A huge victory in Montana last week restored the state’s longstanding ban on corporate political spending on behalf of state political candidates and parties, overturning a lower court’s ruling and flying in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that grants corporations the same free speech rights as individuals.
This week, as the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) convened its annual States & Nation Policy Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, labor, civil rights, and activist groups took advantage of the opportunity to highlight ALEC’s role in advancing conservative legislation on everything from voter ID to SB 1070 copycat bills. National groups such as Common Cause and MoveOn joined the state AFL-CIO, Occupy Phoenix, and others to plan five days’ worth of events during the duration of the conference to highlight the detrimental effects that ALEC-backed policies have had on the economic security of families in both Arizona and states across the country — and to warn about elements of their destructive agenda that may be introduced in coming legislative sessions.
Overriding a veto by their Governor, the Conneticut Legislature has strengthened its Citizen's Election system of public financing of elections that was first instituted in 2005. Responding to a bad decision by a federal appeals court, the Legislature has fixed the system and increased the public financing available to candidates.
Law firms in New Jersey that employ municipal court judges are banned
from making political contributions, the state’s highest court ruled
To eliminate questions about the source of the money, attorneys can
make political donations from their personal funds, but contributions
cannot come from the firm’s business account, the state Supreme Court
said in its unanimous decision.
WASHINGTON — Ten states have swiftly passed new
laws requiring additional disclosure of political spending, following a
Supreme Court ruling that lets corporations and unions pump unlimited
amounts of money into certain campaign commercials.
The push in states comes as a high-profile effort
in Congress to blunt the court's January ruling has stalled in the
Senate amid strong opposition by Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Senate inaction has cast doubts that any new federal disclosure
WASHINGTON — A little-noticed Federal Election Commission ruling that expands the
definition of “media’’ to include a partisan film production group is
the latest in a series of actions eroding legislative limits on the
influence of money in politics.
“We’re really returning, seemingly inexorably, toward an entirely deregulated system,’’ said Thomas Mann, who studies campaign finance at the Brookings Institution, a Washington
think tank. “It was a rather breathtaking decision.’’
Star Tribune: A new political organization, backed by two of the state's most
powerful business interests and led by one of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top
deputies, could result in a powerful wave of corporate cash in this
year's state elections.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission
(FEC) decision earlier this year gave corporations the same First
Amendment rights as citizens with regard to advocating for or against
political candidates, unleashing
a flood of new corporate cash into state races and a range of new
state policy initiatives that aim to protect the integrity of their
elections. In response, states are pursuing other reforms, such as
requiring shareholder approval for corporations spending election cash,
tighter public disclosure and attribution in ads, public financing of
elections, and calling for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse
the Citizens United decision.