Monday, December 5, 2022

Play

A Louisiana Public Service Commission runoff could affect energy policy, LGBTQ advocates await final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, and democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.

Play

An election law theory critics say could cause chaos is before the Supreme Court, lawmakers condemn former President Trump's idea to suspend the Constitution, and Democrats switch up the presidential primary calendar.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Nebraska Struggles with Money in Politics 10 Years After Citizens United

Play

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   

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

Jack Gould, issues chairman with Common Cause Nebraska, said the ruling allowed wealthy people and corporations to speak louder and more frequently than ordinary citizens, which runs counter to the nation's democratic ideals.

"Citizens United has had a dramatic effect on elections in Nebraska," Gould said. "And it's not just contributions, it's also the fact that there are a lot of these 'dark money' groups now, and they don't have to disclose who the donors are. They don't have to tell the truth."

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

Small cell facilities are often attached to utility poles within the public right-of-way. (Oxford Science/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Thousands of wireless transmitters could pop up across unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the next few years if the Board of Supervisors ap…


Health and Wellness

As winter looms in Missouri, health officials are expressing concern over the potential for three viruses to impact facilities. This season has …

Social Issues

Research says 80% of community-college students intend to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree, but only 14% do so within six years. …


Around 21 million American children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but only half of them receive free breakfast despite being eligible, according to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Advocates for children say up to 7,000 students in New Hampshire public schools are going hungry following the rejection of a federal program for low-…

Social Issues

By Carrie Baker for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Roz Brown for Texas News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service …

A caucus is not an election; it's a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for an election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For the first time in almost 50 years, Iowa will not hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for Democrats. The national party has ousted …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska is one of a dozen states experiencing "very high" levels of influenza, and the highest percentage of cases has been in children and young …

Environment

Tribal representatives from across the Northwest are flying into Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how mine waste in British Columbia is …

 

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