Not content to simply take aim at individual protesters, some Republican state legislators seem to be setting their sights this year on progressive institutions that have long been a thorn in conservatives’ side.Continue reading
Tweets by @realDonaldTrump are official statements of the @POTUS, says Justice Department
Listening and responding to members of the public that is a minimum expectation for public servants in any democratic state, whether those voices are raised in protest, petition, email, send letters or reply on social media. While there are practical challenges to making sense of millions of emails, tweets, call or letters, blocks that violate the First Amendment rights of the public are not the solution to filter failure.Continue reading
Citizens United is a revolving door problem
Before considering an amendment to combat Citizens United, perhaps there's another approach to limit the ability of well-heeled special interests to give to political organizations that act as surrogates for politicians.Continue reading
Rebuttal to McConnell’s War of Misinformation on DISCLOSE Act
A war is being waged against the DISCLOSE Act. Its Commander in Chief is Senator Mitch McConnell, his secret weapon is misinformation and his goal is to protect unlimited dark money contributions to the political process. It’s time for a counter-attack. Last week, McConnell outlined his plan of attack in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute. Wrapping himself in a narrow and self-serving interpretation of the First Amendment, McConnell casts liberals as the enemies of free speech and he and his foot soldiers (the Chamber of Commerce) as the true protectors of our constitutional rights. But take apart his arguments and it is easy to spot his true intentions—not to protect the free speech rights of all citizens, but to protect the ability of wealthy donors to anonymously influence our democratic process. The Sunlight Foundation refutes the worst inaccuracies being lobbed against reasonable efforts to disclose the dark money that is infiltrating our elections. This Orwellian tactic is timed to defang public support for the DISCLOSE Act, which the Senate is likely to consider in July.Continue reading
A bad idea?
A colleague emailed this link with a subject line reading "Crazy! Non-profit papers?"
I wonder if AIG bonus recipients would care to advise newspapers of how calm and dispassionate members of Congress can be when they are legitimately criticized for their own actions. I wonder what the first newspaper whose specially conferred tax exempt status would be revoked, or threatened to be revoked. How many editors would be called on the carpet at congressional hearings and asked whether their columnists weren't intervening in political campaigns by criticizing incumbents?
Don't get me wrong--I think non-profit journalism is part of ...Continue reading
Should Members of Congress Respond to Bad Press with Threats of Lawsuits?
Obviously, no. And I'm sure that Josh Marshall feels the same way. Marshall speculates that Sen. Harry Reid's hiring of a lawyer indicates that Reid might be planning to file a libel suit against John Solomon and his former employer, the Associated Press. I trust that he forgot to add that such a suit--or even the threat of one--would be an assault on the First Amendment and the public's right to know. Sen. Reid is a public figure, and that it's unclear how exactly he has been harmed by the Associated Press story in question, so it would seem that a lawsuit would be problematic from the get go. Remember too that Reid had to amend his financial disclosure forms in response to the AP story (the Senate Ethics Committee is reportedly still reviewing the new filings). The AP continues to stand by the accuracy of the report; if it contains inaccuracies, Reid apparently has not pointed them out to the satisfaction of the AP.Continue reading