TruthDig: Bernie Sanders Explains Why Congress Fears Citizens United

-By Bill Boyarsky

December 16, 2011- It took just 12 minutes and 29 seconds on the Senate floor for Sen. Bernie Sanders to expose the real power of corporate America over our elections. It should be a rallying cry for the embattled minority trying to clean up the system.

Sanders, one of two Independents in the Senate (along with Joe Lieberman), was speaking Dec. 8 on behalf of his proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating Citizens United decision, which permits corporations, unions and issue advocacy organizations to spend unlimited amounts of money from their own funds to support or oppose candidates.

As the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog The Center for Responsive Politics said of Citizens United, it “has profoundly affected the nation’s political landscape” and resulted in “unprecedented political spending. Secret donors. New ways for unions and corporations to spend money on politics.”

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The Brad Blog: ACLU’s Federal Challenge to WI GOP’s Photo ID Restrictions Could Reverse Similar Laws Nationwide

-By Ernest A. Canning

December 15, 2011- Election laws in Wisconsin are not covered by Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which would otherwise require the Dept. of Justice or a federal panel of judges to "preclear" such laws to assure they are not discriminatory. Thus, it falls to non-governmental organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to take legal action in hopes of protecting Constitutional voting rights for citizens of the Badger State.

That's exactly what the organization did this week, in filing a 54-page federal complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs — including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters — who may well be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new voter suppression bill passed earlier this year by its GOP legislature and signed into law by its Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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New York Times: Holder Signals Tough Review of New State Laws on Voting

-By Charlie Savage

December 13, 2011- AUSTIN, Tex. — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday entered the turbulent political waters of voting rights, signaling that the Justice Department would be aggressive in reviewing new voting laws that civil rights advocates say will dampen minority participation in next year’s elections.

Declaring in a speech that protecting ballot access for all eligible voters “must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative,” Mr. Holder urged Americans to “call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success and, instead, achieve success by appealing to more voters.”

The speech by Mr. Holder could inflame a smoldering partisan dispute over race and ballot access as the 2012 campaign cycle intensifies. It comes as the Justice Department’s civil rights division is scrutinizing a series of new state voting laws that were enacted — largely by Republican officials — in the name of fighting fraud.

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People Getting Hit by Lightning > People Guilty of Voter Fraud

-Posted By Brett Brownell on Up with Chris Hayes

December 10, 2011- Thirty-eight states introduced legislation this year to curb voter fraud. But the laws could prevent millions of Americans from voting, and according to this DNC chart you're more likely to get hit by lightning than encounter voter fraud. And you're WAY more likely to spot a UFO…

Ben Jealous, our guest and NAACP President & CEO says these new laws, such as requiring voters to have I.D. are "like the poll tax, literacy test, grandfather clause… just a newfangled kind of legalistic version of that."

Watch our discussion on voter rights to find out more:

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