Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Maryland and North Carolina’s gerrymandered district maps. More precisely, it ruled that it did not have the ability to pass judgment on whether or not a map is excessively gerrymandered along partisan lines. Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in the court’s opinion that the maps were “blatant examples of partisanship,” but the 5-4 conservative majority fell … Continue reading Republicans Split Votes, Supreme Court Splits Hairs
When Floridians voted yes on Amendment 4 last year, they spoke loud and clear: 65% voted to restore voting rights for Floridians who completed a felony sentence (except for felony sex crimes and murder), opening the door for over 1.5 million disenfranchised Floridians to regain their voting rights. But on Wednesday, the Florida House passed a measure requiring those with felony convictions to pay up … Continue reading Florida Republicans Are Bringing Back Poll Taxes
This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she would not attend private fundraisers or one-on-one meetings with big donors. In doing so, she is declining to participate in a traditional avenue of fundraising, potentially crippling her campaign’s ability to raise money from the start. But in doing so, she is making a powerful statement that is likely to reverberate throughout the Democratic primary: the time … Continue reading Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says No To Private Meetings with Big Donors
With all the talk surrounding money in politics, little attention has been paid to how this issue limits the candidate pool. Essentially, we are seeing now more than ever the devastating results of money in politics in the form of limiting the ability of potential candidates to afford running for office. There have been many reports on how expensive elections have become, but few have … Continue reading Who Should Run for Office?
For far too long, state and congressional districts have been mapped according to party lines. This may no longer be the case in Wisconsin. In 2016, a federal court in the state ruled that the Republican-crafted map was unconstitutional after Democrats received a majority of the statewide votes in 2012 and 2014, but just 39 out of 99 seats in the state legislature. For the … Continue reading Democracy Under Siege in Wisconsin
A careful read of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission would appear to indicate that the only way to preserve our democracy is to avoid any means of disproportionate influence — which the Supreme Court (SC) has failed to do. My first blog on the Citizens United decision argued that a gross imbalance of money on one side of two … Continue reading Is it Time For the Public Financing of Elections?
It seems like every other day a new threat to our democracy is uncovered and overwhelms the news cycle. Gerrymandering, however, is one such threat that has done damage for decades. Finally, it might be nearing its end, at least in Pennsylvania. Gerrymandering is the practice of trying to garner a political advantage through the outlining and reshaping of voting districts. The practice gets its … Continue reading Gerrymandering: Some Promising News from Pennsylvania on Strategies to Take Back the House in 2018
On this MLK weekend, I hope this message gets past the automated screeners that keeps people from seeing political messages they don’t agree with on Facebook… because the issue of immigration is one that I think should transcend those divides. I simply want to share my story. With everyone. Part of what is being debated right now are two immigration policies the president dislikes. One … Continue reading MLK Day and Immigration
Donald Trump sent the American people a clear message on Tuesday when he announced an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): in Trump’s America it is acceptable to deny people their humanity and deport them from the country they grew up in because they have a different skin color, talk with a different accent, or come from a different part of the world.
Yesterday evening, Monday August 21, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made a statement that effectively reversed Donald Trump’s campaign promise to close the carried interest loophole.
Congress finally got the message from the American people. And the message they received is clear: major political donors should have more money and more influence on politics.
The strength of any state is its people. To succeed and grow, a state needs its citizens to be engaged, both civically and economically.
When I was young, people knew what “our way of life” meant. And that’s what worries me.
In a previous blog we described “A Pledge to Return Control of the Government to the Citizens.” We now proceed to explore how such a tool could be utilized.
During every election cycle it seems that all anyone can talk about is the necessity for a dramatic change in the political system. Yet, each time a new Congress is sworn in, it seems to be more of the same.
There might be a few legitimate reasons for someone to have a company based out of the British West Indies. Perhaps they happen to be one of the 57,000 people who live there.
In a recent Bloomberg article Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) was quoted saying that he and his colleagues “need to hear from people who are in that business” to get a clearer picture of how to tax carried interest.
For all the noise made about Constitutional originalism when discussing the Supreme Court, the really radical departures from the traditions of our democracy in the last century have come from conservative justices and their stances on political spending.
The Supreme Court’s argument for allowing unlimited campaign expenditures hinges on the differences between political contributions and independent expenditures.
The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United unleashed a tide of money into our political system, placing our democracy in peril.