Author Archives: Anita S

Montana, WTP, and the Supreme Court: A Tale of Irony – Part 1

by Kellye

This blog is about big money in politics and the corruption that follows it. Citizens for Truth was started as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. This ruling effectively removed limits on the amount of money corporations and unions can spend in elections. The only requirement is that the expenditures must be independent of the candidate’s own campaign — there can be no coordination or other collaboration between the candidate or political party and the outside group.

Since that decision, the number of outside groups has increased exponentially. Each election seems to involve more money than the one before it. National elections, but also state and local, are heavily influenced by big money donors. It is often the case that big money donors in state and local elections don’t even live in the state, let alone the local areas. As a result, outside groups, along with their corporate and out-of-state donors, are calling the shots in state and local elections, not the people who actually live there. The two primary types of big money outside groups are SuperPACS and 501(c)4 “social welfare” organizations (for more information see these posts: 501(c)4sPACs, SuperPACS, 501(c)4s).

The key difference between these two groups is disclosure. SuperPACs are required to disclose donations, while 501(c)4s are not. The latter is often referred to as “dark money.”

Let’s switch gears for a moment and discuss Montana’s importance in campaign finance. Continue reading

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New Voter Tools for Truer Representation

by Barbara

My highest national value is democracy. But right now, there is a severe imbalance of representation that is counterproductive to democracy. Private and corporate interest is being represented, while public interest is not. We can change this, if we request it together.

After reading this post, please sign the petition: New Voter Tools for Truer Representation (see link below). The petition contains more information explaining why the tool suggested is needed and how it can expand the public’s ability to participate — bringing about a more effective democracy in which our representatives actually can be pressured to represent us when there is an undeniable common vision.

Here are several ways the wealthiest individuals and their corporations use resources and money to gain imbalanced influence and dominance over our government and policy: Continue reading

Free Market in Texas? Not for These Cars

by Angie

Have you heard about the Tesla Model S? It is a beautiful, streamlined sporty sedan that runs entirely on electricity with 0 emissions. Its range on one charge is considerably farther than that of other electric cars — from 208 to 265 miles depending on the battery, which can be charged at any regular 240- or 120-volt outlet. And it was honored as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 2013.

In addition to superior performance, Tesla’s cars are different because they are sold directly by the company rather than through dealers. This seems sensible on the face of it, since having an intermediary raises the price unnecessarily. But according to the Chicago Tribune, ” No fewer than 48 states ban or limit direct sales of automobiles.” In some states, stores owned by Tesla Motors itself can sell the cars, while in other states Tesla can open stores for marketing purposes but cannot actually sell the cars at the stores.

Texas — which prides itself on being “open for business” — is one of the most difficult states for Tesla. Continue reading

Reveal Corporate Sponsors!

 

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A great idea! Let’s have the House of Representatives do the same!

(posted by Anita)