Category Archives: Clean Elections

Webinar on Money in Politics, Voting Rights, and the Environment

A webinar, “Lean to the Green,” produced by Friends of the Earth, addresses the twin problems of money in politics and voter suppression. The webinar is designed to recruit participants in the Democracy Awakening event scheduled to take place April 16–18 (Common … Continue reading

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Austin’s Campaign Finance System and Alternatives

On January 16, 2016 Common Ground hosted a discussion led by Sara E. Smith, staff attorney for Environment Texas, on the Austin Fair Campaign Chapter (AFCC), its shortcomings, and possible alternatives to it.  It became clear within just a few … Continue reading

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Ask Senate State Affairs Committee to Consider Judicial Selection Methods

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee has an interim charge to  “examine the effect of eliminating straight-party voting for candidates for judicial office and make recommendations to ensure candidates are given individual consideration by voters.”  It is unusual for an … Continue reading

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NRA: 100; public opinion: 0

On January 8, KUT broadcast an episode of On the Media called “Common Sense,” presenting a stunning example of a special interest’s success in influencing legislators and public policy to achieve results antithetical to public opinion. The special interest in … Continue reading

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Gilens and Page Come to YouTube

[youtube]https://youtu.be/5tu32CCA_Ig[/youtube] This great video, by Represent.us, dramatizes the study by Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) which shows that public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law. Can you guess what ha$ non-zero impact on U.S. law?

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Rubio’s Benefactor Bemoans State of Campaign Donations

From NYTimes First Draft on Politics May 11, 2015 Norman Braman, the billionaire Miami auto dealer who is prepared to pour $10 million into Senator Marco Rubio’s “super PAC,” has an unexpected view of campaign donations. He hates them. “It’s … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Affirms Florida Rule on Judicial Elections

The Supreme Court has delivered a small victory to those working to keep our elections free from corrupting influences. In the case of Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, at issue was whether states can prohibit judicial candidates from making personal … Continue reading

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“Let Us Now Praise Corporate Persons”

“Let Us Now Praise Corporate Persons” is the attention-getting title of a Washington Monthly  article by Kent Greenfield, a professor of law and Dean’s Research Scholar at Boston College Law School. The article’s sub-head gives the gist: Citizens United was a bad … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Amendment, Corporate influence, Corporate Personhood, Supreme Court | 2 Comments

Corporate Political Influence: It’s Not Only About Money

Two articles in Washington Monthly’s current issue deal with another dimension of  corporate influence in Congress. In the first article, “A New Agenda for Political Reform,” authors Lee Drutman and Steven Teles detail how legislators and their staffs have become so outmatched in the … Continue reading

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