Elections

Citizens United is about to Get Much Worse and No One is Talking About It

photo via Reuters

How much worse?

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court is poised to take up a case that we all need to pay attention too. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Court will rule on whether aggregate contribution limits are constitutional.

The media buzz surrounding the case is minimal, but don’t be fooled: this attack on key campaign finance regulation could hugely increase the power of big money to decide elections.  McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is yet another attempt from the GOP to drown out the voices of average Americans and unfairly tilt the scales— it’s Citizens United 2.0.

Again?! Who’s the culprit?

Plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon built his fortune as CEO of Coalmont, an engineering firm specializing in coal mining; eliminating net giving limits would allow McCutcheon to drown out average Americans while supporting the dirty energy agenda. And because the Republican National Committee so wants donors like McCutcheon to enjoy unfettered donation privileges, it has joined McCutcheon as an appellant on the case.

And they think this is fair?

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court eroded our first line of defense against big money by allowing unlimited donations to groups with political agendas as long as they don’t coordinate with candidates. Now McCutcheon, the RNC and their legal team want to eliminate our last line of defense — contributions directly to candidates and committees. A ruling against aggregate contribution limits would lay the groundwork for the elimination of candidate contribution limits, which would effectively eliminate the average American from the conversation.

Why we should pay close attention to this

McCutcheon’s lawyers have won before; lead counsel Jim Bopp was a driving force behind Citizens United. And we’ve already seen what Citizens United has done. One study revealed that the ruling had an immediate effect on funding in the 2012 election; of the $465 million spent on the presidential election by September, $365 million could be attributed to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Money in politics is already hard enough to fight without additional regulatory rollbacks.

A ruling against the FEC would further drown out the little guy — it’s difficult for politicians to focus on middle class voters when the rich can donate $93 million to a campaign. This case is less about McCutcheon’s gains than about the average American’s losses; money speaks volumes in politics, and it is profoundly unfair to allow the most affluent among us to exert virtually unlimited influence on our nation’s policymakers. We believe that everyone deserves an equal voice, even if they can’t donate to a campaign. After all, there’s a reason we’re not called Plutocracy for America.

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Categories: Big Business Campaign Finance Elections


A Right Wing Extremist or a DFA Member seeking solutions for her state?

While he may claim to be an average joe from Herndon the reality is Tom Rust has lost touch with voters in the 86th District of Virginia and isn’t doing his one job, representing the people. Instead of listening to the constituents of the district, Tom Rust has consistently disregarded local needs and voted along with Tea Party Republicans 97% of the time. As if his voting record is not bad enough, Tom has accepted campaign donations from Koch Enterprises, ALEC, and Tea Party Funder. This raises the question, exactly whose interests does Tom Rust represent in Richmond? The 86th District of Virginia has had enough of from Tom Rust. It is time for a progressive change in Richmond.

Luckily we have a simple solution: Jennifer Boysko.

The 86th District deserves a delegate who will stand up for their rights in Richmond and not the will of large impersonal corporations. That delegate is democratic candidate and longtime DFA member Jennifer Boysko.

Help Support Jennifer: Take Back The District From the Extreme Right. 

For the past five years Jennifer has been working diligently with elected officials, business owners, and residents of Herndon to find a viable solution to the transportation nightmare. She understands the positive impact expanding the metroline to Herndon would have on both the local businesses and individuals. Jennifers commitment to the Herndon doesn’t stop at transportation.As a mother of two and an active member of the PTA, Jennifer is committed to improving public education in Virginia. Realizing the negative impact teaching to statewide standardized tests has on students critical thinking ability, she advocates legislation aimed at increasing funding for the classroom and restoring teachers autonomy in the classroom. She’ll stand up for women’s rights and follow the law, not try to pass legislation that hurts low income women.

Help one of us in cleaning up Richmond.

When someone tells you to vote for Tom Rust. Just remember:


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Categories: Elections


DFA Featured Candidate: Elizabeth Miller for Virginia Delegate

As you know here at DFA we endorse progressive candidates all the way from Senate down to local school board. This fall there are many important elections going on around the country and  we will be regularly highlighting our many great progressive candidates. 

ELIZABETH MILLER: If you follow Virginia politics recently, you know the direction that the Republican-led Assembly and the current right-wing administration have taken the state. They have “governed” by rolling back women’s access to healthcare, attacking the LGBT community, and pursuing environmentally damaging energy policies. Virginia’s 32nd district is a microcosm of the battle going on across the state, and incumbent Tag Greason is a great example of Republican’s intransigent views and shortsighted policies.

This year is different, though, because we’ve got a great local candidate who is progressive, who cares about the community and who wants your voice heard. That candidate is Elizabeth Miller, a proven community activist and grassroots organizer. Liz has a long history of fighting for change, through her 4 years as a part of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and her invaluable experience gained from working on many campaigns. She has her background in computer programming and a degree in Psychology from George Mason University. Liz has promised to eliminate the harsh restrictions on a woman’s right to govern her own body, and will protect the environment against industrial contamination by giving towns more options to protect their air and water.

