Political corruption has been around for a long time in our country. When it comes to political corruption, Republicans and Democrats are both guilty. The recent conviction of former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia on charges of corruption was no surprise to those who had been following the complicated story. The governor and his family traded government “favors” for gifts and money they received from Johnnie Williams, CEO of Star Scientific. Although the governor tried to stop information gathering by investigators — for instance, he attempted to hold back emails that had been subpoenaed — in the end, he was convicted.
This was just another example of state and local officials who have been charged with and convicted of political corruption during the last four years. Continue reading
Posted in Corruption, Money in Politics
Tagged bribery, corruption probes of Congress, political corruption, quid pro quo, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr, Rep. John Doolittle, Rep. Peter Visclosky, Rep. Rick Renzi, Rep. Tom Feeney, Rep. William Jefferson, roadblocks to Congressional convictions, speech or debate clause, speech or debate decision
by Barb and Kellye
This is the third in a series of four posts outlining the 7 major questions considered by the Supreme Court in making its Citizens United decision ( Part 1, Part 2). This post deals with two more of those major questions. One of these questions involves what corruption test should be used to determine whether campaign finance laws are needed to restrict political spending. The other question asks whether the “appearance of political corruption” erodes the public’s confidence in the democratic process. As stated at the beginning of the series, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and Justice Stevens the minority opinion.
Be sure to read to the end of this post to find out what the Supreme Court decided to do today. Continue reading
Posted in Citizens United, Supreme Court
Tagged 1st Amendment rights, appearance of corruption, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign contributions, corruption test, independent expenditures, political corruption, public's confidence in the democratic process, quid pro quo, restrict political spending, risk of corruption