Sunday, February 5, 2023

Play

Ohio governor calls for investments in education, child well-being; UT tribes urge lawmakers to pass a bill ensuring protections for Native kids; body positivity movement helps improve body image and alleviate shame.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Money in Politics: A Barrier to Civil Rights?

Play

Thursday, October 15, 2015   

DURHAM, N.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision opened the floodgates of political spending by allowing unlimited spending by outside political groups, or super PACS.

And today, experts are gathering in Durham to examine how money in politics is a civil rights issue.

Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies, says money from special interest groups is a serious threat to democracy because it drowns out the voice of ordinary voters.

"It helps influence which candidates have the most resources and are considered viable, what issues get talked about during campaigns, who lawmakers listen to once they're in office and all this fundamentally goes against the idea that all citizens should have an equal say in the democracy, you know – one person one vote," he points out.

Kromm adds that North Carolina is an increasingly diverse state, but he says research finds the majority of big political donors are white residents, which causes a large disconnect between voters and candidates.

Spending in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race last year was more than $100 million, making it the most expensive Congressional race in history.

A recent New York Times report found that just 158 families, or the corporations they represent, have accounted for about half of the money spent in the 2016 race so far, spending $250,000 each.

Kromm contends that kind of spending restricts who can run for office.

"That limits our choices to just those who can amass huge sums of money,” he stresses. “So the question is no longer whether or not you have a good platform, good ideas, can inspire voters, but it's more about the size of your wallet. "

Kromm says that North Carolina was once a leader in cleaner elections with a program implemented in 2004 that gave judicial candidates a public campaign grant for agreeing to strict spending and fundraising limits.

"It passed with bipartisan support,” he states. “Eighty percent of judges used it. And a lot of judges who ran said it was great because instead of dialing for dollars and trying to hustle up money during the campaign, they were talking to voters about what they cared about as judges. "

The program was nixed in 2013 as part of HB 589, a sweeping voting reform bill currently challenged in federal courts.




get more stories like this via email

A researcher examines Kernza grains. (The Land Institute)

Environment

By Jake Christie for Great Lakes Echo. Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection, reporting for Great Lakes Echo/Solutions …


Social Issues

By Gabes Torres for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Maine News Service, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Tribal leaders from the eight federally recognized tribes in Utah gathered at a news conference at the state Capitol this week and called on state law…


In 2022, Ohio had 1,580,547 students enrolled in a total of 3,136 public schools across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Ohio's teachers are applauding the governor's recently announced plan to overhaul the state's reading curriculum for elementary schoolers and boost re…

Environment

As the economy has changed with the pandemic in the past few years, Indiana's small communities have seen an exodus of jobs and people. However…

The Biochar Research Network Act would have set up as many as 20 biochar research facilities across the country. (K.salo.85/Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

By Lisa Held for Civil Eats. Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Big Sky Connection, reporting for Civil Eats/Solutions Journalism/Public News …

Social Issues

Students who are also parents face more challenges getting through college, but support for these students is getting an upgrade at Bowie State …

Social Issues

Arizona State University, YouTube and the video channel Crash Course have announced a partnership to offer a series of online courses for college …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021