Monthly Archives: July 2013

Mother Jones: Democrats To Introduce Supreme Court Ethics Bill

—By Stephanie Mencimer

July 31, 2013- Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has been in the news recently after Mother Jones revealed her involvement in Groundswell, a secret effort by a group of conservatives to organize their fight against liberals, mainstream Republicans, and Karl Rove. Her political activity has once again raised questions about whether she is creating conflicts of interest for her husband, and whether he should be forced to recuse himself from cases that involve Ginni's work.

Crooks & Liars: Groundswell Group Stoked Scandals with Help From GOP Leaders

-By Karoli

July 30, 2013- When David Corn broke the Groundswell story last week, the general reaction among the politerati was a shrug and a giggle. Even influential NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen called it "no big deal."

But audio of a May Groundswell meeting obtained by C&L from a source who wishes to remain anonymous reveals Groundswellers met with top Congressional leaders to lobby for a select committee endowed with subpoena power to investigate the White House. Lobbying may be too mild a term, since they really are plotting with those same leaders to invent very real scandals with very real investigations in order to sink the country into a mire of inaction and sabotage the remaining years of President Obama's term.

Mother Jones: Is Ginni Thomas’ Expanding Activism a Problem for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?

—By Stephanie Mencimer

July 26, 2013- Virginia "Ginni" Thomas is no ordinary Supreme Court spouse. Unlike Maureen Scalia, mother of nine, or the late Martin Ginsburg, mild-mannered tax law professor who was good in the kitchen, Thomas came from the world of bare-knuckled partisan politics. Over the years, she has enmeshed herself ever more deeply in the world of political advocacy—all the while creating a heap of conflict of interest concerns surrounding her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Her role in Groundswell, the coalition of conservatives waging a "30 front war" against progressives and the GOP establishment that was revealed by Mother Jones on Thursday, revives questions about the propriety of Thomas' activism on issues that have or could become the subject of Supreme Court cases.

Mother Jones: Groundswell’s Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove

Ginni Thomas and her conservative allies have launched a stealth attack on the GOP's top strategist.

-By David Corn

July 25, 2013- Groundswell, the recently created coalition of prominent right-wing activists and journalists, gathers weekly to coordinate messaging and plot strategy for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation." These sessions usually fixate on how best to battle the president, congressional Democrats, and progressive groups. But their 30-front war also includes something of a civil war: a fierce crusade against the Republican establishment and Karl Rove, the GOP strategist and Fox News pundit.

Mother Jones: Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War”

-By David Corn

July 25, 2013- Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner—has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by Mother Jones.

Center For Public Integrity: Koch Industries PAC spending record cash

Committee has biggest month ever during non-election year

-By Adam Wollner

July 22, 2013- The political action committee of Koch Industries — the energy and chemicals company led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch — gave more money in June to federal political candidates and committees than it ever has in any other month during a non-election year.

KOCHPAC contributed $262,000 to dozens of politicians, political parties and other PACs in June, Federal Election Commission records indicate.

KOCHPAC’s previous record for the most money given in one month during an off-year came in June 2011, when it distributed $227,500 to candidates and political committees.

Huffington Post: Republican Who Tossed Voter Registration Forms Let Off The Hook

-By Ryan J Reilly

July 18, 2013- The young Republican who grabbed national headlines after being arrested for throwing voter registration forms into a dumpster before the 2012 election won't be facing any legal consequences.

A judge in Virginia dropped several misdemeanor charges against Colin Small on Wednesday, meaning the 23-year-old will not face any penalties for discarding a number of voter registration forms. Felony charges were dropped back in April, but Small was still facing five misdemeanor counts until this week.

Huffington Post: States Push Post-Citizens United Reforms As Washington Stands Still

-By Paul Blumenthal

July 11, 2013- WASHINGTON — Pushback against the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision keeps growing in the states. Over the first six months of this year, even as campaign finance reforms go nowhere in Congress, five more states have backed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 ruling. That brings the total number of states supporting an amendment to 16.

"Amending the Constitution is hard — and it should be," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who has himself sponsored a proposal to constitutionally overturn Citizens United and other campaign finance-related court decisions. "But it is not impossible, especially with the growing momentum we are seeing. Sixteen states, including my home state of New Mexico, have called on Congress to overturn Citizens United and send them an amendment for ratification. That’s more than 30 percent of the U.S."

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