Abuse of Power

McDonnell Trial Update: Tawdry Details of the Former VA Gov's Abuse of Power

McDonnell Trial Update: Tawdry Details of the Former VA Gov's Abuse of Power
The trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell continues, with new details of his and his wife's sordid abuses of power while in the Governor's mansion.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Study Links Voter ID Laws (and Lawmakers) to Bias Against Latinos

Study Links Voter ID Laws (and Lawmakers) to Bias Against Latinos
A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California argues that bias among state legislators against Latino voters is an important factor in the passage of tough voter ID laws across the country. The laws ostensibly are designed to prevent voter fraud, but the researchers said there’s almost no evidence that such fraud is a problem in U.S. elections
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

ALEC Prepares Switch to 'Social Welfare' Group as IRS Investigation Shines Light in Dark Corners

ALEC Prepares Switch to 'Social Welfare' Group as IRS Investigation Shines Light in Dark Corners
Facing an Internal Revenue Service inquiry on tax fraud charges, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is effectively acknowledging that its status as a charity may be a cover for its real work as a multi-million dollar lobby for some of the nation’s largest and richest corporations. Cue up the back-up plan: a "social welfare" organization able to engage in unlimited lobbying. The only reason this hasn't happened yet is because donors would not be able to deduct their contributions on federal tax forms.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Insecure Commission: SEC Dumps Proposal Requiring Companies to Disclose Political Spending

Insecure Commission: SEC Dumps Proposal Requiring Companies to Disclose Political Spending
Since 2011, more than 640,000 Americans have written to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the stock market and publicly-owned corporations, to support a proposal that it require companies to report their political spending to stockholders and the public. The commission responded last week by unceremoniously dumping the proposed rule from its 2014 agenda.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Graphic Video: Police Unjustly Arrest Cop Watcher and Brutally Kill His Dog

Graphic Video: Police Unjustly Arrest Cop Watcher and Brutally Kill His Dog
In a candid display of police brutality and the implications of cop watching, officers in Hawthorne, CA, unjustly arrested Leon Rosby after peacefully exercising his right to film police activity — and then fired four fatal rounds into his 3-year-old dog, Max.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Hope and Change? Access to the President Should Never Be for Sale

Hope and Change? Access to the President Should Never Be for Sale
Organizing for Action, the Obama administration’s new “independent,” non-profit advocacy group, should be put out of business and its plan to schedule quarterly meetings with the President for its big contributors and fundraisers should be scrapped.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Un-Gerrymander MD: Vote NO on Question 5

Recently, the Washington Post called Maryland the worst gerrymandered state in the nation. Azavea, an independent geospatial mapmaking firm, ranks Maryland as the least compact state in the nation.Why should you care that Maryland is dead last in this category? Well, compactness is a key measurement of a redistricted map.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

OH Lawmaker Accused of Lobbying for ALEC Corporations

On Wednesday night, Fox19 news in Ohio aired an investigative piece examining the influence of ALEC in that state. I was interviewed as part of the segment, which was based in part on Common Cause’s investigation of ALEC over the past 18 months. This story, parts of which were included in a front page New York Times story in April, demonstrates the lengths some legislators will go to please ALEC and its corporate financiers.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

OH Secretary of State Asks Supreme Court To Suppress Early Voting

You’d think a public official whose job is to supervise free and fair elections would be focused on ensuring that every eligible voter has a meaningful chance to vote and that every vote is counted as cast. Sadly, in Ohio, you’d be wrong.
Jon Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, is making it his business to gum up the machinery of democracy in the Buckeye state. He’s been fighting for months to limit access to early voting, which helps tens of thousands of Ohioans with disabilities, or jobs that keep them busy during normal voting hours, participate in elections.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: 

Should the Supreme Court Enforce a Code of Ethics on Itself?

It’s the first Monday in October, so the big news outlets and legal blogs were full over the weekend of stories and posts on the opening of the Supreme Court’s 2012-13 term.
The new term begins with the court still refusing to formally adopt for itself the ethical code it enforces at every other level of the federal judiciary. The Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges instructs judges to maintain their independence by acting “without fear or favor.” It tells judges to disqualify themselves from cases in which they or members of their family have a personal interest, to take care to obey laws requiring them to disclose their personal finances and to avoid any involvement in partisan politics, among other things.
origin Author: 
origin Blog: