special interests

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott: PBS a "Special Interest," Private Corrections Firm Just Plain Special

The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. The latest Ken Burns Civil War documentary. Sesame Street. According to Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), these programs and the countless others on PBS and NPR represent a "special interest." That's how Scott justified cutting all state funding to public television and radio last week.

Flaglerlive.com reported yesterday on Gov. Scott's veto of that portion of the state budget, noting that he called the action a "rejection of special interests."

OP-ED: Former Sen. Simpson Decries Special Interest Influence, Calls for Fair Elections

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) has an op-ed today in Politico that bemoans the heavy influence wealthy special interests have in distorting our elections and policymaking, and once again calls for the Fair Elections Now Act as a remedy.

"Today, it is those well-funded, but narrowly construed, special interests that provide the lion’s share of campaign funds — and exercise undue influence in tax and spending matters as a result."

Washington Post editorial: Maryland, where good government reforms go to die

The Washington Post has an editorial today on the Maryland General Assembly and the lack of action on good government reforms, despite a number of recent scandals.

 

"Only in the Maryland General Assembly, where reform legislation goes to
die, would so few be struck by the irony that bills to shine a light on
government and dampen the influence of special interests are killed more
or less in secret."

 

Poll Shows Citizens United ruling has added to voter anger with Washington

Politico has a story today on a recent poll commissioned by Common Cause, Change Congress and Public Campaign Action Fund that shows that voters believe special interests run the show in Washington. The survey also showed voters strongly favor revamping the campaign finance system with the Fair Elections Now Act.

 

A Catalyst For Fair Elections?

The National Journal's blog "Under the Influence" has a posting today with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) discussing the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision on Citizens United vs. FEC and why it could be the impetus for Fair Elections campaign reform.

 

Nate Silver on Special Interest Money and the Public Option

Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com has written an interesting statistical analysis of money in politics as it relates to the current debate on health care reform and the popular public option.

"What happens if we set the lobbying variable to zero for all senators? That is, suppose that the health care insurance industry were prohibited from making political contributions?

AIG: Will we Solve the Underlying Problem?

Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Change Congress, discusses the need to remove special interest money from congressional campaigns on The Huffington Post.

NPR on Judicial Race Spending

NPR's Nina Totenberg did a piece this morning on special interest money infiltrating judicial elections, focusing on the recent report from Justice at Stake on this phenomenon and examing contentious races in Alabama and Georgia. Listen and/or read the transcript of the piece here.

 

Towards the end, a judge has the opportunity to weigh in on his feelings when it comes to campaign cash and judicial elections:

 

Food that Fattens Your Wallet? Works for Pombo...

After last week's spinach scare, easing food safety restrictions is probably the last thing people want. But some people have paid a lot of money to get legislation passed...