FCC and IRS election laws in place since FDR New Deal were written to keep undue influence, money, power from corrupting our primary and general elections. It states clearly that all candidates are to receive opportunity and access to media---to forum events. Congress amended what was EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/TIME for media coverage to opportunity with the ability to get a CAMPAIGN PLATFORM out to the public. Clinton came along and broke what was a fall-back for this law effecting only private media by using his post as Gov of Arkansas to weaken election coverage even on PUBLIC MEDIA. Clinton did what was a great blow to election integrity----EXECUTIVE ORDER called FEDERALISM ACT ---we have discussed this in detail----it basically PRETENDS the Federal government does not have to enforce Federal laws----and of course FCC and IRS election laws are Federal laws. So, starting with Clinton there was no oversight and accountability of state election boards and of course states started rigging elections freely. Bush then hit hard for election fraud by bringing in that electronic ballot machine made by a BFF and since we have had ballot box election fraud through Bush/Obama. So, Clinton/Obama killed free and fair -----balance in media---while Bush killed our balloting process.
THESE ARE WHAT CAUSED THE RIGGED AND FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS----NOT SO MUCH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS.
If all candidates have major forums to get their voice, name recognition, their platform out to the voters----then it does not matter how much money a campaign receives ---NOT REALLY. Of course we want to limit----PUBLIC FINANCING IS GOOD-----but when pols are backing a Constitutional Amendment for CAMPAIGN REFORM while allowing all of the above to kill our primary and general elections ----WE KNOW THEY ARE POSING PROGRESSIVE. So, we need to look for what they are up to.
Below we see the ACLU doing good policy----both Republicans and Democrats hate these elections---they want to maintain people's voices so the ACLU recognizes the threat to this with AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.
Campaign Finance Reform
The ACLU believes that the system of electing candidates to federal office is badly in need of repair. We will continue to advocate for reform of the current system, including in support of our longstanding commitment to public financing of campaigns. In doing so, we will stress fidelity to the principles protected by the First Amendment with the goal of expanding, not limiting, political speech.
In a 2010 case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that independent political expenditures by unions and corporations (including non-profit corporations such as Planned Parenthood, the National Rifle Association, and the ACLU) are protected under the First Amendment and are not subject to restriction by the government. That decision has sparked a great deal of controversy. Unfortunately, legitimate concern over the influence of “big money” in politics has led some to propose a constitutional amendment that would reverse the decision—by limiting the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
The ACLU firmly opposes this approach. In our view, the answer to concerns over the escalating cost of political campaigns is to expand, not limit, the resources available for political advocacy. Thus, the ACLU supports a comprehensive and meaningful system of public financing that would help create a level playing field for every qualified candidate. We support carefully drawn disclosure rules. We support reasonable limits on campaign contributions, and we support stricter enforcement of existing bans on coordination between candidates and super PACs.
Our system of free expression is built on the premise that the people get to decide what speech they want to hear; it is not the role of the government to make that decision for them.
'Adoption of the National ACLU’s misreading of the First Amendment by the Supreme Court’s five justice majority has made things much worse in the last few years. Citizens United has enabled big corporate money to run amok in our political system. McCutcheon struck down the generous limit of $123,200 that an individual was permitted to contribute during a given election cycle. [fn]'
Above is a quote from an article found after this one---and it is written by OLD-SCHOOL LEFT-LEANING ACLU. As they state the ACLU of 21ST century is ONE WORLD while that of the original ACLU was left-leaning in fighting for EQUAL PROTECTION.
Have you heard the ACLU shouting out against the inability of candidates to access all election venues----media and 501C3----because that is where the rigging is----and I have heard nothing from the ACLU on these major election issues.
The problem for WE THE PEOPLE about this campaign finance reform stance by the ACLU ----is that it fights to protect the voice of corporate non-profits---what many call special interest groups----but it does not mention the rights of actual candidates to have their voices heard during a campaign season. They are allowing candidates to be marginalized and said to be IRRELEVANT---BECAUSE of those special interest donations. A Heather Mizeur has almost no funding but a national women's organization headed by Clinton neo-liberals gives her a donation and this means she gets to participate in primary forums while others are not. A Baltimore City Council candidate gets a campaign donation from TEACH FOR AMERICA and now that candidate is given major election exposure.
