A federal appellate court has used the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. F.E.C. decision to strike down a Wisconsin law limiting how much a person can donate to "independent expenditure" political groups.
The NAACP is calling the wave of Voter ID laws passed in 2011 a "coordinated and comprehensive assault" on the right to vote for people of color and the poor, singling out the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as the source of the outbreak. The organization is taking its case to the United Nations this week.
Rev. William Barber, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference, says "Jim Crow used blunt tools. James Crow, Esquire uses surgical tools, high paid consultants and lawyers to cut out the heart of black political power."
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.
This is a guest post on Citizens United by Greg Colvin, who is a partner at the firm Adler & Colvin. It was originally published on OurFuture.org.
We've seen the signs and heard the chants: "Abolish Corporate Personhood!"
I'm very sympathetic to the cause of reducing the power of big business corporations to control our government, our economy, our consumer culture, our society, and our lives. We can't have democracy without a major shift of power into the hands of the people.
But would an amendment to remove all rights of corporations from the US Constitution accomplish that? Would there be unintended consequences?
There are two problems with a constitutional amendment that abolishes corporate personhood. One, it does too much, and two, it does too little.
The effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker begins today, and organizers and volunteers are readying their clipboards to begin collecting more than half a million signatures throughout the holiday season. But as volunteers celebrated the launch at midnight "recall-themed" pajama parties, the many challenges ahead were underscored by a deliberate, grinch-like cyber-attack on a key recall website.
by Brendan Fischer and Sara Jerving
The Center for Media and Democracy filed a letter this week requesting that the Internal Revenue Service investigate Prosperity USA, a charity founded by Herman Cain's Chief of Staff Mark Block, for potentially violating the Internal Revenue Code by fronting tens of thousands of dollars worth of Mr. Cain's campaign travel expenses. But Prosperity USA is only one node in a network of charities and nonprofit organizations associated with Mr. Block, the former head of the Wisconsin arm of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.
PRESS RELEASE, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CONTACT: NIKOLINA LAZIC (312) 731-1292
Madison -- Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a letter requesting that the Internal Revenue Service investigate a charity operated by Wisconsin political veteran Mark Block that spent over $40,000 of tax-exempt donations to pay for private jets, travel, and computers for Herman Cain's presidential bid. CMD also requested an examination of other Mark Block-related groups sharing the same address or other commonalities. Mr. Cain, who has denied knowing who paid for his various travels, is not the target of these requests to the IRS.
The "Occupy" movement has been inspired in part by the increasingly outsized political power of the top 1%, which has made elected officials more responsive to deep-pocket donors than those they were elected to represent. In response to the other 99% being left politically and economically disempowered, former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur has announced plans to work toward amending the U.S. Constitution to get big money out of politics and restore representative democracy.
Wisconsin's American Legislative Exchange Council-inspired voter ID law, which will make it harder for students and people of color to vote, is being challenged under the state constitution by the League of Women Voters.
The law requires potential voters to show a valid state-issued driver's license or identification card before they can cast a ballot, rendering many state residents ineligible to vote. Wisconsin, like thirteen other states, passed the law earlier this year based on the ALEC "model" voter ID bill.
As the "Occupy" protests spread across the country with the slogan "we are the ninety-nine percent," two reports released this week demonstrate how the top one percent are playing an increasingly outsized role in American elections.
The New Yorker reports on a conservative multimillionaire's successful efforts to buy North Carolina's elections, and a report from campaign finance reform groups describe how an elite group of donors have laundered unlimited contributions to presidential campaigns. Much of this influence was made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and anger over corporate influence in politics is helping fuel the populist uprisings in Manhattan, D.C., and around the country.