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Colvin on Comparing the Constitutional Amendments Proposed after Citizens United

Greg Colvin, author of a new constitutional amendment

By Greg Colvin

Among those who feel the only way to overcome the Citizens United decision, which opened the door to unlimited corporate spending on elections, is to amend the U.S. Constitution, the question on everyone's mind is: "So what's the language?"

I offered a version of my own, the Citizens Election Amendment, posted three months ago at this site. It got a pretty good response (over 400 people "liked" it on Facebook) and last week I was in Washington, DC, talking to several members of Congress about it.

The main approach I take is to build upon the individual citizen's constitutional RIGHT TO VOTE (a right that Americans have shed blood and died for), protecting and expanding it to give citizen human beings the right to be the sole source of funding for election campaigns.

Center for Media and Democracy Submits Amicus Brief Defending Campaign Disclosure Rules

MADISON--The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has filed a brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court defending proposed disclosure rules passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, rules that are being challenged by the Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity. In the brief, CMD also questions whether rights granted by Wisconsin's Constitution can be legitimately extended to corporations.

Walker’s Budget Plan Is a Three-Part Roadmap for the Right

Guest Opinion by Mike Konczal

Tim Fernholz wrote an excellent article in the National Journal about the "bait and switch" of Governor Walker's Wisconsin plan. Fernholz points out that the short-term deficit problem can be covered by debt restructuring, and that the big pieces of the bill that relate to dismantling public sector unions, control over Medicaid and creating a no-bid energy asset sale process are not directly budget related. (See Bait and Switch?).

There's a three-prong approach in Governor Walker's plan that highlights a blueprint for conservative governorship after the 2010 election. The first is breaking public sector unions and public sector workers generally. The second is streamlining benefits away from legislative authority, especially for health care and in fighting the Health Care Reform Act. The third is the selling of public assets to private interests under firesale and crony capitalist situations.

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy -- where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision -- investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

One Year Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision

January 21, 2011 marks the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that expanded corporate power over our elections and our policies by asserting federal laws cannot limit corporate "speech." The capacity of the richest Wall Street firms in America to almost dictate election results by spending overwhelming sums to distort public opinion and then distort public policy is a real threat to the American dream and ideal of democracy.

Wendell Potter's Book Tour Visits Snowbound Madison

On Monday, January 17, over one hundred brave souls trudged through several inches of Wisconsin snow to see Wendell Potter, Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) Senior Fellow on Health Care, visit Madison's Goodman Community Center as part of his cross-country tour signing Deadly Spin: An insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate PR is killing health care and deceiving A

ACE, Climate Education, and the Issue of Energy Executives

Note: A prior version of this story previously appeared in PRWatch earlier this summer, and it is being re-posted with some adjustments. For more information, please see the note at the end of the article.)

Alliance for Climate Education logoIn May, PRWatch reported on a new group, "Balanced Education for Everyone" (BEE), that is trying to stop public schools from teaching kids about climate change science. BEE argues that teaching climate change is too scary for kids and "unnecessary." BEE's efforts have also raised other questions: what are kids learning about climate change in school, anyway, and who is influencing it?

It turns out that the issue of who is influencing climate change education has been flying under the radar screen. Especially now, as school budgets are being slashed and schools are increasingly desperate for resources, it is also an area ripe for corporate exploitation or corporate-minded influence.