Gerrymandering Book Author Spoke Against Republican Strategy

Editor’s Note: The Philadelphia Inquirer and Montgomery County have information about today’s election.

Gerrymandering expert and book author David Daley spoke in Plymouth Meeting ahead of the Nov. 7th local elections. Daley is the author of Rat F**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy. In “Rat F**ked” (a colorful slang term for political sabotage), Daley documents the GOP’s insidious strategy to redraw the electoral maps in the United States to guarantee a Republican majority in the House of Representatives through 2020. [Read more…]

Maine becomes 13th State to vote to overturn Citizens United

On Monday, Maine joined West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii in calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution on campaign finance. Maine’s State House voted 111-33 with strong bipartisan support in favor of the measure while the Senate voted 25-9.

Polls indicate that 73% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans disagree with the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling and want to keep corporate spending out of political campaigns.

To take effect, an amendment must gain the support of two-thirds of the House and the Senate and be ratified by 38 states.

Could Citizens United be Reversed?

Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch.

Nothing has had as much affect on this years Republican primaries as the SCOTUS Citizens United decision. It has, in no uncertain terms, corrupted the political process. Demos undertook a study to find out where the money came from, who it went to, and how much of it was completely secret. That study can be found here. Amoung other findings:

“Super PACs raised about $181 million in the last two years — with roughly half of it coming from fewer than 200 super-rich people.”

The study also found that 93% of the itemized contributions raised by super PACs came in contributions of $10,000 or more, with more than half of this money coming from just 37 people who each gave $500,000 or more. Source

Amazing, isn't it? 

The original intent of banning corporate contributions dates back more than 100 years, when the robber barons used to control things. Back then:

Montana voters supported the state's law against corporate spending in local politics in 1912, when copper barons and mining interests dominated the state. Montana lawmakers, who at that time appointed the state's two U.S. senators, received kickbacks, and judges were bribed.

That Montana law against corporation contributions stood until last Friday, when SCOTUS put it on hold. There was a suit against Montana from some companies that want to influence elections that made it all the way to the Supremes, who basically put a “temporary hold” on the Montana law until they decide whether to accept the full case or outright overturn Montana law based on Citizens United.

More after the jump.

Remember that Citizens United allowed corporate spending because it did not cause corruption, nor the APPEARANCE of corruption. Um, the Supremes majority was WRONG on both counts. Two justices agree with that assessment.

In Friday’s order, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer said the upheaval in the world of campaign finance since the Citizens United decision does not bear out the majority opinion.

“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,’ ” Ginsburg wrote.

“A petition for certiorari [from those challenging the Montana court’s decision] will give the court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.” Source.

Look no further than Florida to see the impact of huge Superpac funding changing the outcome of the election. Had Mittens secret donors not flooded the airwaves in Florida, there's a high probability that Newton Leroy would have won. (Especially if he'd held it together during the debates.)

In a land where the right screams about deficits, deficits, deficits above all else, think what it would mean if those people so rich they can write multimillion dollar checks for candidate advertising instead paid taxes at the pre-Shrub tax cut rates. The deficit would be smaller, they wouldn't notice the money out of their pockets, and this would be a better country for it. I don't know how rank and file Republicans feel about things, I can't even imagine thinking or feeling like them, but I'm betting they're pissed that a candidate they don't want is being pushed down their throats by corporate interests. 

Want to do something as we wait this out? Sign Senator Sander's petition for a Constitutional amendment against corporate financial influence in elections. It reads, in part:

The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:

  • Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
  • Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
  • Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
  • Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.

We at DCW feel so strongly about it that a link to the petition is on the bottom of every page. Please sign, please tell your friends. This is America….I read somewhere that it is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. I don't remember seeing the word “corporation” in that document. 

Satirical Videos Make Important Points About PACs and Bags


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put out a video urging Americans to rise up against Stephen Colbert to pass a law to get unlimited, secret donations out of politics. In a first step to reform the money in politics, House Democrats are reintroducing the DISCLOSE Act to get unlimited, secret donations out of politics.

Beautifully filmed, with a powerful narration by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, but what it’s about is not so pretty. This “mockumentary” video, hammers home the stark reality of California’s plastic bag pollution situation.

Get Ready to Vote Today

Everyone is talking about the 2012 election, but where I live and in many places across America the next election is not in a year, but today.

So-called “off-year elections” determine who will be making decisions in your township, county or state. Turnout is usually low, and that makes your vote all the more important and decisive.

If you need any more motivation to get out and vote, please check out this video about our election process. It is from the makers of The Story of Stuff so you know its good. It speak to reclaiming the basic fairness in our democratic system.