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Attorneys General in 11 States call on Congress to reverse Citizens United decision.

Yesterday, 11 state attorneys general sent a letter to Congress requesting a constitutional amendment which would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

This section of the letter gives the historic background that SCOTUS eliminated:

The case overturned elements of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the “McCain-Feingold Act” or “BCRA”) pertaining to the corporate financing of electioneering communications in the run-up to primary and general elections. The Supreme Court ruled that these restrictions on corporate political spending violated the First Amendment’s free speech protections, thereby allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.
In effect, the Citizens United decision overturned a century of jurisprudence, dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907, which supported Congressional authority to restrict corporate political spending on federal elections. With respect to the BCRA, the decision directly overrules key provisions of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), which upheld the BCRA provisions that prevented direct expenditures by corporate entities on electioneering communications. Importantly, Citizens United kept intact other critical rulings in McConnell regarding disclosure requirements. However, by its decision the Court gave corporations the same rights under the First Amendment as individuals, and thereby severely limited Congress’s power to regulate corporate political spending and invalidated bipartisan, democratically-enacted restrictions on corporate behavior.

Hopefully this brings a start to an action which will eventually eliminate the Super Pacs and bring our elections back to the majority voters.

Hopefully, this won’t become a political volley between Republicans and Democrats.

Hopefully.

We haven’t heard about former Democratic campaigner John Edwards in a while…

… then this turned up on the Atlantic Wire:

The Federal Election Commission ordered John Edwards to pay $2.3 million back to the U.S. Treasury from his candidacy in the 2008 presidential primaries. In a routine audit, the FEC says the campaign received $2.1 million more in federal matching funds than it was entitled to, which it now must repay, as well as $141,000 in what The Wall Street Journal calls “stale-dated checks.” The Edwards campaign committee still had $2.6 million in its coffers as of June 30. A lawyer for Edwards is disputing the ruling.

Looks like this will just about wipe out the bank roll. I wonder what he’ll do with the last .3 million (oh, I imagine the lawyer gets it.)

Colbert Gets His SuperPAC.

In a five-to-one decision, the Federal Election Commission granted comedian Stephen Colbert the right to create a “SuperPAC” to raise money for the 2012 election campaign. This would make him an equivalent to people like Karl Rove who are attempting to influence the elections.

But the FEC also concluded that the television host’s employer, Viacom Corp., would have to report any help it gives to Colbert for political activities outside the “Colbert Report” show. The panel gave the newly registered “Colbert Super PAC” a relatively narrow media exemption applicable only to the humorist’s show. Any assistance from Viacom outside the show must be treated as “in-kind” contributions and reported to the FEC.

Since the 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing unfettered corporate spending in elections, Super PACs like Colbert’s now number over 100. They didn’t exist before the Court’s decision (a point Colbert seems to be making in a comic way.)

“Some people have said, ‘Is this some kind of joke?’ I for one don’t think participating in democracy is a joke.”

..said Colbert to the crowd afterward. When a reporter asked him when the first ad would run, Colbert Responded:

“I’ve got to get some money first.”