Washington Post: Republicans on FEC want firms to be able to raise money for candidates

February 17, 2011- The fallout from the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission keeps coming.

The case loosened restrictions on corporations that do political campaigning with the proviso that they do it without working with candidates. But in a little-noticed document, three FEC commissioners have said they think corporations should be allowed to raise money directly for candidates.

As it is now, corporations are prohibited from helping candidates raise money. The furthest they can go is allowing a candidate to hold fundraisers on their property, and even then, the campaign must pay for the space in advance. But the three commissioners, all Republicans, said those prohibitions are "at best suspect" in light of Citizens United's protection of free speech for corporations.

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Huffington Post: Russ Feingold Launches ‘Progressives United’ To Combat Corporate Influences In Politics

February 16, 2011- When some senators retire, they decide to take lucrative lobbying jobs. Others go straight to Wall Street. But Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid in November, is continuing on his principled — and often lonely — path by starting an organization to combat corporate influence in politics, an effort he hopes will spark "a new progressive movement" that will truly hold elected officials accountable.

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Truthout: Citizens United vs. United Citizens: Building a Movement to Drive Money Out of Politics

February 15, 2011- Friday, January 21, marked the one-year anniversary of "Citizens United," a Supreme Court case that dramatically accelerates the corruptive force of money in US politics.

When money flows in our economy, it's a fuel that helps businesses flourish and people make a living. When money flows in our political system, however, it's a cancer that infects politicians and through them our institutions of democracy. With Citizens United, the cancer is now metastasizing, and as the corruption accelerates, it generates a downward political spiral that threatens the very future of our country.

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Crooks and Liars: Clarence Thomas Fails to Disclose Citizens United In-Kind Contributions

February 15, 2011- Clarence Thomas is falling into a deep, deep ethical hole, deeper even than the one he dropped into when he failed to disclose his wife's income for 20 years. As more facts come to light, it's obvious he failed to disclose quite a bit, including the $100,000 Citizens United spent on his behalf in 1991 to support his nomination. That would be an in-kind contribution which should have been disclosed as such.

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Slate.Com: The Right To Remain Silent

Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court silences are less worrisome than his private speeches.

February 15, 2011- Justice Clarence Thomas is getting a lot of attention lately for what he isn't saying and where he isn't saying it. According to Adam Liptak in the New York Times, the last time Thomas asked a question in court was exactly five years ago next Tuesday. If there were cameras permitted at the Supreme Court, I'd wager, this news would be news to precisely no one. I'd also wager that if there were cameras at the court, Thomas would be inclined to speak more frequently.

Liptak reviews the reasons Thomas has offered for his refusal to say anything as cases are argued before the court. Sometimes Thomas says that because he grew up speaking Geechee—a dialect spoken by former slaves in Georgia—his mastery of English was always a source of anxiety to him. Sometimes Thomas says that with so many justices jabbering at once, oral argument has become a circus, and he refuses to contribute to an atmosphere he has likened to Family Feud. Thomas also says that you can't be judging if you are also debating and once wondered aloud about what would happen if a bunch of surgeons loudly debated gallbladder surgery while standing around the operating room. "You really didn't go in there to have a debate about gallbladder surgery," he said at the time. "We are there to decide cases, not to engage in seminar discussions."

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POE Press Release 2/15/2011: POE Files Bar Complaint Against Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas Failed To Disclose That Citizens United Foundation Supported His 1991 Nomination To The Supreme Court And Spent More Than $100,000 On Advertisements Attacking Opposing Senators, says www.ProtectOurElections.org

PR Newswire

Watchdog Group Files Additional Bar Complaint on Conflict Of Interest Grounds

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The watchdog group www.ProtectOurElections.org filed a second bar complaint on February 15, 2011 against Justice Clarence Thomas for bias and actual conflict of interest for his failure to disqualify himself from Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010), and hiding the fact that Citizens United Foundation had supported his nomination and spent at least $100,000 on commercials attacking several Senators opposed to his nomination. The second bar complaint, filed with the Washington, D.C. Office of Bar Counsel, is at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Clarence_Thomas_Bar_Supplement.pdf.

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AllGov: Is Justice Clarence Thomas Guilty of Felony Ethics Violations?

February 14, 2011- Justice Clarence Thomas has been required since he joined U.S. Supreme Court in 1991 to disclose the income of his wife—something he failed to do until a liberal advocacy group blew the whistle on his inaction. Thomas has insisted the reporting failure was merely “a misunderstanding of filing instructions.” But Common Cause and other organizations aren’t buying the excuse.

Common Cause President Bob Edgar said it was “difficult to believe” and “implausible” that Thomas, a 20-year member of the high court, didn’t know the law pertaining to disclosure.

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Clarence Thomas and Citizens United

Clarence Thomas is a real piece of work. It’s been common knowledge that his wife, Virginia has been working for the Heritage Foundation- a right-wing think tank since 2003. Until recently She’d also been working with an astroturf group called Liberty Central- What they actually did was unclear, but after she was forced out following an ill-advised phone call to Juanita Hill, Ginni Thomas started her own lobbying firm: Liberty Consulting.

What was not common knowledge was that Clarence Thomas had failed to report his wife’s income from these activities on his Financial Disclosure forms. This only came to light when the activist group Common Cause began making inquiries to see if Justices Thomas and Scalia should have recused themselves from the Citizens United hearing since it dealt with campaign finance, and Thomas and Scalia had been attending and speaking at right wing fund-raisers.

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Truthout: Our Corporate Courts

-By Jim Hightower

February 14, 2011- When corporate executives needed a political favor, they used to run to Congress. Now they can also run to the courthouse.

Over the years, corporate chieftains and their political henchmen have steadily ensconced reliable laissez-faire ideologues in hundreds of federal judgeships, quietly creating a corporate-friendly path for moving their litigation all the way from the district level through the Supreme Court.

For example, in its effort to scuttle President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, the right wing has gone court shopping. They've filed their cases in the courts of judges who are known to be ideologically hostile to government regulation of health care corporations.

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