Huffington Post: Outgoing Democratic Congressman John Hall Warns Citizens United Could Lead To ‘Fascism’

December 29, 2010: Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), who is leaving Capitol Hill after being defeated by Republican challenger Nan Hayworth, recently warned that with the massive changes to campaign finance law prompted by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the nation could soon descend into fascism.

"The country was bought," Hall told The New York Observer in an exit interview. "I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism. So that's really the question — is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?"

Hall then placed the blame on the political leanings of specific justices.

Read More

CREW: FEC Commissioners Are Actors Impersonating Public Servants

December 15, 2010- Despite being tasked with monitoring an election cycle in which $4 billion was spent, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) obtained penalties in only 34 cases, 86 percent fewer than in 2009. The toothless agency collected a paltry $860,000 in fines, a far cry from the $6.71 million in fines levied following the 2006 midterms. The troubling absence of enforcement has led Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to suspect something more than incompetence may be involved.

"Clearly something nefarious has happened at the FEC. Obtaining penalties in only 34 cases is absurd. There is simply no logical explanation for such an important federal agency becoming such a toothless joke," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "It's time for President Obama to step up and decide that bad actors belong in B movies, not in the agency charged with protecting our elections and democracy."

Read More

Huffington Post: Former Justices Stevens & O’Connor Reject ‘Citizens United’ Ruling

Decmeber 19, 2010- Former Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor recently appeared to come to a similar conclusion about the majority decision reached by their former colleagues in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Committee earlier this year: it was a "mistake."

In an interview between the two in Newsweek, Stevens, who stood on the dissenting side of Citizens United, characterized the final decision in the case as a failure that he would like to see readdressed:

Read More

NYT: Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests

December 18, 2010- Almost 40 years ago, a Virginia lawyer named Lewis F. Powell Jr. warned that the nation’s free enterprise system was under attack. He urged the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assemble “a highly competent staff of lawyers” and retain outside counsel “of national standing and reputation” to appear before the Supreme Court and advance the interests of American business.

“Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court,” he wrote, “the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.”

Mr. Powell, who joined the Supreme Court a year later in 1972 and died in 1998, got his wish — and never more so than with the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Read More

NYC Public Advocate de Blasio Releases Report on Impact of Citizens United on 2010 Election

December 10, 2010-  Public Advocate Bill de Blasio today released a comprehensive report analyzing the broad impact of U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in the 2010 election cycle. The report catalogs that the Court’s decision led to significant secret spending this election cycle and that groups which kept their funders hidden from the public spent more money on negative ads than groups that adhered to pre-Citizens United disclosure rules.

A full copy of the report is available here

Read More

Mayor Bloomberg: Nonpartisan Redistricting Would Increase Competition, Choice & Accountability for New Yorkers

December 13, 2010-  Mayor Bloomberg today released a report showing that nonpartisan reforms to the redistricting process can increase the competitiveness of legislative elections at the state and federal level. In the most recent elections, the report found that across the country, 49 percent of candidates elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and 57 percent of candidates elected to state legislatures won their races with margins of victory greater than 30 points, or faced no opposition at all.

Download a PDF of the report here.

Read More