Wednesday, June 27, 2012

  • Citizens United, Part 2? Supreme Court Overturns Montana Law Banning Corporate Spending on Elections


    The Supreme Court has struck down a century-old Montana law banning corporate campaign spending. Montana was sued when it invoked the ban to prevent corporate money from flooding state and local political races. A right-wing nonprofit argued the state’s ban violates the 2010 Citizens United ruling that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts in federal elections. On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed, blocking Montana’s law in a divided five-to-four ruling. The decision has drawn a rare bipartisan rebuke from Montana officials. We speak to John Bonifaz, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People and the legal director of Voter Action. "For more than a century, Montana had [barred] corporate money in elections," Bonifaz says. "Now the United States Supreme Court has said to the state of Montana that the facts don’t matter. ... [We demand] a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court and to make clear that we the people, not we the corporations, rule in America." [includes rush transcript]

  • Dark Money: Inside the Final Frontier of Unlimited Political Spending (Part 2)


    In part two of our conversation with Monika Bauerlein and Andy Kroll of Mother Jones magazine, we continue to look at "dark money" — the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by outside groups who are helping to make the 2012 presidential race the most expensive race in history. Bauerlein and Kroll discuss the role of attorney James Bopp, a key legal adviser behind the Citizens United decision; how Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson and others are quietly bankrolling Mitt Romney’s campaign; and why President Obama has opted to accept unlimited super PAC donations. "What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United was say that when you are not giving your money in a campaign directly to the candidate’s official campaign committee, then we cannot regulate you, because you are free to speak your mind — and spending a ton of money is a form of speaking your mind," Bauerlein says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Bill McKibben of on Colorado Wildfires, Debby, Keystone XL and the Failure of Rio+20


    With extreme weather fueling wildfires in Colorado and record rainfall in Florida, the Obama administration has moved closer to approving construction of the southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline. We’re joined by environmentalist, educator and author Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign "Today is one of those days when you understand what the early parts of the global warming era are going to look like," McKibben says. "For the first time in history, we managed to get the fourth tropical storm of the year before July. ... These are the most destructive fires in Colorado history, and they come after the warmest weather ever recorded there. ... This is what it looks like as the planet begins — and I underline 'begins' — to warm. Nothing that happened [at the United Nations Rio+20 summit] will even begin to slow down that trajectory." [includes rush transcript]