So, the ACLU is fighting for the voices of what are CORPORATIONS----they simply are labelled as non-profits. As I shout over and over and over-----many of these are global non-profits and NGOs---that is for whom today's ACLU is working.
'The constitutional amendment under consideration in the Senate is even broader in some ways. It would allow the federal and state governments to limit spending, including spending by private citizens, that lawmakers say could "influence elections." '
The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech
By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
September 12, 2014 | 11:58 AMblog_constitution_4.jpgThis post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
For an organization that works on issues as diverse as drones, women's rights, racial justice, war powers, immigration and flag burning, internal debates are inevitable and healthy. We welcome them. One of those long-standing debates has become more animated recently as the Senate considers a constitutional amendment that would empower Congress and the states to regulate even non-partisan political debate without regard for the First Amendment's freedoms of speech, assembly and petition.
In advance of a vote on the amendment, several former ACLU officials wrote a letter to the Senate criticizing the ACLU's current stance on campaign finance laws. Professor Geoffrey Stone penned a similarly critical blog here in support of the letter.
We have enormous respect for Professor Stone and our former colleagues, and we share many of their concerns about the integrity of our political system. We also agree that our campaign finance system needs to be reformed. For that reason, the ACLU supports public financing programs that provide candidates with resources to mount a meaningful challenge against wealthy opponents such as the matching dollar system in the Fair Elections Now Act. We support tailored disclosure requirements. We support stronger rules to ensure that outside political advocates are not illegally coordinating their activities with candidates. And we support reasonable limits on direct contributions to candidates.
But history has taught us to be wary of proposals that would empower the government to monitor, regulate, and ultimately criminalize political speech. For instance, with the McCain-Feingold bill in 2002, Congress made it a criminal offense for groups like the ACLU or Sierra Club to even mention a candidate in certain communications paid for by general treasury funds in the crucial run-up period to elections and primaries.
The constitutional amendment under consideration in the Senate is even broader in some ways. It would allow the federal and state governments to limit spending, including spending by private citizens, that lawmakers say could "influence elections." Even proponents of the amendment have acknowledged that this authority could extend to books, television shows or movies, such as Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices or a show like the West Wing, which depicted a heroic Democratic presidential administration during the crucial election years of 2000 and 2004. It could even reach the ACLU's letter to Congress on the amendment noting that all of its sponsors are Democrats (or independents who caucus with the Democrats).
Professor Stone suggests that restrictions on campaign-related speech are somehow less troublesome if they apply in a non-partisan fashion. Without doubt, it would be worse to pass a law that attempted to limit speech by Democrats and not Republicans, or vice-versa. It does not follow, however, that we can or should accept a regime in which the government gets to decide how much speech is enough in the political arena.
That problem is compounded, moreover, by the inherent difficulty in deciding what speech is campaign-related and thus subject to regulation. Take the common example of a newspaper ad that supports a legislative proposal that a candidate for office also supports. Does that ad support the pending bill or does it support the candidate? Is it intended to influence policy or an election? And do we really want government officials to decide when they may be prompted by ulterior political motives?
There really isn't that much blue water between Professor Stone, our former colleagues and the ACLU. They want more transparency around campaign funding. We want to be sure advocacy on important issues of the day remains unrestrained. These two goals are both worthy and not mutually exclusive, yet so much of the rhetoric suggests they are. It's time for advocates on all sides of the issue to talk with one another, not past one another.
In sum, this is a tough issue, but the desire to do something should not lead us to abandon core free speech values that have served us so well for more than two centuries.
Here we have 20th century ACLU talking about how we used to protect speech and election freedoms----OVERTURNING PRECEDENTS. These few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA has completely IGNORED a century of LEGAL PRECEDENT----and this is ILLEGAL. It would be an ACLU that would fight these current court precedence and fight for our century's old court precedence that was LEFT-LEANING FDR/EQUAL PROTECTION. This is where we are missing our civil liberties protection and in ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE there is no civil liberties----only for global corporations and global NGOs.
'We believe that overturning many of the Court’s narrow 5-4 campaign finance precedents and implementing generous, content neutral political spending limits is the best way to fulfill the promise of James Madison’s First Amendment as democracy’s best friend'.
Again, we do not need a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT---we simply need ENFORCEMENT of laws on the book and adherence to LEGAL PRECEDENT.
FAN 30.1 (First Amendment News) Six former ACLU leaders contest group’s 1st Amendment position on campaign finance — ACLU’s Legislative Director responds
by Ronald K.L. Collins · September 6, 2014
→ The history of campaign finance regulation demonstrates the need to erect sturdy safeguards for free speech. — ACLU amicus brief, Citizens United v. FEC, July 29, 2009
→ Any rule that requires the government to determine what political speech is legitimate and how much political speech is appropriate is difficult to reconcile with the First Amendment. Our system of free expression is built on the premise that the people get to decide what speech they want to hear; it is not the role of the government to make that decision for them. — ACLU 2012 Statement
Below is a September 4, 2014 letter signed by six former leaders of the ACLU and presented to the chairman and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. While the footnotes have been omitted, the full text with notes can be found here. Finally, note that a September 8, 2014 vote has been scheduled in the Senate concerning a proposal to amend the First Amendment.
→ Following the statement below is a response from Ms. Laura W. Murphy, Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the ACLU.
ENTER THE DISSENTERS
Dear Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, Subcommittee Chairman Durbin, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Cruz: Unknown
This summer, some have taken to citing a June 2014 letter from the ACLU to bolster opposition to a constitutional amendment that would change the way Congress can regulate election spending.[fn] While, as present and former leaders of the ACLU, we take no position in this letter on whether a constitutional amendment is the most appropriate way to pursue campaign finance reform, we believe that the current leadership of the National ACLU has endorsed a deeply contested and incorrect reading of the First Amendment as a rigid deregulatory straitjacket that threatens the integrity of American democracy.
[Here is the ACLU position as stated on its website: “Unfortunately, legitimate concern over the influence of ‘big money’ in politics has led some to propose a constitutional amendment to reverse the decision. The ACLU will firmly oppose any constitutional amendment that would limit the free speech clause of the First Amendment.”
→ And there is this statement by Laura W. Murphy, director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office (June 2012): “If there is one thing we absolutely should not be doing, it’s tinkering with our founding document to prevent groups like the ACLU (or even billionaires like Sheldon Adelson) from speaking freely about the central issues in our democracy. Doing so will fatally undermine the First Amendment, diminish the deterrent factor of a durable Constitution and give comfort to those who would use the amendment process to limit basic civil liberties and rights. It will literally ‘break’ the Constitution.”]
In 1998, some of us signed the enclosed letter circulated by every then-living retired leader of the ACLU, protesting the ACLU’s erroneous insistence that the First Amendment makes it impossible to regulate massive campaign spending by the richest 1/10 of 1% of the American electorate. [fn] Things have only gotten worse since 1998. The passage of 16 years means that fewer 20th century ACLU leaders are left to sign this letter. More importantly, over the past 16 years, using the ACLU’s erroneous reading of the First Amendment as a fig leaf, five justices have added huge multi-national corporations to the list of unlimited campaign spenders, [fn] and authorized wealthy individuals to contribute virtually unlimited sums to party leaders in a never-ending search for wealth-driven political influence. [fn] Under the ACLU’s erroneous reading of the First Amendment, it is no exaggeration to label today’s version of American democracy as “one dollar-one vote.” We reiterate the substance of the 1998 letter, and add the following additional comments in light of the unfortunate events of the last 16 years.
John Shattuck, one of the signers of letter
John Shattuck, one of the signers of letter
Our campaign finance system, already in dreadful shape in 1998, has only gotten worse. Today, American democracy is almost irretrievably broken because it is dominated by self-interested, wealthy interests. We believe that reform of our campaign finance system is the only way to fulfill Lincoln’s hope that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth. The 2012 federal election cycle was the most expensive in our history, with a combined price tag of $6.3 billion. Most of the money came from the top 1% of the economic tree. Indeed, even within the 1%, the top 10% of the 1% exercised overwhelming independent groups, including super PACs, collectively spent $1 billion.[fn] It is the supremely wealthy that provide the bulk of that money. And because of loopholes in the reporting statutes, we don’t even know who many of them are.
Super PACs, in particular, have become a mechanism for the wealthy to exert even greater influence over our elections and our elected officials. Only 1,578 donors, each of whom gave at least $50,000, were responsible for more than $760 million — or 89.3% — of all donations to super PACs in 2012.[fn] Thus, a microscopic percentage of the population is funding a significant percentage of the political spending in this country.
Equally, many likely 2016 presidential candidates have made pilgrimages to wealthy independent spenders hoping to bolster their electoral chances.[fn] Such opportunities for candidates to, as many outlets put it, “kiss the ring” of a major political donor rightfully cause the public to question whether candidates are tailoring their views to the highest bidder.
We believe that the Supreme Court’s campaign finance decisions from Buckley [fn] to Citizens United to McCutcheon are based on three fallacies. → First, the Court wrongly equates spending unlimited sums of money with pure speech. We agree that campaign spending is a mix of speech and conduct. At reasonable spending levels, the speech element predominates, rendering unreasonably low campaign spending levels (like the absurdly low spending levels in Buckley) unconstitutional. But there comes a point where the conduct element of unlimited spending predominates, permitting content-neutral regulation of massive electoral spending to preserve the ideal of political equality at the heart of American democracy, and to protect the public from the corruption risks associated with vast political spending.
→ Second, the Court improperly distinguishes between political contributions and expenditures. Under the Court’s reasoning, contributions given directly to candidates may be limited, but independent spending may not be. Given the courting by candidates of big independent spenders since the Citizens United decision, it’s clear this distinction makes little sense. Massive contributions and massive independent expenditures each buy undue influence.
→ Third, the Court has failed to recognize that political equality is a compelling interest that justifies reasonable limits on massive political spending. Rather than interpreting the First Amendment as assuring everyone a reasonable opportunity to be heard, the Court (and the National ACLU) has turned the First Amendment on its head by guaranteeing the wealthy an expensive set of stereo speakers and leaving the average citizen with a bad case of laryngitis. Most Americans would find it preposterous to allot more time in a debate to the speaker with the most money. Yet, that is precisely how our campaign finance system functions today.
Adoption of the National ACLU’s misreading of the First Amendment by the Supreme Court’s five justice majority has made things much worse in the last few years. Citizens United has enabled big corporate money to run amok in our political system. McCutcheon struck down the generous limit of $123,200 that an individual was permitted to contribute during a given election cycle. [fn]
After Citizens United and McCutcheon, the sky’s the limit for supremely wealthy folks on the hunt for political influence. New joint fundraising committees have already emerged to channel money to candidates even more efficiently. [fn]
Most disturbing of all is that the current Supreme Court applauds the undue influence that big money can buy. As the Court majority said in McCutcheon, “Ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption. They embody a central feature of democracy—that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests, and candidates who are elected can be expected to be responsive to those concerns.” [fn] That is, of course true. But it is supposed to apply to all of us, not merely the supremely wealthy. Taken to its logical extreme, as the Court seems poised to do, the voices of ordinary Americans will be drowned out entirely by their rich “neighbors” who live nearby in the gated community.
We share a profound respect for the ACLU’s magnificent efforts to defend constitutional rights in this country since its founding almost a century ago. We are proud to have devoted significant portions of our careers to the organization’s work, and look forward to continuing to support the ACLU in the future. On this important issue, however, we believe the ACLU is mistaken. The time has come for a change in the Supreme Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence. We believe that overturning many of the Court’s narrow 5-4 campaign finance precedents and implementing generous, content neutral political spending limits is the best way to fulfill the promise of James Madison’s First Amendment as democracy’s best friend.
'In the land of global 1% and their 2%------peasants don't have voices in elections----this is LANDED GENTRY times and this is for what all these AMEND THE CONSTITUTION POLICIES are directed'.
Everyone and their mother knows Clinton is 1% Wall Street global corporate ----she is not interested in campaign reform to protect WE THE PEOPLE. As always they choose policies everyone knows are bad-----PACs----Citizens' United ruling----but as with all progressive posing ---they have no intentions of reforming those things needed for citizens' rights during elections. They are reforming for global entities----for ONE WORLD GLOBAL PARTICIPATION in our US elections.
