While high profile privatizations have dominated the news in recent years, a new trend is quietly emerging -- communities taking public assets back under public control. The trend is most pronounced in the area of water resources. In communities across the country, people are deciding that water is just too precious to subject to the profit motive.
The 2010 Citizens United decision was premised on the dubious notion that expenditures made "independently" of candidates by groups like Super PACs are less likely to have a corruptive influence than direct contributions to candidates and parties. In Tuesday's oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, the latest case to challenge campaign finance limits, at least some justices acknowledged the folly of their reasoning in Citizens United, but nonetheless appear likely to further restrict Congress' ability to limit money in politics.
Apparently the only thing both Democrats and Republicans can agree on in Washington, DC, is that they can't deal with bad press involving Honor Flight vets.
This led to absurd images of Republicans -- who had shut down the federal government, including all monuments and museums -- rushing to "aid" veterans shut out by monument closures. In the most revolting display, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) publicly berated a National Park Service Ranger for a situation created entirely by Congress.
"The taxpayers have been left holding the bag.... As a result of this I think there is going to be a lot more oversight." Those were statements made by Nevada Assemblyman James Ohrenschall in an interview on Vegas Inc. September 21.
In a story most in the media missed, protestors gathered under the dome at the Mississippi state capitol earlier this year to oppose a bill that would allow the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to privatize everything from child protective services to nutrition programs for the elderly.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could further expand the reach of its controversial ruling that political spending is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment -- and which could give the one percent even more influence over politics.
MADISON -- Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an Open Records Letter Ruling rejecting an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's public records law, after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas filed briefs in the matter.
Some interesting emails were released as part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's ongoing investigation of a $500,000 taxpayer grant awarded to the Koch-tied United Sportsmen's group. The grant was tailor-made for United Sportsmen and slipped into the budget by State Representative Scott Suder as one of his last acts as a state legislator. (Suder, who also served as ALEC's Wisconsin State Chair, was given a new job at the Public Utilities Commission and a $45,000 pay raise by Governor Scott Walker.)