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The Supreme Court is currently considering a challenge to the Arizona’s Clean Elections matching funds provision. The court appears to be split on the issue whether the matching funds are unconstitutional, with Roberts and the conservative justices leaning for the plaintiff, the less conservative justices supporting Arizona, and  Justice Kennedy holding the deciding vote. Unfortunately, it appears that the case may be decided without even considering the most important aspects of Clean Elections legislation.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 20:13

Clean Elections Talk at UU Pineda

The nice folks of the Friendship Fellowship at Pineda, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on North US1 near the Pineda Causeway in Melbourne, invited me to be the guest speaker last Sunday, on the topic of public campaign financing.

“We must stop behaving as if our national interests can be pursued without regard for our values.”   This is not a quote from Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky, but from a recent policy paper, “A National Strategic Narrative,” written by two Pentagon staffers, and, we can hope, published with the consent of defense department leadership.
On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court struck down a key element of the 13-year old Arizona Clean Elections law, with the words, “Laws like Arizona’s matching funds provision that inhibit robust and wide-open political debate without sufficient justification cannot stand.” The law was established by voter referendum in the 1990s as a response to wide-scale corruption in the state legislature.

In the continuing judicial erosion of campaign finance reform laws, a Florida federal judge has eliminated the matching funds provision in the Florida Election Campaign Finance Act. The ruling follows and models the June 27 Supreme Court decision declaring the matching funds provision of Arizona’s Clean Elections law unconstitutional.

Watch this short, two minute, video of a 1924 speech by Senator Bob LaFollette. His speech is completely relevant to our times, in terms of the need for us to take individual responsibility to win back real representative democracy from the hands of a corporate / wealthy elite who actively use their resources to bend government to their purposes at the expense of us all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5plfw9dV24&feature=youtu.be

Sunday, 16 October 2011 13:53

A funny email forwarded from my Dad.

My Dad forwarded me a pretty funny email from a friend today. Since it relates at least tangentially to money in politics, I’ve included it below along with my response.

Monday, 17 October 2011 10:56

Money in Politics Tops the 99% Issues

It is noteworthy that the "Declaration, Petition for the Redress of Grievances" recently published by a working group of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement addresses money in politics in the first four of its 20 listed issues. While the Declaration does not say the list is in priority order, it seems significant to me that these come first.
Friday, 28 October 2011 18:31

Will African Americans Support Obama? ...

Will African Americans Support Obama in 2012 ... or will they even be able to vote? See this article, which claims that blacks still hugely support President Obama for 2012, but that voter suppression legislation in 38 states may significantly diminish their access to the ballot and the power of their votes.

Monday, 13 February 2012 19:45

CPAC Celebrates Citizens United

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) empanelled a number of lawyers and campaign finance experts last weekend to "celebrate Citizens United" - i.e., Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, the 2010 Supreme Court decision which makes it possible for corporations (and unions) to spend unlimited amounts of money from their treasuries on political campaigns.  (I include unions parenthetically because, although media descriptions of the ruling almost always list “corporations and unions,” the truth is that unions are so outgunned that they may as well just keep their money.

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