Tag Archives: Federal Election Commission

SCOTUS …. still at work


This week at the Court

By on Oct 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

Monday is the first day of the 2013 Term. We expect orders – primarily cert.  denials from the September 30 Conference – at 9:30 a.m.

The Justices will hear two oral arguments each day, Monday through Wednesday.

The hearing list for the October sitting is here.

On Friday the Justices will meet for their October 11 Conference.

Our list of “Petitions to watch” for that Conference will be available soon.

Argument preview: Campaign finance — again


By on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:11 am

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hold one hour of oral argument on the latest constitutional dispute over campaign finance — this time, the constitutionality of federal ceilings on donations to political candidates or parties.  In the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, arguing for Alabama Republican donor Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee will be Erin E. Murphy of the Washington law firm of Bancroft PLLC, with twenty minutes of time.  Arguing for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — in the case as an amicus — will be Bobby R. Burchfield of the Washington law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, with ten minutes.  Representing the FEC, with thirty minutes, will be U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

It has been nearly four years since the Supreme Court set off a constitutional revolution in the financing of federal elections, in Citizens United v. FEC, and the controversy it stirred up still has not lost its fury.  The Court, however, is ready to consider extending that revolution by, perhaps, casting aside a constitutional formula it has used repeatedly in this field for more than four decades to curb campaign donations.

The formula, put simply, is that those who contribute money to candidates or political committees get less protection for their activity than those who spend money directly to try to influence election outcomes.   The Court is being asked to give donors the same full protection that spenders get under the First Amendment.  In short, the Justices have a chance to reexamine the core of the landmark 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.

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Toxic Democracy

by Greenpeace
Corporations don’t have a vote.
But when Chevron dumped $2.5 million into a super PAC devoted solely to  running negative ads against environmentally-friendly congressional  candidates, it exercised the kind of influence over our political system that few voters could ever dream of having.For Chevron, it was a business investment, an investment in congressional hard-liners who refuse to cut corporate welfare subsidies and ignore the overwhelming  scientific evidence that suggests we are heading towards catastrophic  climate change.  Members who side with Chevron and Big Oil on such issues demonstrate by their  actions that they would  rather prop up the companies’ short-sighted,  record-breaking profits than leave their grandchildren a livable planet.Chevron must be held accountable.

Demand that Chevron keep its corporate profits out of We the People’s politics.

Why is Greenpeace involved? Because this sort of corporate meddling in elections is toxic to our  democracy, and impedes our ability to pass any kind of comprehensive  environmental legislation— including legislation to tackle climate  change.

In Chevron’s case, it also appears to be illegal, according to a 90-page  complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission by Public Citizen,  with Greenpeace’s support.1

Despite the Supreme Court’s abominable Citizens United ruling, Chevron’s political spending seems to have violated the law  because Chevron is a federal contractor. Chevron has received government contracts worth more than $44 million since 2000. The Citizens United ruling didn’t eliminate the laws against bribery in federal  contracting, which prohibit contractors like Chevron from directly or  indirectly supporting candidates for elected office. Allowing Chevron to get away with this apparent violation would create a  self-perpetuating cycle of corruption, in which corporations spend their money to elect candidates, who then reward the corporations with  government contracts and other favors, which in turn generate more  revenue to be spent on still more candidates— actively destroying our environment in the process.

Help Greenpeace & Public Citizen break the cycle and tell Chevron to keep its corrupting cash out of our democracy.

Thanks for all you do, Your friends at Greenpeace


1 http://www.citizen.org/chevron-fec-complaint-super-connected-report-update

Overturn Citizen’s United

Union of Concerned Scientists
In 2012, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. This decision, coupled with loopholes in current law, means that currently there’s essentially no requirement that corporations report their unlimited political spending. This allows them to anonymously confuse the public on science and delay action on critical public health and environmental protections.
Right now, our friends at Public Citizen are working to overturn this ruling, and they need your help. Sign Public Citizen’s petition calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission today. Here at the Union of Concerned Scientists, collaboration is a guiding principle. We partner with many of the nation’s leading scientists, unions, public interest and environmental organizations, and decision-makers in government to achieve our common goal: a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world. Today we’re partnering with Public Citizen to encourage you to fight back against efforts to undermine our democratic system.
Don’t let special interests inappropriately influence public policy and pollute the national dialogue on scientific issues like climate change and energy production—sign the petition today.
Sincerely, MichaelHalpern_jpg Michael Halpern National Field Organizer UCS Center for Science and Democracy

Help Send IRAQ VET Tulsi to Washington!

A 45 point swing in the polls is enough to draw some attention. But it also makes people desperate.
That’s exactly what we’re seeing in Hawaii. Our endorsed candidate and Iraq Vet Tulsi Gabbard has erased a double-digit margin to take the lead. Her primary opponent has certainly noticed and may be bending the rules in an attempt to hold off Tulsi’s challenge. Her campaign has filed an FEC complaint, but she needs our help right now.
 Tulsi has a crucial deadline coming up on July 15. Without our help, Tulsi won’t have the resources she needs to overcome these deceptive tactics.
It’s no surprise that her opponent is doing this. Every time a voter hears about Tulsi, they like her more and more. But, to keep her on even footing, it will take our help. Now is the time to get involved and help this amazing and inspiring veteran.  Her election is just 30 days away and she is up against a July 15th campaign finance filing – she needs us to stand with her shoulder-to-shoulder today.
I know how hard it is to run for Congress, and all it takes.  Tulsi will win this race if we do our part, but not if we don’t stand with her to combat her opponent’s tactics.
Help her keep fighting.  Click the link above.
Thanks for all your support.
All the Way! Airborne!

Berkley for Senate

Berkley for Senate

This Saturday marks one of the most important milestones of the election season — it will be the first opportunity in 2012 for campaigns across the country to display the depth of their support.

Midnight on Saturday is the end of the first FEC fundraising quarter of the year. Pundits and prognosticators everywhere will use this number as a measure of strength.

Nevada is going to be one of the closest elections in the nation — which means our numbers this quarter are even more important. That’s why I set a goal — $25,000 by the filing deadline on Saturday.

Don’t miss this chance to show our strength — contribute what you can today, and help us get to our $25,000 goal before the deadline.

Special interests back in Washington, D.C. don’t think a grassroots campaign can amass the strength necessary to take on their millions. They think they’ll be able to throw so many smears at us that we won’t be able to fight back.

I know they’re wrong, but I need you to help me prove it. We need enough resources to counter the barrage that will inevitably come in this race.

This is a critical test — and an opportunity for us to make a statement about our strength. Contribute today — even if it’s $5 or $10 — and help us hit our $25,000 goal before Saturday.

I’m running for Senate because I believe in strengthening our economy and the security of the middle class. But to win, we’ll need to show that we have a different kind of strength already within us. I hope you will stand with me.

Thanks for all you do.


PS: Know anyone else who’d like to help us show our strength? Do your part and contribute today, then share our call with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter.