LA Times: Secret campaign ad financing in offing as FEC is deadlocked

February 28, 2011- Independent political groups, especially those backing conservatives, say federal disclosure law doesn't apply to them. The FEC is at an impasse. Democrats want full disclosure of who's paying for political ads; Republicans say they favor a hands-off approach.

If an impasse at the Federal Election Commission remains, corporations, unions and wealthy individuals will be able to fund hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign advertisements for next year's presidential and congressional elections while keeping their names and roles secret.

The agency's three Democratic commissioners want full disclosure — saying current law and the Supreme Court's most recent decision on campaign spending require it. The three Republican commissioners challenge that interpretation and favor a largely hands-off approach.

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Crooks & Liars: The Impeachment Of Clarence Thomas’ Credibility

March 2, 2011- Perhaps you're familiar with Clarence Thomas, the Long-Dong-Silver-loving US Supreme Court Justice. With a new term recently beginning on The Court, he passed the five-year mark for not only saying nothing of value while hearing cases, but nothing at all.

Yes, you read that correctly–while no US Supreme Court Justice in over two centuries has gone even a single term without speaking from the bench during arguments, Thomas has managed to do it for five in a row.

To quote Stephen Colbert, "the man is a rock…in that he could be replaced by a rock and I'm not sure anyone would notice."

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Think Progress: Why We Doubt Clarence Thomas

March 2, 2011- At an event sponsored by the right-wing Federalist Society, Justice Clarence Thomas lashed out at his many critics — including ThinkProgress — claiming that we are attacking him as part of some nefarious plot to undermine the Supreme Court as an institution:

He also lashed out at his critics, without naming them, asserting they “seem bent on undermining” the High Court as an institution. Such criticism, Thomas warned, could erode the ability of American citizens to fend off threats to their way of life.

“You all are going to be, unfortunately, the recipients of the fallout from that – that there’s going to be a day when you need these institutions to be credible and to be fully functioning to protect your liberties,” he said, according to a partial recording of the speech provided to POLITICO by someone who was at the meeting.

Listen:

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Legal Schnauzer: Clarence Thomas Faces Call For His Disbarment

March 2, 2011- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be disbarred for his failure to truthfully complete financial-disclosure forms over a 20-year period, according to a complaint filed by the watchdog group Protect Our Elections (POE).

In a bar complaint filed with the Missouri Supreme Court, POE attorney Kevin Zeese says Thomas committed multiple violations of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct. (See full complaint below.) Zeese asks the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel to take immediate action against Thomas, including disbarment.

Thomas became a member of the Missouri Bar in 1974, and former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) was a primary supporter during Thomas' confirmation hearings in 1991. How is the justice responding to recent allegations against him? He struck a defiant tone in a speech over the weekend in Virginia.

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CBS News: Karl Rove-linked group seeks to raise $120 million for 2012 elections

March 1, 2011- A pair of Karl Rove-affiliated conservative groups – American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS – announced Tuesday morning that they are seeking to raise $120 million through the end of 2012 to help defeat President Obama and boost the electoral prospects of Republicans.

The groups, which are also tied to prominent GOP operative Ed Gillespie, cast the effort as necessary to combat spending by unions, which they said spent $400 million to boost Mr. Obama in the 2008 race and will spend "significantly" more in 2012.

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Public Citizen: U.S. Supreme Court Victory: Decision Rejects Theory That Corporations Have ‘Personal Privacy’ Rights Under FOIA

March 1, 2011- We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision this morning in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T holding that corporations do not have “personal privacy” rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As the Supreme Court recognized, “personal privacy” is not a term that is used to refer to corporate interests.

The Supreme Court’s decision is an important victory for government transparency.

If records could be withheld on the theory that they would “embarrass” a corporation, as AT&T had argued, the public would be deprived of important information about corporate wrongdoing and the government’s response to it.

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