When I say Maryland's group of raging 1% Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals----Van Hollen, Raskins, Sarbanes, and Mizeur -----ALL HILLARY FOLKS!-----want to use these AMEND THE CONSTITUTION issues like campaign reform for installing TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT AND FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE policies----we look below and say-----what are they really trying to change?
HILLARY JUST HIJACKED OUR ELECTION WHILE WORKING FOR BILLIONAIRES AND SPECIAL INTERESTS FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
Hillary Clinton Announces Campaign Finance Overhaul Plan
By AMY CHOZICK and NICHOLAS CONFESSORESEPT. 8, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at a campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. This week she announced proposals for campaign finance reform. Credit Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times
In a plan intended to upend a “political system hijacked by billionaires and special interests,” Hillary Rodham Clinton presented a set of proposals on Tuesday to curb anonymous political donations and bolster the influence of small donors through a federal matching program.
“Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement, reiterating her call to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.
The issue of campaign finance reform has galvanized voters in both parties amid a roiling debate about what democracy means in an era when “super PACs” can raise and spend billions in support of candidates. Two candidates — Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — have struck a chord by railing against the influence of such groups in politics.
Mrs. Clinton’s multiprong plan includes a push for legislation that would require greater public disclosure of political spending, establish a matching system for congressional and presidential candidates, and support a Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
Mr. Sanders has, in his calls for reform, rejected money from super PACs and relied on low-dollar online donations. Mr. Trump has accused his Republican rivals of being captive to billionaire donors.
Other candidates, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, a Democrat, have also called for campaign finance reform.
Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard professor, said Sunday that he would enter the Democratic race for president on that single issue.
Mrs. Clinton’s plan, announced as polls show a rising threat from Mr. Sanders in New Hampshire, amounts to a wish list of ideas long advocated by critics of big money in politics, none of them elaborated in great detail.
For example, she proposed to match contributions by small donors with additional taxpayer funds, which would in theory diminish the influence of big donors by enhancing the collective financial clout of small ones. Her campaign did not offer many specifics for such a system, such as the amount of the match or — more crucially for critics — what such a program might cost.
Mrs. Clinton’s announcement was hailed by supporters of tighter financial rules for candidates, who have struggled to make political money a burning campaign issue despite surveys showing widespread disgust with existing rules.
“What she has proposed is both good policy and good politics,” said David Donnelly, the president of Every Voice, a Washington group that supports tougher campaign-finance and influence-peddling restrictions. “That’s why Clinton should actively campaign on this platform and push these solutions to the center of the debate in the days, weeks and months to come.”
Mrs. Clinton’s efforts to address the issue come even as she works to help Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting her candidacy, raise hundreds of millions of dollars to compete with Republican groups that have far outraised their Democratic counterparts. Last month, Priorities said it had secured $20.5 million in commitments since July.
Republican critics were quick to call Mrs. Clinton’s plan hypocritical. “Hillary Clinton stopped making calls to her own super PAC donors long enough to call for an end to super PACs,” said Jeff Bechdel, a spokesman for America Rising, a conservative super PAC.
But Democrats say forgoing super PAC money would be tantamount to handing the election to Republicans, erasing any chance for reform.
To that end, Mrs. Clinton frequently tells donors that the only way to enact her plan and reform the system is to elect a Democrat. President Obama used a similar argument in his 2012 re-election fight, which relied heavily on the support of Priorities USA Action.
The 2016 race could be the most expensive in history, in part because of spending by “super PACs.” Legally, the groups cannot coordinate with candidates, but there is plenty of wiggle room.
Mrs. Clinton said she would support new disclosure legislation, seeking to unearth the hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign money that flows through business trade groups and nonprofits, neither of which must disclose donors. She also backs a new Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political activity.
She said she would also sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to fully disclose all political spending.
But each proposal has run into fierce resistance from Republicans and business groups. Shareholder activists and labor unions have been pushing for the S.E.C. rule for more than two years. Republicans have filibustered a legislative approach, known as the Disclose Act, offered by Democrats. Congressional Republicans also included a rider in a recent spending bill aimed at staving off a disclosure rule for federal contractors, something President Obama has signaled in the past that he might issue.
