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As the never-ending campaign ads demonstrated, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United flooded the most recent election with additional money, making it the most profit-fueled presidential election in U.S. history.
Now, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has put its finger on a figure of just how much more money the ruling ushered in: nearly $1 billion.
A report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point Military Academy on Jan. 15 discusses the potential dangers of “violent far-right” organizations, which has angered some conservatives that believe the military should focus on international threats.
News Corp – the parent corporation of Fox News – is finding itself in even more hot water, with new accusations filed in court this morning. The Dial Corp, makers of soap, personal-care and household cleaning products, have filed suit against News Corp along with subsidies News America, News America Marketing FSI, and News America Marketing In-Store Services, alleging that the company engaged in anti-competitive and illegal practices in order to monopolize the market, even forcing competition out of business through its illegal and immoral tactics. The accusations are lengthy, detailed, and specific, and paints a picture of a company out of control.
Nearly three weeks after they were arrested on misdemeanor charges, activists who barricaded themselves inside a portion of pipe to protest the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline remain in a Texas jail, each held on $65,000 bail.
A petition urging President Barack Obama to fire U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz for prosecutorial overreach in her office's case against Aaron Swartz had garnered more than 10,000 signatures in the few days since the open-democracy advocate's death. A leading academic has also called for an independent inquiry into her office's conduct.
Swartz, an Internet pioneer, took his own life on Friday at the age of 26, after fighting federal hacking charges for two years.
Wal-Mart longed to build in Elda Pineda’s alfalfa field. It was an ideal location, just off this town’s bustling main entrance and barely a mile from its ancient pyramids, which draw tourists from around the world. With its usual precision, Wal-Mart calculated it would attract 250 customers an hour if only it could put a store in Mrs. Pineda’s field.
One major obstacle stood in Wal-Mart’s way.
After years of study, the town’s elected leaders had just approved a new zoning map. The leaders wanted to limit growth near the pyramids, and they considered the town’s main entrance too congested already. As a result, the 2003 zoning map prohibited commercial development on Mrs. Pineda’s field, seemingly dooming Wal-Mart’s hopes.
On Election Day this year, their own observers were barred from monitoring the polls in Franklin County, OH, after the county's bipartisan Board of Elections had determined that the group had "forged" and photocopied the signatures of candidates needed to allow the group's poll monitors access to precincts in the county during the Nov. 6 Presidential Election.
Joe Baca never saw it coming, and neither did Gloria Negrete McLeod.
But as state Sen. Negrete McLeod replaces Baca in Congress, the dueling San Bernardino County Democrats witnessed first hand the beginnings of a change in gun politics, courtesy of billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
No doubt the strongest gun control advocate on Forbes' list of the fabulously rich, Bloomberg seized an opportunity to unseat Baca, a pro-gun Democrat, by spending $3.3 million on television and mail attacks. Given his estimated $25 billion fortune, $3.3 million is couch cushion change. But it was three times the sum Baca and Negrete McLeod raised between them. By homing in on a loyal National Rifle Association politician, Bloomberg altered a long-standing element of American politics.
Last month, we offered a million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who rigged a federal election on November 6th. We urged computer experts to contact us with information about any election manipulation of the tabulation results.
We Received A Letter
On November 12th, we received a letter from “The Protectors,” apparently a group of white hat cyber sleuths, mentioning our reward and stating that two months ago, they began monitoring the “digital traffic of one Karl Rove, a disrespecter of the Rule of Law, knowing that he claimed to be Kingmaker while grifting vast wealth from barons who gladly handed him gold to anoint another King while looking the other way.”
On first hearing, voter ID laws sound like an obvious and innocent idea. After all, don't you need ID for everything else these days? So it's not surprising that 80 percent of Minnesotans polled last year said they favored a proposed state ballot measure that would have required voters to present a government-issued photo ID before voting.
But then progressive groups launched a massive education campaign, telling people what it would really mean. And despite starting 60 points behind in the polls, come Election Day they defeated the measure by a 54-to-46 margin.
Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota, the citizens group that led the campaign against the measure, said his team didn't have the luxury of trying to persuade undecided voters or improve turnout. They had to change people's minds.
And over time, that's what they did, educating the public about the consequences to seniors and others for whom getting ID can be hugely burdensome, about how much the measure would cost taxpayers, and about the complications created by its ambiguous wording.
An overlooked development from Montana on election night, a referendum to state that corporations don’t have constitutional rights has unofficially passed by a 75 percent to 25 percent margin. Initiative number 166 stated that “corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings,” and thus is a blow to the Citizen’s United ruling that helped make this presidential election the most expensive one ever.
Montana has been a real leader in efforts to buck Citizen’s United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that equated money with free speech and allowed corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns through super PACs. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court that limited political spending in state and local elections earlier this year.