Friday, June 1, 2012

  • Justice Department Orders Florida to Stop Voter Purge Targeting Latino, Democratic Voters

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    The Justice Department has ordered Florida, a likely key swing state in the 2012 election, to end a controversial voter purge that has primarily targeted Latino, Democratic and independent-minded voters. The Justice Department says the process had not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act. Some Democratic politicians have expressed fear the purge could help Mitt Romney win the state in November. "What we’ve seen in Florida is an effort on a massive scale by Governor [Rick] Scott to suppress the vote, to make it more difficult for people to vote," says Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL). We’re also joined by Diana Sen, lead counsel for LatinoJustice, part of a coalition of civil rights groups working to protect Latino voters in Florida and elsewhere; and by Maureen Russo, a Fort Lauderdale resident who was among the voters initially purged even though she is a U.S. citizen who has voted for the past 40 years. "I believe it’s because I’m a registered Democrat," Russo says. [includes rush transcript]

  • In Victory for Marriage Equality, Appeals Court Rules DOMA Discriminates Against Same-Sex Couples

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    In a groundbreaking decision, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), ruling the federal government can’t deny benefits to same-sex couples in states such as Massachusetts where same-sex couples can legally marry. The ruling will likely now be appealed and be brought before the Supreme Court. We speak to Marc Solomon, national campaign director of "Freedom to Marry," one of the leading campaigns to overturn DOMA. [includes rush transcript]

  • The OCCUPIED Amendment: Rep. Ted Deutch on Banning Corporate Campaign Money Post-Citizens United

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    In December Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to introduce the OCCUPIED constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United campaign finance decision. It stands for "Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy." Deutch says the effort is aimed at stopping corporate dominance over politics. "The problem in our political system today is, is that special interest corporations have more and more influence and push the interests of typical Americans to the margins," Deutch says. "The framers of the Constitution never intended to give constitutional rights to corporations ... We need to get the corporate money out of the political system and return democracy to the people." [includes rush transcript]

  • "Inside Job" Director Charles Ferguson: Where Are the Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Crisis?

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    The Labor Department has just announced the United States economy gained only 69,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent. We air part two of our interview with Academy Award-winning director Charles Ferguson, who first examined the network of academic, financial and political players who contributed to the nation’s financial crisis in his documentary, "Inside Job." In his new book, "Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America," Ferguson draws on newly released court filings to continue his investigation. Ferguson notes the Clinton administration oversaw the most important financial deregulation, and since then, "We’ve seen in the Obama administration very little reform and no criminal prosecutions, and the appointment of a very large number of Wall Street executives to senior positions in the government, including some people who were directly responsible for causing significant portions of the crisis." Ferguson also calls for raising the salaries of senior regulators and imposing stricter rules for how soon they can lobby for the private sector after leaving the public sector. [includes rush transcript]