It was during Mrs. Clinton’s last run for president, in 2008, that the conservative group Citizens United tried to stop her with a critical documentary that led to the Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for super PACs.
Mrs. Clinton has recently started to remind voters of this personal connection to the case and the cause. “They took aim at me, but they ended up damaging our entire democracy,” she said at a Democratic dinner in Iowa last month, her voice breaking after delivering a fiery partisan speech. “We can’t let them pull that same trick again.”
Mrs. Clinton’s refrain that she would push for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling has been met with particular skepticism.
“A lot of folks read today’s announcement, and with all due respect to the secretary and her team, 90 percent of those things aren’t going to happen anytime soon,” said Robert J. Jackson Jr., a law professor at Columbia who has advised Mrs. Clinton in the past. He added that the rule requiring disclosure by publicly traded companies seemed particularly doable and potentially effective.
Mrs. Clinton’s embrace of campaign finance reform might not only help her shore up support among liberals who are increasingly captivated by Mr. Sanders, but also help her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, shed their image as overly cozy with the donor class. In recent years, the Clintons have come under criticism for their paid speeches to Wall Street banks and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. Under Mr. Clinton’s administration, donors were wooed with rounds of golf and nights in the Lincoln Bedroom.
YEAH--THAT'S ALL A CANDIDATE HAS TO DO----PUT ANYTHING ON A PLATFORM ----AND WE FORGET THEY SIMPLY SAY WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR.
Our US Constitution and by extension all our Federal election laws and court precedence fall under US jurisdiction. So, we talk about corporations having to much campaign spending-----NGOs not having enough voice----and if we look at the goals of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE-----our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones will be filled with foreign corporations-----global labor pool-----global NGOs ---and it will be them who participate in US elections. If WE THE PEOPLE feel silenced and feel we are not having our votes count NOW------we understand that ONE WORLD does not look at citizens as real voters. Third world elections are all rigged and fraudulent---just as our US 2016 election is-----it is rigged so that only those 1% and their 2%----SUPER DELEGATES ANYONE?
THIS IS FOR WHAT HILLARY AND THE CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERAL CROWD WANTS TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION. REFORMING WHO CAN HAVE A VOICE.
No doubt the ACLU is right-----global NGOs will be targeted just as our left-leaning social non-profits were. The ACLU has simply gone to bat for those global NGOs and are leaving US civil rights, equal protection, and civil liberties behind.
World Bank tribunal dismisses mining firm's $250m claim against El Salvador
Need one more reason to #StopTPP? El Salvador #ISDS case shows how system, also in #TPP, could threaten our laws.
OceanaGold ordered to pay $8m legal costs after claim that El Salvador’s refusal to let it mine gold caused huge loss in potential profits is thrown out
IFC/World Bank - Global Corporate Governance Forum
www.ifc.org/gcgf Corporate governance also contributes to development. ... Consultative Meeting Highlights Changes in the Global Environment, Social and Governance Landscape.
This article shows what A CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM WANTS TO ADDRESS.
Foreign donations to foundation raise major ethical questions for Hillary Clinton
By Jennifer Rubin February 18, 2015
In an extraordinary report that has not yet been fully digested, the Wall Street Journal tells us that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has received millions from foreign governments including Qatar, a prominent backer of Hamas:
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department in 2010. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.
Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline. . . .
United Arab Emirates, a first-time donor, gave between $1 million and $5 million in 2014, and the German government—which also hadn’t previously given—contributed between $100,000 and $250,000.
A previous donor, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has given between $10 million and $25 million since the foundation was created in 1999. Part of that came in 2014, although the database doesn’t specify how much.
The Australian government has given between $5 million and $10 million, at least part of which came in 2014. It also gave in 2013, when its donations fell in the same range.
Qatar’s government committee preparing for the 2022 soccer World Cup gave between $250,000 and $500,000 in 2014. Qatar’s government had previously donated between $1 million and $5 million.
Oman, which had made a donation previously, gave an undisclosed amount in 2014. Over time, Oman has given the foundation between $1 million and $5 million. Prior to last year, its donations fell in the same range.
The foundation of course provides luxury travel for Hillary Clinton and her spouse, a high-visibility platform and access to mega-donors. She is beholden in a meaningful sense to its donors. No presidential candidate can justify a conflict of interest of this magnitude; it is not merely the appearance of conflict but actual conflict of interest.
