Monthly Archives: February 2011

POE Press Release: New Bar Complaint Filed Against Clarence Thomas

www.ProtectOurElections.org Files New Disciplinary Complaint with Missouri Bar Against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for Falsifying Disclosure Forms, Enriching His Wife, and Financial Conflicts of Interest.

Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, February 28, 2011, www.ProtectOurElections.org, filed a lengthy bar complaint with the Missouri Supreme Court, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas alleging three major grounds. First, that Justice Thomas committed crimes by falsifying 20 years of financial disclosure forms under oath by stating that his wife had no "non-investment income," when in fact she received at least $650,000 in such income in the form of salary from various jobs, including the Heritage Foundation. Second, that Justice Thomas labored under a financial conflict of interest by sitting in judgment of a case involving Citizens United when Citizens United had supported his nomination with at least $100,000 in advertising support which in turn generated millions of dollars in free media coverage. Third, that Justice Thomas and his wife financially benefitted from the decision in Citizens United. The complaint can be viewed at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Clarence_Thomas_MO_Bar_Complaint.pdf.

Clarence Thomas Pulls A Muammar Gaddafi

Clarence ThomasFebruary 28, 2011- Incredibly, Justice Clarence Thomas appears to have taken a page from the playbook of Muammar Gaddafi, according to this report from Politico. At another political speech before the Federalist Society Student Symposium, Thomas lashed out at his critics and applauded his wife Virginia for being a tea party activist. Like Gaddafi, Thomas defiantly said that he would not back down in the face of criticism.

Well, for Justice Thomas’s edification, he may not have any choice. Today we filed a bar complaint charging Justice Thomas with committing crimes, engaging in conflicts of interest that enriched his ethically challenged wife, and failing to report $100K in support from Citizens United. This complaint is in addition to our complaint to the Department of Justice to prosecute him for filing 20 years of false financial reports.

AlterNet: Big Oil Lobby Announces it Will Start Donating Directly to Candidates

February 24, 2011- The American Petroleum Institute, the Big Oil industry’s chief lobbying organization, will start directly backing political candidates in the second quarter of this year. API, whose membership includes oil giants like Exxon-Mobil and Chevron, already spends tens of millions of dollars every year on lobbying, advertisements and Astroturf campaigns to support the the oil industry agenda. As CAP’s Dan Weiss wrote, API “wants to drill in fragile, sensitive places, keep government tax breaks, expand offshore drilling without reforms, and block global warming pollution reduction requirements.”

Yes! Magazine: Five Ways You Can Fight Citizens United

The Story of Citizens United v FEC: How we the people can reclaim our democracy.

February 21, 2011- We never expected to be writing an article with this title. Aren’t united citizens a good thing? Civil Rights movement? Egypt? Madison?

Yes, but that’s not the kind of people power we’re talking about here. What we want to fight is the disastrous 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision. Ironically, “Citizens United” is the name of a conservative advocacy group which receives corporate funding and works to promote increased rights for corporations. The Citizens United v. FEC case originally dealt with the question of whether or not airing Citizens United’s documentary about Hillary Clinton was an advocacy ad, and therefore subject to existing restrictions on election ads under the McCain-Feingold law.

Washington Post: Professors ask Congress for an ethics code for Supreme Court

February 23, 2011- A group of more than a hundred law professors from across the country has asked Congress to extend an ethical code of conduct to the Supreme Court – for the first time – and clarify when individual justices should step away from specific legal cases.

The group's appeal on Wednesday, in a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees, comes after recent controversies involving travel and appearances at political events by several Supreme Court justices, including Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) said he plans to introduce legislation that addresses the issue.

Thomas and Scalia have been criticized by a public interest group for attending private political meetings sponsored in January 2007 and 2008 by David and Charles Koch, conservative billionaires who made large contributions during last year's election and have financially backed the tea party movement.

Truthout: Russ Feingold’s PAC, Progressives United, Working for Campaign Reform

February 22, 2011- Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has formed a political action committee (PAC) to fight against corporate influences in political campaigns.

Feingold's PAC, Progressives United, launched on February 16 as an "effort dedicated to mitigating the effects of, and eventually overturning, the Citizens United decision … [and] to elect leaders at all levels of government who will stand up for progressive ideals." The Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporate funding of political campaigns could not be limited under the First Amendment.

In a web video introducing Progressives United, Feingold called the ruling "one of the most lawless decisions in the history of our country."

AlterNet: Top 4 Victories Handed to Corporate America by the Supreme Court — So Far

"Judicial activism" is way too tame a phrase for what Chief Justice Roberts & Co did here. This was a coup — a plotted overthrow to enthrone corporate political interests."

February 19, 2011- One of the great works of American political literature is Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary, first published in 1906. From A-Z, Bierce offered about a thousand irreverent definitions of political, legal, and cultural terms, getting much closer to the truth of what the words really mean than the formal definitions you'll find in Webster's. For example, consider this stinger: "LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction."

RAW Story: Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people

February 18, 2011- These days, with Facebook and Twitter and social media galore, it can be increasingly hard to tell who your "friends" are.

But after this, Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my "friends" even real people?

In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online "personas," allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as they'd like.

The revelation was among those contained in the company's emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group "Anonymous" broke into their systems.

Bloomberg: Vt. panel mulls amendment: Companies aren’t people

February 16, 2011- MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers are mulling whether to ask for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to clarify that corporations aren't people.

The issue stems from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said that when it comes to campaign contributions, corporations enjoy the same First Amendment free-speech rights that people do.

The court's 5-4 ruling, in the case of Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission, has led some to fear that it would open the floodgates for corporate money to take control of American politics.

A Vermont Senate panel is considering a resolution calling on Congress to approve a constitutional amendment and put it before the states for ratification, saying corporations aren't people.

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