After a long night we finally validated the last version of the Moneyocracy documentary at dawn. 90 minutes at the heart of the campaign finance system in the U.S!
Thanks to everyone who believed in that project, thanks to our great team. This one is surely the first one of a long series of doco (at least for me).
Next step, a big party, an official release, and a lot of work to make it known by as many people as possible.
Moneyocracy transmedia documentary will feature:
Trevor Potter (Stephen Colbert lawyer), John Bonifaz (Free Speech For People), Bob Biersack ( OpenSecrets.org: Tracking Money In Politics), Lawrence Lessig ( United Republic ), Paul Blumenthal ( The Huffington Post), Walter Shapiro, Tom Sutton, Ford O’Connell
For the second week in a row, Charles and David Koch were strafed by HBO’s show “The Newsroom,” the one-hour drama about a fictional cable TV news show and its volatile anchorman. “Newsroom’s” producer and writer, Aaron Sorkin, wears his Democratic-leaning heart on his sleeve, so it’s no surprise that Republicans are taking flak in his new series. (read more on the WSJ)
From Season 1 Episode 5 of the Newsroom.
Interview of David Koch conducted by Lee Fang (@LHFang) and Scott Keyes (@SMKeyes) of ThinkProgress. Newsroom segment based on the following piece:
David Koch was interviewed on January 5, 2011. He was leaving the capitol building in Washington DC after having visited Congressman John Boehner — who had been sworn in as Speaker of the House earlier that day. Koch helped finance tens of millions of dollars in attack ads, bus tours, pro-GOP Tea Party groups, and other electioneering efforts during the midterm election.
The Newsroom is an American drama television series created and primarily written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012. The series chronicles the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel. It features an ensemble cast including Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, who, together with his staff set out to put on a news show “in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.” Other cast members include Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston. (src: wikipedia, HBO)
Here’s a troubling video of Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) being asked about whether or not it would be fine for foreign corporations to influence elections in total secrecy - using the legal disposition created by Citizens United v. FEC and Speechnow v. FEC. Even if the Senator Blunt answer is not reflecting a clear stand for or against foreign influence in the general elections, his answer suggest that the disclosure act “isn’t a serious legislative issue”.
A Chinese, Russian, or Venezuelan corporation can legally influence American elections in secret, simply by setting up a corporation here, then funding a 501(c) group with some innocuous name to run attack ads. The ads could help elect lawmakers who support trade or foreign policy issues favorable to these countries, and the whole process would be perfectly legal and undisclosed under our current campaign finance system.
In the very same time, the Associated Press released a poll result showing that
63 percent believe corporations or unions should not be able to spend as much as they want supporting political candidates, while 30 percent said they should spend freely.
Read the post here.
More than $130 million in secret money sailed through this loophole and into the 2010 elections; hundreds of millions more are flowing into this year’s races for control of the White House and Congress.
(via the Huffington Post)
When corruption is conveniently legal, you can pay by check or credit card.
It’s a great read for history/politics buffs, or for young folk who see Watergate as more of a history lesson than an actual, real-life event.
Here’s a very interesting piece wrote by Matt Bai in the New York Times magazine section.
Citizens United and a couple of related court decisions changed all of this in two essential ways (…) First, the Supreme Court wiped away much of the rigmarole about “express advocacy” and “electioneering.” Now any outside group can use corporate money to make a direct case for who deserves your vote and why, and they can do so right up to Election Day. The second change is that the old 527s have now been made effectively obsolete, replaced by the super PAC. The main difference between a super PAC and a social-welfare group, practically speaking, is that a super PAC has to disclose the identity of its donors, while social-welfare groups generally do not.
Our political system is pervasively corrupt due to our Supreme Court taking away campaign-contribution restrictions on the basis of the First Amendment.
Numbers of the day:
Only 0.26% of the Americans contributes to political campaign and only 0.05% max their $2500 limit…. 0.000063% of Americans gives 80% of the Super PACs money. More on the Rachel Maddow show
Super rich alienate nearly all Americans from campaign donation
Rachel Maddow relays the findings of a new study showing that vast minority of Americans contribute to political campaigns and an even tinier minority contributes five figures or more- and why would an average American bother to participate in a system where such a small number wield such disproportionate power?
Here’s a good infographics about the conservative U.S supreme court under chief justice John G Roberts. As may remember:
On june 25, 2012 the Supreme Court declined to revisit its Citizens United decision, the court summarily reversed a decision of the Montana Supreme Court that had upheld a state law limiting independent political spending by corporations. That decision, the United States Supreme Court said, was flatly at odds with Citizens United, which said the First Amendment allows corporations and unions to spend as much as they like to support or oppose political candidates. (Read more on the NYT)
Even though Roberts wrote the dissenting opinion and helped the Obamacare reform to be declared constitutional, his records show a different pattern.