Jim Hightower: Christie’s trying to sack up big bucks to finance what he hopes will be a huge re-election victory this November, thus positioning him to go after the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. So he definitely has the will to take tainted money from fat-cat New Jersey contractors who’re forbidden to give it.
ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothiils Chapter forum on Getting Money Out of Politics, with Mary Beth Fiedler of Move to Amend LA and Stephen Rohde, ACLU Southern California board member — Tuesday, July 10, 7 p.m., Pasadena
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer. As a result of the unions’ current orientation toward the Democratic Party, one must look long and hard for compelling examples, aside from the 1930s, when unions put up a valiant struggle.
Walter Brasch: When journalism turns into history, it will be written that Joe Paterno had done more than was expected, in every part of his life. The people, not the governor or the trustees who will quickly be forgotten in the cold, will keep Joe Paterno warm.
Robert Illes: Time to do something utterly insane ourselves. And I hope Obama does just that on September 8th when Boehner finally allows him to speak before Congress.
Randy Shaw: Leland Yee thought he had it all worked out. He moved to the left politically on labor and good government issues in preparation for the 2011 mayor’s race, and was positioned to embody the hopes of those seeking San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor.
Robert Reich: The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why?
Tina Dupuy: We cannot hold our lawmakers accountable without transparency. And if we can’t hold them accountable – they’re not working for us. Actually we’ll never know who they work for.
Joseph Palermo: The 2010 midterm campaigns have shown us that Alito and his four fellow Justices were not only wrong about the potential effects of Citizens United they greased the wheels for a corporate takeover of the governing institutions of the country.
Robert Reich: It’s not as if these investment fund managers are worth a $20 billion subsidy. Nonetheless they argue that if they have to pay at the normal rate they’ll be discouraged from investing in innovative companies and startups. But if such investments are worthwhile they shouldn’t need to be subsidized. Besides, in the years leading up to the crash of 2008, hedge-fund and private equity fund managers weren’t exactly models of public service. Many speculated in ways that destabilized the whole financial system.
Robert Reich: If Washington knew what was good for it and the nation, it would sever its financial connections with the Street. Better yet, it would enact legislation seeking to limit the impact of private and corporate money in politics. That goal is made more difficult to achieve by the grotesque recent Supreme Court decision (Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission) holding that corporations, including financial firms, have the right to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns. But there are ways around this, such as more generous public funding for candidates that choose not to take private contributions. Hopefully as well, the president will nominate Supreme Court justices who understand the importance of public trust in democratic institutions, and the difference between companies and people.
Wayne Williams: Voters are ready for Fair Elections — the elections that money can’t buy. In an October 2009 survey, likely June 2010 voters supported the California Fair Elections Act by a nearly 3-1 margin.
If Washington is the place where “good ideas go to die,” as candidate Obama liked to say, then the Senate is the slaughterhouse. This white millionaires’ club where the biggest egos on Earth tell us how goddamn important they are has just screwed the middle class in this country — a middle class that is reeling after years of being beaten down by these Senators’ masters in private industry.