If former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (R) might go to jail for receiving lavish gifts for a donor for whom he made a few phone calls, what would be the remedy if, once in office, Hillary Clinton extended her office not only to make calls but also to approve policy and financial arrangements worth billions back to these countries? How will the American people ever be satisfied we are getting her undivided loyalty? No matter how much she protests, her judgment would be questioned as influenced by gratitude toward the foundation’s wealthy patrons. And, of course, a president cannot recuse himself or herself from dealings, so there is no practical way to avoid the conflict.
It is bad enough when Clinton takes gobs of money in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, oil and chemical companies, and other titans of industry — although that, too, raises the potential for conflicts of interest. But a foreign government should never have any claim on the loyalty of a U.S. president, which is why foreign donations directly to a campaign are illegal. We cannot give her a pass simply because her entity is a “foundation,” not a PAC or campaign entity.
There is no conceivable way, I would suggest, that the foundation can keep the foreign monies if she wants to run for president. It is unseemly in the extreme and raises potential for liability down the road. But even if she were now to give all the money back, she has had use of the money in the meantime (the time value of money is something, after all). More important, her egregious judgment and untrammeled greed raise real questions about her priorities and ethics. Republicans should and will, I predict, pummel her with this. If the MSM is not entirely in her pocket, they will as well. Imagine if Jeb Bush’s education foundation took millions from Saudi Arabia. Surely there would be cries for him to withdraw from presidential pre-campaigning.
The irony here is that it is not the “Israel lobby” that buys influence. It is Arab states that lavishly fund universities and think tanks. And now they are buying a president. I await with baited breath the outrage from Tom Friedman and the other Israel-bashers who accuse lawmakers of being bought and paid for by Israel. Or do the rules just apply to Israel?
Hillary, give the money back. Or don’t run. You can’t keep the money and run.
The Aspen Institute and the Roosvelt Institute---you know, those far-right ONE WORLD posing as FDR left-leaning groups----writing public policy for CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS have had WE THE PEOPLE out demanding GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS----this policy was written by corporations to open the door to ELECTION REFORM. The same was done for the Glass Steagall banking deregulation----they tied that to JOBS JOBS JOBS ACCESS TO LOANS ACCESS TO LOANS. Then they did that to health care reform. They allow these structures to get so absurd ---that people want change---and KNOW WHAT? CONGRESS IS FULL OF NOTHING BUT 1% WALL STREET GLOBAL CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----working for global corporate reforms.
THIS HAS BEEN A PATTERN THROUGHOUT THESE FEW DECADES OF CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM -----THEY PREY ON OUR LEFT-LEANING ISSUES TO BRING OUT POLICY COMPLETELY FAR-RIGHT EXTREME WEALTH AND EXTREME POVERTY.
We do not want them AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION ---WE WANT THEM TO ENFORCE ELECTION LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.
Do you think the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens' United was done just to create these issues? All Congress had to do was changed the Supreme Courts' ruling as ignoring a century of court precedent ----then impeach if they did not change the ruling. THAT IS FOR WHAT OUR CHECKS AND BALANCES were written.
WAKE UP------KNOW FAR-RIGHT WALL STREET POLS ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THESE GOALS.
Poll Shows Americans Favor an Overhaul of Campaign Financing
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and MEGAN THEE-BRENANJUNE 2, 2015
Danielle Greene, left, and Jennifer Vassil at a Washington rally in January calling for an end to corporate money in politics. Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Americans of both parties fundamentally reject the regime of untrammeled money in elections made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other court decisions and now favor a sweeping overhaul of how political campaigns are financed, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.
The findings reveal deep support among Republicans and Democrats alike for new measures to restrict the influence of wealthy givers, including limiting the amount of money that can be spent by “super PACs” and forcing more public disclosure on organizations now permitted to intervene in elections without disclosing the names of their donors.
And by a significant margin, they reject the argument that underpins close to four decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence on campaign finance: that political money is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. Even self-identified Republicans are evenly split on the question.
