Daily Media Links 6/28: Inquiry Looks Into a Shield for Donors in Elections, Campaign-finance future haunted by Montana’s past, and more…

June 28, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News

USA Today: Montana gave Supreme Court no choice  
By Brad Smith  
The Supreme Court had no choice but to overrule the Montana Supreme Court. Montana argued that it is so corrupt that it can ignore the First Amendment. It would be as if a state argued that its crime rates were so high that it could conduct unreasonable searches without a warrant, or that its courts were so backlogged it could dispense with the right to trial by jury.
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Independent groups

CBS News: Campaign money case could propel more deregulation
By Jack Gillum
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold limitless political donations from corporations sets the stage for campaigns and outside groups to press boundaries even further. Hundreds of millions of dollars in outside spending will continue to pour into the presidential election as super political committees, or super PACs, are emboldened by the court’s ruling and feckless federal regulators.
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San Antonio Express-News: Two Texas billionaires are nation’s top Super PAC donors
Two Texas billionaires are now the largest donors to active federal Super PACs together giving more than $20 million in support of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the GOP since the fall of 2010 through May 31., 
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LA Times: The Supreme Court was not about to reconsider Citizens United  
By Michael McGough  
The New York Times’ editorial page was shocked and appalled that, a mere two years after the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court dealt summarily with a plea by the state of Montana that it revisit the issue of corporate spending on political campaigns. Whatever you think of Citizens United, the idea that the high court would upend such a fresh precedent is fantastic.  In upholding the Montana law, that state’s Supreme Court was cruising for a judicial bruising.  

The Hill: The Supreme Court overreach nobody is talking about  
By Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)             
In throwing out Montana’s hundred-year-old state law forbidding corporate political contributions, the Court ignored the will of 75 percent of the American people and overturned an effective state precedent that protected Montana elections from the corruption of corporate money. This ruling compounds the damage to our democracy already done by the Citizens United decision, which has allowed millions of untraceable dollars to overwhelm our federal, state, and local elections.

Chicago Tribune: Supreme Court contempt
By Jules Witcover
WASHINGTON — At a time when circumstances particularly call for public confidence in the Supreme Court,  the judiciary has become perhaps the most controversial of the three main branches in the federal system. On the eve of its much-anticipated ruling on President Obama’s health care reform act,  an odor of entrenched partisanship fouls the atmosphere.

Bloomberg: The Supreme Court’s Cowardice
In summarily dismissing a Montana case in which the state’s high court had upheld an anti- corruption statute regulating corporate spending on elections,  the U.S. Supreme Court this week opted to see no evil,  hear no evil and speak no truth.

USA Today: Editorial: Campaign-finance future haunted by Montana’s past
Barons like Clark — who poured money into Montana politics in the form of bribes,  campaign contributions and expenditures that straddled the line — fomented a popular rebellion against corruption that led to a 1912 state law limiting the flow of campaign cash.


NY Times: Inquiry Looks Into a Shield for Donors in Elections
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has begun investigating contributions to tax-exempt groups that are heavily involved in political campaigns,  focusing on a case involving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  which has been one of the largest outside groups seeking to influence recent elections but is not required to disclose its donors.
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Joe Trotter


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