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Citizens United v. FEC
  • Meet Farmscape, the Corporation Running for Mayor of L.A. [VIDEO]

    Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals for the purposes of electoral communications, an important question has lingered regarding the implications of the majority opinion.

    Not "if corporations are people, how come they barely pay taxes?" And certainly not, "if corporations are people, how come none of them are in prison?" No, here's the real dilemma: If corporations are people, how come they need to use the intermediaries of campaign contributions and lobbyists to bend policy making to their whims? Why not eliminate the middlemen and have corporations become the politicians?

    For Farmscape LLC, a Los Angeles business that designs and maintains farm plots in the city, the answer is "Why not, indeed?" Following in the path-breaking limited-liability footsteps of Murray Hill Incorporated — an environmental consultancy that sought ballot access in Maryland's 8th Congressional District in 2010 — Farmscape recently announced its candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles.

    As part of its effort "to represent our chard values," Farmscape submitted voter registration paperwork to the County Recorder's office last week, appending an argument for corporate suffrage alongside its application

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    Tags: California, Citizens United v. FEC, Corporations, Environment, Food, Los Angeles
  • Five Wealthy Overlords Providing 25% of All Campaign Money

    Did somebody order the most immaculately perfect example of how the Citizens United ruling will be used to up-end democracy in this country? Because the Atlantic Wire just provided it.

    Apparently, 25 percent of all the money flooding into the presidential race this season is coming from a mere five percent.

    Oh, wait, did I say five percent? I meant five people

    An analysis of January's campaign-disclosure filings reveals that 25 percent of all the money raised for the presidential race that month came from just five donors. That select group gave $19 million to various super PACs, often in support of more than one Republican candidate. Those numbers come from both The Washington Post and USA Today, though neither gives a complete list of those five top donors of 2012.

    However, a look at the biggest overall donors reveals who have been the biggest supporters of this whole campaign and the outsized level of support they've provided — and some indication of how they hope the race will play out. The limit on individual contributions that can go directly to a candidate is $2,500, but when giving to a super PAC the sky is the limit. And a handful of wealthy individuals have already crossed the $1 million threshold in giving.

    Now, some of you may be saying that this represents an abject perversion of "democracy." And that may be true. For now.

    But I'm sure these five rich dudes will buy up all the dictionaries and fix that soon enough.

    Photo by Mark Scott/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Tags: Citizens United v. FEC, Money, Super PACs
  • Exclusive Extended Daily Show Interview with Russ Feingold

    "It was one of the worst decisions in the history of the country, and it's the only decision I can remember that the average citizen knows about. They know something's wrong, and this whole thing's going to collapse." – Russ Feingold on the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision

    Jon Stewart's interview with Sen. Feingold continues after the jump.

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11/10c.

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    Tags: Citizens United v. FEC, Jon Stewart, Russ Feingold, Senate, Super PACs, The Daily Show, Video, Wisconsin
  • ACLU Bravely Fights for Freedom to Watch Internet Porn

    Republicans often paint the ACLU as some shadowy cabal of elite communists plotting to destroy the government and subvert traditional family values. But the ACLU does a lot of important work fighting for Americans' constitutional rights — free speech, free expression, free press.

    And now, free porn

    The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a Washington state library district for not offering access to online porn…The search censorship by the North Central Regional Library also means some websites — such as Google Images and YouTube — are blocked too. The board decided the filter serves its mission to promote reading and lifelong learning…

    The ACLU is representing three library users and a nonprofit organization, and argues that federally funded libraries should disable their filters upon the request of an adult.

    “This case is about an overly broad filtering policy that has restricted an adult student from using the Internet for a class assignment and a professional photographer from accessing art galleries online,” ACLU cooperating attorney Duncan Manville said in a statement.

    While the 2012 Republican candidates have yet to comment on the controversy, I think it's fair to assume that Mitt Romney would side with the ACLU. After all, he can't resist a money shot.

    If the case makes it all the way up to the Supreme Court, the justices would likely rule in favor of the ACLU and the porn industry. The liberal members of the bench have always stood firmly on the side of civil liberties. As for the right wing of the court, if there's one thing we've learned from Citizens United, it's that the conservative justices fully support whoring themselves out for cash.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: ACLU, Citizens United v. FEC, Constitution, Education, Laws, Porn, Sex, Supreme Court
  • Stephen Colbert on the Greatest American Super PAC Donors

    Next time you find yourself mocking the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC decision that led to the emergence of Super PACs, ask yourself one question: Who are you to question the wisdom of our highest court?

    I mean, seriously, who do you think you are? You probably don't even run, like, one multinational conglomerate. Have you ever even bludgeoned a manservant to death just because you can? Get out of my face, you plebeian flatworm.

    Coverage continues with Stephen's own million-dollar Super PAC after the jump.

    The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30/10:30c.

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    Tags: Bain Capital, Citizens United v. FEC, Colbert Super PAC, Mitt Romney, Money, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Sheldon Adelson, Stephen Colbert, Super PACs, Supreme Court, The Colbert Report, Video