Guest Contributor

A Silver Bullet That Would End Secret Tax-Exempt Money In Elections

A guest post by Greg Colvin, a partner at the firm Adler & Colvin, originally published at OurFuture.org.

No doubt about it, large unlimited donations are flowing into SuperPACs from rich individuals and corporations aimed at influencing who is elected at all levels of government in 2012. With the SuperPACs and other forms of political committees regulated by the federal and state election agencies, or by the IRS under section 527, at least we know who the donors are.

Unpacking the Shale Gas LNG Export Boom

This post was originally published at Nation of Change.

While the North American shale gas boom continues full-steam ahead, so too does another boom receiving less of the spotlight: the LNG export boom.

LNG, shorthand for liquefied natural gas, is gas that's been condensed into a liquid form by chilling it to approximately −162 °C (−260 °F). That gas is placed in LNG tankers, also known as "trains," then shipped off to lucrative global markets.

Breaking Up with the Sierra Club

-- by Sandra Steingraber; this intro and open letter were originally posted on the Orion magazine blog.

Orion's search for a more truthful relationship between humans and the natural world occasionally calls for the expression of outrage. The more we learn about a gas-drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing—or "fracking"—the more we see it as a zenith of violence and disconnect, impulses that seem to be gathering on the horizon like thunder clouds.

Long-time friend and Orion columnist Sandra Steingraber has been particularly vocal about the dangers of fracking. Her columns in recent issues of the magazine have frequently been dedicated to the issue; and last year, after receiving a Heinz Award for her work, Steingraber donated the cash prize to the fight against fracking in her home state of New York.

Cantor Quietly Acknowledges Failing to Report ALEC Gift

--by Nick Surgey of Common Cause; originally posted on CommonBlog.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Common Cause)In February, Common Cause wrote to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, asking for an explanation about an apparently unreported $1,350 gift from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2009. Cantor's office immediately responded, claiming our inquiry was without foundation, but last week his office quietly amended his financial disclosures to include the gift from ALEC.

At that time, I wrote about Cantor's failure to disclose:

ALEC, the so-called "free market, small government" lobby group underwritten by some of the nation's largest corporations, reported in its tax filings for 2008 and 2009, making "cash grants" to the recipients of several annual awards. Common Cause has identified 22 legislators who received ALEC awards in those two years, including Rep. Cantor, who ALEC records indicate received $1,350 in 2009 as part of their Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.

ALEC-Linked Group Revealed As Major Secret Donor In Referendum On Maine Voting Rights

by Scott Keyes

This article was originally published by Think Progress. The Center for Media and Democracy is cross-posting it as part of our ongoing efforts to expose the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its attempts to disenfranchise voters across the country.


VotingLast month, Maine voters delivered a major rebuke to Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the Republican-held legislature when they approved a referendum restoring election day voting registration rights in the state. Earlier this year, state legislators passed a bill repealing the state's 38 year-old law allowing citizens to register at the polls on election day.

Colvin on How to Choose a Constitutional Amendment

This is a guest post by Greg Colvin, partner at the firm Adler and Colvin, originally published at OurFuture.org.

There is a growing movement of people fed up with corporations-as-persons, money-as-speech, elections-for-sale in America. They are ready to amend the US Constitution as the only sure way to reverse the Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United v. FEC and Buckley v. Valeo. But what's the best amendment? Sanders/Deutch or Udall/Sutton? Move To Amend or Free Speech for People?

Views on the OCCUPY Amendment

This is a guest op-ed by Greg Colvin, a partner at the firm Adler & Colvin, originally published at OurFuture.org.

As the struggle in the streets intensifies, and Occupy Wall Street refuses to remain silent, it's good to know there are champions in Congress who have stepped up to the challenge of amending the US Constitution. It's called OCCUPIED: Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy, here.

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