Judy Woodruff interviews Sen. McCain on the money the Citizens Union decision has brought into the fray…
Here’s part of the interview:
Is this — is it just inevitable that we’re now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in American politics?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I’m afraid, at least for the time being, that’s going to be the case, because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.
To somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election, flies in the face of reality. I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. So what we are. . .
JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean one of the justices?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: One of the five Supreme Court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as McCain-Feingold.
Bom-pa-da-bom! So not all Conservative Republicans are married to the five reactionaries on the Supreme Court. Maybe there is a future after all.
Go over to Crooks and Liars and see the whole, revealing interview.
- Video: In Role Reversal, McCain Critical of Obama’s ‘in Your Face’ on Pakistan (jewishpress.com)
- Sen. McCain says Obama never ‘reached out’ to him (theblaze.com)
- Sen. John McCain Trashes Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling [READ BRIEF] (ibtimes.com)
- A Democrat and a Republican want the Supreme Court to revisit “Citizens United” (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Judy Woodruff Interviews Boehner on PBS NEWSHOUR Tonight (yonkerstribune.typepad.com)
This Press Release went out from Senator Whitehouse’s office on Friday:
U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John McCain (R-AZ) today filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that details the explosion of anonymous political spending since the Citizens United decision. The brief was filed in a case regarding a Montana law that bars corporations from funding election ads. The case presents the opportunity for the Court to clarify the authority of Congress and state legislatures to address the threat of corruption posed by this spending.
“We are deeply concerned about the rise of unlimited, anonymous money now flooding our elections,” Whitehouse and McCain said in a joint statement. “This unregulated and unaccountable spending invites corruption into our political process, and undermines our democracy. We urge the Supreme Court to make clear that legislatures can take appropriate actions against corrupting influences in campaigns.”
The Senators’ brief, filed in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, asks the Court to deny a petition to review a Montana Supreme Court decision which held that the Montana legislature’s ban on corporate election spending was still constitutional following Citizens United. Failing that, the brief asks the Court to give the Montana case a full review in light of the flood of anonymous money that has entered political campaigns since Citizens United.
The brief urges the court to “revisit Citizens United’s finding that vast independent expenditures do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” arguing that rules requiring donor disclosure and prohibiting outside groups from coordinating with campaigns have been evaded and manipulated by politically-active groups and individuals. The brief chronicles the extensive coordination that takes place between campaigns and super PACs, and the means of “identity-laundering” that allow secret donors to hide their activity. The legislators conclude that “the campaign finance system assumed by Citizens United is no longer a reality, if it ever was.”
The Senators have both been leading advocates on campaign finance issues. McCain was a co-author of the landmark Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, or “McCain-Feingold,” which limited corporate expenditures on political ads, and which was partially struck down by Citizens United. Whitehouse has introduced legislation this year that would require enhanced disclosure of spending on political ads.
This is something all Americans from all political backgrounds should get behind… unless you want 8 or 9 rich guys putting out whatever crap they want to sway elections. The Supreme Court stuck us with this in “Citizens United” and it is their responsibility to bring back the basics of democracy (and let’s stop pretending Corporations are citizens.)
- States Wage War Against Citizens United (huffingtonpost.com)
- APNewsBreak: 22 states join campaign finance fight (kansascity.com)
- States Rally In Campaign Finance Legal Battle (npr.org)
- APNewsBreak: 22 states join campaign finance fight (sfgate.com)
- 22 states join campaign finance fight (timesleader.com)
Some excerpts on his commentary on the Supreme Court vs. the Health Care legislation:
Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?
It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.
The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.
…a court that gave us Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.
See what I mean. Clear and concise with an ability to combine seriousness with humor. After all, we have to live with this stuff.
Read the whole column HERE.
- Supreme Court says jail strip searches after minor offenses are allowed (pennlive.com)
- Dionne v. The Supreme Court on Obamacare (nationalinterest.org)
- Will a Tea Party Supreme Court guarantee Obama a second term? (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- If the Health Law Is Struck Down… (themoderatevoice.com)
- “An Alternative Legislature”: Judicial Activists In The Supreme Court (mykeystrokes.com)
- Activist Judges On Trial (themoderatevoice.com)
I don’t get to stay up late at night if I’m subbing for John at WSHC the next morning, so I didn’t see Stephen Colbert‘s show until this morning when I returned from the broadcast. I was glad to see he had Bill Moyers on as a guest… Moyers, after two years being away from television, is coming back this month with a new series, Moyers & Co., on Public Broadcasting.