Meanwhile, the incumbent-- Tag Greason supports the exclusionary constitutional amendment denying thousands of LGBT couples the right to marry the person they love and the equal protection straight folks have in the state. He has voted numerous times to infringe upon a protected right for women, including for an invasive mandatory ultrasound bill. He voted for a voter ID bill that would suppress legal votes, simply to achieve a partisan victory. He even wrote a bill allowing for the creation of charter schools without the approval of the Board of Education, which were already exempt from many rules and regulations that public schools must abide by.

Liz Miller has made a promise to the people of Virginia to never accept any gifts from anyone outside my family worth more than a total of $100 in any year.

Tag Greason votes for Tag Greason’s interests, not for the interests of Virginia.

It’s time for a change. Join DFA in its support of Elizabeth Miller, our Democratic candidate in Virginia’s 32nd district. Together we can elect a true progressive powerhouse, end the era of long-term for pain short-term gain  governing, and move Virginia forward in a manner that benefits all. If you are tired of the voice of your district supporting exclusionary policies and voter suppression tactics, join our movement to bring inclusion and progressive policies back where they belong, into the House of Delegates.

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Categories: Elections


It gets worse -- for Mitch McConnell

Note: This is from Jay Henderson, field deputy

Thanks to you and all of us at DFA, Senator Mitch McConnell had a very bad week.

After we released polling showing McConnell losing his bid for reelection, their campaign spent the rest of the week on defense fending off question after question from the local Louisville Courier-Journal to the national U.S. News and World Report.

The Huffington Post, Politico, The Hill, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic, Washington Times... if you name a major media outlet, they probably covered it. McConnell's defense? "They have concocted another fictitious poll that has no basis in reality."

Keep dreaming Mitch. As members of the media pointed out, our polling firm was "lauded for its accuracy during the 2012 election cycle."

Contribute right now to keep the pressure on and send Mitch McConnell packing. 

Oh, but it gets worse -- for Mitch McConnell.

On the heels of our polling, a second poll was released showing the same results. Suddenly the campaign isn't being quite so bullish to claim fraud and even the Cook Political Report, a prominent nonpartisan outlet that analyzes elections and is followed closely by the Washington establishment, moved the race into the "Toss Up" category.

The fact is five-term incumbent, Senate Minority Leader, king of the filibuster, and chief architect of Republican gridlock Mitch McConnell is losing his race for reelection in Kentucky.

This is a huge opportunity. If we can keep Republicans on defense, even in a red state, their path to winning control of the Senate gets that much harder.

Help us send Mitch packing with a contribution of $15.

This was a bad week for Mitch McConnell. Let's make sure the rest of the year only gets worse.

Jay

Jay Henderson, Field Deputy
Democracy For America
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Categories: Elections


There's Even More Troubling News for Mitch McConnell in the New Polls Released Today. MORE HERE:

You probably saw this shocker of a headline today: 

Well there's more troubling numbers for Mitch McConnell, and and we've got the full report here. As you see, he's not only wildly unpopular, but his stance on Social Security is wildly out of touch with his constituents. Give a read and let us know what your analysis is in the comments. 

Kentucky Senate Race Questions

If the general election for U.S. Senate were held today, and the choices were Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, for whom would you vote?

Mitch McConnell ........................................................... 44%

Alison Lundergan Grimes ............................................. 45%

Undecided .................................................................... 11%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republican Mitch McConnell is handling his job as U.S. Senator?

Approve ................................................................ 40%

Disapprove ........................................................... 51%

No opinion .............................................................. 9%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

After 30 years in the U.S. Senate, do you believe Republican Mitch McConnell deserves re-election, or not?

Believe he does  ................................................................  38%

Believe he does not ...........................................................  54%

Not sure ..............................................................................  8%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters MOE 3.9%)

If Republican Mitch McConnell supported any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits, including raising the retirement age or reducing cost-of-living adjustments, would you be more or less likely to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate, or would it not make a difference?

More likely....................................................... 15%

Less likely ....................................................... 52%

Wouldn't make a difference............................. 33%

(Asked of 585 Kentucky voters - MOE 4.1%)



Social Security Questions

A proposal in Congress would increase Social Security benefits, resulting in a worker at age 75 receiving $452 more in benefits per year and a worker at age 85 receiving $807 more per year. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

Support ...........................................................  51%

Oppose ...........................................................  24%

Not sure ..........................................................  24%

(Asked of 585 Kentucky voters - MOE 4.1%)

Right now, wealthy Americans only pay Social Security taxes on the first $113,000 of their income. In order to strengthen Social Security, do you support or oppose scrapping this cap so that wealthy Americans pay the same rate on their income as ordinary Americans?

Support  ................................. 62%

Oppose  ................................. 20%

Not Sure ................................. 18%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters - MOE 3.9%)

In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security benefits, which is the government retirement program for the elderly?

Support ........................................................... 11%

Oppose ........................................................... 79%

Not sure.......................................................... 9%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

Do you support or oppose the recent White House proposal to cut the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits, resulting in a worker at age 75 receiving $658 less in benefits per year?

Support ........................................................... 13%

Oppose ........................................................... 74%

Not sure .......................................................... 13%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters MOE 3.9%)

Poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Democracy For America (DFA) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) on July 19-21, 2013. PPP was#1 most accurate pollster of 2012.

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Categories: Social Security Elections


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