skip to main content

Friday, June 9, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

Money in Politics Decade After Citizens United

play audio
Play

Monday, January 20, 2020   

DALLAS -- A decade after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for independent campaign contributions, grassroots groups in Texas and across the nation still are struggling to limit the influence of money in politics.

Dave Jones, president of Clean Elections Texas, says the ruling has tipped the scales of lady justice, and most Americans realize that their government does not represent them the way it should.

"And what the court has done, it has just tipped those scales," he states. "It's put our democratic system out of balance, by giving too much weight to money, to wealthy interests. And those are corporations and wealthy individuals, primarily."

Citing previous decisions, the nation's high court ruled that political spending is a form of protected speech, and that independent spending by unions or corporations should not be limited.

The court also signaled that transparency in contributions would rein in bad players.

Overturning the court's ruling would require a constitutional amendment.

According to new Public Citizen reports, corporations have spent more than half a billion dollars to influence elections, largely anonymously, since 2010, and just 25 ultra-wealthy individuals poured $1.4 billion into super PACs.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, says the ruling also has sparked pushback.

Nine in ten Americans say they're disgusted by the influence of big money in politics, and three quarters support overturning Citizens United.

"The only reason this overwhelming and intense demand for reform has not yet been matched by responsive legislation and a constitutional amendment is because of the influence of this small number of super rich people and giant corporations," Weissman stresses.

Since 2010, Weissman says millions of Americans have signed petitions to reverse the court's decision, and more than 800 local government resolutions and 20 states have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

So far, 121 members of the current Congress have co-sponsored legislation for a constitutional amendment.


get more stories like this via email

Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

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