Cause on Tuesday announced an attempt to put a measure on the ballot in all 50 states that would allow voters to constructively express that anger — and forcefully express their view that unlimited spending is hijacking our democracy.
thenation.com — On December 30, the Montana Supreme Court delivered a New Year’s gift to the nation, upholding a century-old ban on corporate political expenditures in state elections. The decision has gone underreported amidst the hoopla of the Republican primaries — even as super PAC spending skyrockets and there is an emerging understanding of its corrosive impact — but the Montana case sets up the first direct challenge to the disastrous Citizens United decision as we approach its second anniversary.
motherjones.com — A pioneer in the post-Citizens United world of super-PACs and dark money, Carl Forti is one of the lead architects of the GOP's outside-spending strategy and an operative who has for years tested the boundaries of campaign finance law. Groups connected to Forti have already begun running ads bashing Obama and vulnerable Democrats and plan to dump $240 million into 2012 races.