“I think it’s an obscene thing the Supreme Court did,” Terri Holland, 67, a former database manager who lives in Albuquerque, said in a follow-up interview. “The old-boy system is kind of dead, but now it’s the rich system. The rich decide what’s going to happen because the Supreme Court allows PACs to have civil rights.”
The poll provides one of the broadest and most detailed surveys of Americans’ attitudes toward the role of money in politics since the Citizens United decision five years ago. And the responses suggest a growing divide between the nation and its highest court on constitutional questions that have moved to the heart of the American system, as the advent of super PACs and the abandonment of public financing by both parties in presidential elections have enabled wealthy donors, corporations and unions to play a greater role in political fund-raising.
In recent years, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has steadily chipped away at restrictions on political donations while narrowing the constitutional definition of corruption. In a series of decisions, the court has rejected the notion that the access and influence afforded big donors can justify further restrictions on campaign money, while dismissing concerns raised by the court’s liberal wing that unrestricted political money skews policy-making in favor of the wealthy.
The broader public appears to see things differently: More than four in five Americans say money plays too great a role in political campaigns, the poll found, while two-thirds say that the wealthy have more of a chance to influence the elections process than other Americans.
Document: A New York Times/CBS News Poll on Money and Politics Those concerns — and the divide between Washington elites and the rest of the country — extend to Republicans.
Three-quarters of self-identified Republicans support requiring more disclosure by outside spending organizations, for example, but Republican leaders in Congress have blocked legislation to require more disclosure by political nonprofit groups, which do not reveal the names of their donors.
Republicans in the poll were almost as likely as Democrats to favor further restrictions on campaign donations, even as some prominent Republicans call for legislation to eliminate existing caps on contributions.
“I think too much money is spent on campaigns, and it ends up being lopsided,” said Sonja Rhodes, 57, a retired secretary and a Republican from East Wenatchee, Wash. “They should pass a bill and instead of billions of dollars, spending should be limited to $10 million or so.”
PASS A BILL----IS THAT ALL WE NEED? OF COURSE---NO NEED TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION
But Americans appear to be as inured to the role of money in campaigns as they are disillusioned by it, expressing a deep cynicism about the willingness of elected officials to fight the system they inhabit or to change the rules they have already mastered.
More than half of those surveyed said they were pessimistic that campaign finance rules would be improved. (Republicans and independents expressed more pessimism, while Democrats were evenly divided.) Over half of respondents said that the current rules equally benefit the Democratic and Republican Parties.
And virtually no one in the poll ranked campaign financing as the most important issue facing the country.
The nationwide telephone poll, conducted on landlines and cellphones May 28 to 31 with 1,022 adults, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Wearying of headlines about politicians who mix public life and personal enrichment — frequent flights on the private planes of billionaires, junkets paid for by corporate lobbyists and foreign governments, a high-end office redecoration billed to taxpayers — a number of respondents, in follow-up interviews, described political leaders as a kind of class apart.
“Candidates for political office are not in it just to serve the people; they also want the prestige and the perks,” said Elaine Mann, 69, a retiree from Alma, Ga. “They get so many little fringe benefits from being in office. Candidates should have to live for a period of time the way their average constituents live.”
Some, in the interviews, expressed a profound alienation from their own government. They said they did not expect elected officials to listen to them. They described politics as a province of the wealthy. And, despite being inundated with political advertising — and being repulsed by the billions of dollars required to pay for it — they said they sometimes did not feel informed enough to come to an opinion about the candidates.
Even if they do vote, the responses suggested, Americans do not believe they can overcome the political clout of people and organizations with money. Winning candidates, a majority in both parties said, usually promote the policies favored by their donors.
Who Is Running for President? “People with billions of dollars have a lot of influence with candidates that they help get elected,” Ms. Holland said. “You can see the dollar signs written on the wall.”
Yet few seem eager to participate in the country’s system for privately financed elections, even as fund-raising consumes more and more of elected officials’ time and energy. The vast majority of respondents said they had not given money to a candidate, party or other political organization during the past four years.
“It’s a very small percentage that has the most influence,” said John Carpenter, 60, a retired probation officer from Choctaw, Okla.
“Who do you think the candidate is going to listen to?” Mr. Carpenter added. “Your average taxpayer, or the head of a corporation who can write a check for a million dollars?”