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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Legislative Gazette: ‘Fair Elections’ Act passes Assembly

Public campaign finance bill touted as Senate hearing looks at abuses in the NYC system

-By TG Branfalt Jr

May 13, 2013- Dozens of protestors filled the hallway of the Capitol with chants of "let the people in" during a Senate hearing on public financing of elections after they were barred from entering the public hearing. The hearing examined the abuses within the New York City taxpayer funded system. Just hours before, the Assembly passed its "Fair Elections Act" (A.04980-c) 88-50, mostly across party lines.

The system proposed by the Assembly Democrats mirrors the New York City system that matches campaign donations with $6.00 of public money for every $1.00 raised by a candidate. If implemented the legislation would also create an independent oversight board to oversee the finance process.

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Huffington Post: California Officials Turn Up The Heat On Secretive ‘Dark Money’ Groups

-By Peter H Stone

March 24, 2013- California officials have widened an investigation into the source of $11 million that was mysteriously funneled by a few nonprofit groups in 2012 to sway two ballot measures in the state, The Huffington Post has learned.

The state’s election watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, which launched the inquiry last November, is working closely with the California attorney general’s office, according to a person familiar with the matter. They have issued about a dozen new subpoenas to individuals and organizations for financial records, according to the person, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.

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AllGov: Federal Judge Approves Minnesota Law Banning Campaign Lies

February 4, 2013- Minnesota’s law prohibiting lying in political campaigns has been upheld by a federal judge.

The Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act made it a gross misdemeanor for someone to intentionally prepare, disseminate, or broadcast political advertising or campaign material “that is designed or tends to elect, injure, promote, or defeat a candidate for nomination or election to a public office or to promote or defeat a ballot question, that is false, and that the person knows is false.”

The statute was challenged five years ago by the 281 CARE Committee and the Citizens for Quality Education, which campaign against ballot initiatives that raise taxes or fees for school district funding.

The plaintiffs claimed the law violated their free-speech rights and restricted their ability to participate in political debate. They lost their first trial before a federal judge in Minneapolis. But the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling in May 2011.

That sent the matter to U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery, who ruled in favor of the defendants, two county attorneys and the state attorney general.

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