The Guardian: If News Corp hacked the phones of 9/11 families, Fox News is finished

-By Megan Carpentier

July 15, 2011- There are few universally sacred cows in American politics these days, but the families of the victims of 9/11 are among them – conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck notwithstanding.

So with the bombshell that News of the World reporters may have sought not only to hack into their cell phone records and voice mails but to bribe a former NYPD officer to help, the US government finally got engaged in doing more than posturing.

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LA Times: Supreme Court imposes limits on public funding of campaigns

-By David G. Savage

June 27, 2011- The Supreme Court, closely divided along ideological lines, made it harder for states and cities to use public funding of campaigns to limit the effect of private money on elections.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices struck down an Arizona law offering extra "matching funds" to candidates who opted to accept only public funds and who faced a free-spending opponent who relied on personal money. The matching funds were designed to make sure the publicly funded candidates could keep pace with their opponent.

While the court's conservatives called the Arizona law an unconstitutional effort to "level the playing field," its liberals said it was a step toward a government "accountable to the many" and not just the wealthy.

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OpEd News: Coverups concerning former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

-By Don Smith

June 27, 2011- Chapter 2 of Bev Harris's book Black Box Voting tells the story of former Nebraska Governor Chuck Hagel.

Hagel won a surprise landslide election against a Democrat who had been leading in the polls. What's suspicious is that the votes were counted by machines produced by Hagel's former company, American Information Systems (later renamed ES&S). Hagel had left the company two weeks before launching his campaign.

Hagel apparently hid the facts about his leadership of and investment in AIS when he submitted required disclosure forms.

(He certainly looks like a Republican, doesn't he?)

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Talking Points Memo: Feds: Louisiana Not Providing Voter Registration Forms At Public Assistance Offices

-By Ryan J. Reilly

July 13, 2011- Federal officials are suing the state of Louisiana for failing to provide voter registration forms at public assistance and disability services agencies. The Justice Department said that the state is in violation of section seven of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Louisiana officials, the feds asserted, have failed to provide voter registration opportunities as required under NVRA because they haven't designated all offices in the state that provide public assistance as voter registration agencies (including the Office of Aging and Adult Services); failed to provide sufficient supplies of voter registration applications at the designated agencies; and failed to train and monitor employees to make sure they assist in processing voter registration forms."

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Washington Post: Rupert Murdoch withdraws BSkyB bid; U.S. begins investigation of News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. withdrew its bid for BSkyB Wednesday as the fallout from the phone-hacking cases continued. Anthony Faiola reports:

July 13, 2011- As the phone-hacking scandal continued to roil British politics, News Corp. announced that it was giving up its $12 billion takeover bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting. It already owns 39 percent of the broadcaster.

In a statement, Chase Carey, deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., said: “We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate. News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it.”

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The Nation: ALEC Exposed

-By John Nichols

July 12, 2011- “Never has the time been so right,” Louisiana State Representative Noble Ellington told conservative legislators gathered in Washington to plan the radical remaking of policies in the states. It was one month after the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans had grabbed 680 legislative seats and secured a power trifecta—control of both legislative chambers and the governorship—in twenty-one states. Ellington was speaking for hundreds of attendees at a “States and Nation Policy Summit,” featuring GOP stars like Texas Governor Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Convened by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—“the nation’s largest, non-partisan, individual public-private membership association of state legislators,” as the spin-savvy group describes itself—the meeting did not intend to draw up an agenda for the upcoming legislative session. That had already been done by ALEC’s elite task forces of lawmakers and corporate representatives. The new legislators were there to grab their weapons: carefully crafted model bills seeking to impose a one-size-fits-all agenda on the states.

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