Citizens United vs FEC - U.S. Judicial Branch
An investigation by CNN has exposed that the National Republican Congressional Committee and Super PAC's associated with Republican candidates in the 2014 election cycle set up fake Twitter accounts to share internal polling data, which seems to violate campaign finance laws in the post Citizens United world.
". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.
What should happen if someone threatens to kill you on social media? Are they protected by the First Amendment right guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech, or are they breaking the law? We will soon know now the answer after the Supreme Court rules on a case that may have far reaching ramifications well beyond the single case they are hearing.
In 1819, the Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward ruling recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural born citizens to contract and to enforce contracts. In Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining Co. v. Pennsylvania (1888) SCOTUS ruled that under the designation of ‘person’ that corporations are included in the 14th Amendment.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby could deny its employees certain health care coverage, in this case contraception, based on religious beliefs. This means that companies can now prohibit or restrict its employees from partaking in actions that are legal under US law but not in line the religious views of the company.
On November 3, 1948, the Chicago Daily Tribune published a banner headline, "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN".The underlying lead paragraph stated: "Dewey and Warren won a sweeping victory in the presidential election yesterday.
In my previous blog article, Campaign Finance Reform going nowhere fast, I covered the wave of spending that followed the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United versus FEC decision.
On Tuesday Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on what has become to be known as "The Hobby Lobby" case. I may be accused of being too hyperbolic, but I believe this case has the potential to redefine the concept of religious freedom for years to come.
In my previous column, I took issue with liberals who take a “purist” view of financial regulation—who believe it’s wrong to appoint regulators or elect lawmakers who take campaign contributions from the financial industry, or who’ve worked in that industry in the past, or who won’t pledge never to work for it in the future. The idea is to keep regulation free of corrupting influence, but in fact their position makes it less likely that we regulate the industry well. I wrote about three of the reasons in my last column: If you worry too much about purity, you lose the inside knowledge of the industry that can make regulators more effective, as well as a personal connection with firms that can actually increase the likelihood they’ll comply with the rules.
The 2016 presidential contenders are stretching the latitude they have to work with their independent allies more than candidates in recent elections ever dared, taking advantage of a narrowly drawn rule that separates campaigns from outside groups. For the first time, nearly every top presidential hopeful has a personalized super PAC that can raise unlimited sums and is run by close associates or former aides. Many also are being boosted by nonprofits, which do not have to disclose their donors.
Last June, Scott Renfroe, a Colorado state senator running in a crowded GOP congressional primary, was hit with a slashing attack ad that accused him of supporting “taxpayer-funded bailouts” for a failed local bank. “Not conservative,” declared the ad run by a Denver-based nonprofit called Citizens for a Sound Government. The spot hit two weeks before the primary, which Renfroe lost by 20 points. The innocuous-sounding group was among a wave of organizations funded by secret donors that set a new high-water mark in the 2014 midterms, spending more than $170 million on congressional races, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
The richest Americans hold more of the nation’s wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses. And also on politics. In fact, their political spending has been growing faster than their spending on anything else. It’s been growing even faster than their wealth.
The 2014 election season acquired its fair share of nicknames: the Nothing Election, the Seinfeld Election, and the Meh Midterms. Here's another: the Year of Koch. Big money from outside spenders like the Koch brothers' political network and the pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC dominated this year's elections. In the battleground states, a voter couldn't watch five minutes of television, listen to the radio, or cue up a YouTube clip without being bombarded by political ads, most of them of the minor-chord, attack-ad variety. Broadcasters in Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, and other critical states collected money by the fistful. Major candidates galore had a deep-pocketed super-PAC or a political nonprofit in his or her corner.
The Daily Show declared money in politics as the true victor of the 2014 midterm elections, in an acknowledgement of just how much money was spent on all the races this past year. Before adjusting for inflation, this year's congressional races were the most expensive ever. The Senate race in North Carolina, for example, was the costliest in history.
In September, a proposal to amend the US Constitution to allow tougher campaign finance and election spending restrictions went down to defeat in the Senate, on a party-line vote. Now, a new analysis by Common Cause rounded up the latest lobbying filings to find which interest groups disclosed lobbying against this amendment. Here are some of its findings:
THE 30-SECOND TV SPOT is stark and brutal. First it shows the bespectacled face of candidate Louis Butler, then a grainy mug shot of an ex-con. "Louis Butler worked to put criminals on the street," the narrator warns, "like Reuben Lee Mitchell, who raped an 11-year-old girl with learning disabilities." After Mitchell's release from prison, the narrator continues, he raped again. "Can Wisconsin families feel safe with Louis Butler?" This attack ad wasn't from a bitterly fought congressional race. It was from a 2008 campaign for state Supreme Court justice—a position that until recently was considered above the fray of partisan politics.
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