Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Big Money in Wyoming Politics a Decade After Citizens United Ruling

Play

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   

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

Kenneth Chestek, chair of Wyoming Promise, said after the high court's ruling, every time you turn on the TV, there's another attack ad from groups with lofty-sounding names like "Americans for Good Deeds."

"The amount of money going into these so-called dark-money organizations has increased tenfold over the last decade, and that has been disastrous for the political system," Chestek said.

Citing previous decisions, the nation's high court ruled that political spending is a form of protected speech, and 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 have poured $1.4 billion into super PACs.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said the ruling also has sparked pushback. Nine in 10 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 said.

Since 2010, 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, Weissman said. So far, 121 members of the current Congress have co-sponsored legislation for a constitutional amendment.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

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