He’s coming back because of his worries about where the moneyed corporations at the top are taking a government which, given their super PACs and lobbyists (and major office holders), have spent 30 years destroying the Middle Class.
Colbert, of course, did all he could to trap Moyers with his pseudo conservative comments (while letting Bill get in the information he wanted to get across), and the discussion came around to whether corporations were people a la the Citizens United decision.
Moyers caught him with a great comment, stating that a friend of his told him:
“He’ll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.”
Audience applause of course… and Colbert skipped a beat trying to come back with a remark.
While I’ve been waiting at home for the delivery of my SuperFocus glasses (according to UPS tracking they left the Hagerstown UPS facility at around 7:30 this morning… it is now around 1:30 in the afternoon and they are not here yet. Of course, the estimated delivery listing said they would come at “some time” today… so I’m just going to wait.
Anyway, while sitting here waiting, I was thinking about the things that make politicians the servants of corporations with endless supplies of money, while they ignore the needs of citizens who have little or no cash to spare. Notice I didn’t distinguish between Democrats and Republicans… I can cite instances where members of both parties have knuckled under to Corporate funds. Although I must say that, during this season, and especially after the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, the Republicans are a good ten times ahead of the Democrats in raising corporate donations for campaign ads (about $100.00 vs. $1,000,000.00 so far) and, unlike the small players, the Republican contributions have not been attributed to anyone… they are completely secret.
That’s going to make the campaign season a little off center as we watch TV ads and listen to radio shows. It’s going to be the responsibility of blogs like this one to keep all the players honest. So I hope as petitions come up and phone calls need to be made that my readers will be as active as necessary to help us preserve the America that is run by the People and not by the Corporate Elite.
- Ben & Jerry on the “Personhood” of Citizens United: (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Can Administration Thwart “Citizens United” Ruling (lezgetreal.com)
- GOP’s Political Warfare: Long-Term and Virtually Unopposed (elections.firedoglake.com)
- Doug Kendall: Will the Supreme Court Prevent Citizens United From Being Fixed? (huffingtonpost.com)
- New Democratic “Super PACs” Start Spending (swampland.time.com)
- Koch brothers become political Big Brother (rt.com)
- Senate Democrats to Force Senate Republicans to Vote for Awful Republican Budget (slog.thestranger.com)
- Senator Dick Durbin We Hardley Knew Ye (jonathanturley.org)
- My Superfocus Glasses are supposed to be here tomorrow! I’m excited… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
They mentioned another video on the Story of Citizens United. Here it is:
And, finally, if you represent a corporation, there is a statement you can sign at Business For Democracy, part of the American Sustainable Business Council.
- Vermont Measure Calls for Revoking Corporate Personhood | CommonDreams.org (f33dyourhead.wordpress.com)
- “Vermont Is Gearing Up to Strike a Major Blow to Corporate Personhood” and related posts (freedemocracy.blogspot.com)
- Citizens United and the Constitutional Rights of Corporations (professorbainbridge.com)
- The Story of Stuff – Season 2 (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Robert Weissman: One Year Later, Movement Is Growing to Overturn Citizens United (yubanet.com)
- Doug Kendall: Will the Supreme Court Prevent Citizens United From Being Fixed? (huffingtonpost.com)
Now we’re pleased to direct you to:
Click on the picture and then settle back and enjoy. Then get ready to support the organizations behind it. There’s at least one petition and lots of contribution areas.
- The Story of Stuff Does Democracy (strongerdemocracy.org)
- Watch the “Story of Citizens United” video: Help rescue democracy (texasvox.org)
- The Story of Stuff Project – or why did I need this do-dad again? (gourken.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways You Can Fight ‘Citizens United’ and Reclaim Our Democracy (alternet.org)
- The Story of Bottled Water (freetech4teachers.com)
- The Story of Stuff: An Inspiring Example of A Network in Action (bethkanter.org)
- Review: The Story of Stuff (thegrinningdogs.wordpress.com)
- One Man Was 100% Right About Everything Going On In Egypt: Russ Feingold (alan.com)
- Russ Feingold to become professor at Marquette University (thehill.com)
- John McCain Praises Russ Feingold’s Career In The Senate (alan.com)
The Supreme Court caught the cartoonists’ attention this week.
First, Jack Ohman in The Oregonian:
…or The Alito Elite.
- and -
Ted Rall, who turns up all over the web:
We are all looking for corporate identities… the Supreme Court has given us a whole new category of citizenship!