The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it would hear the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The case involves craft store chain Hobby Lobby and the requirement under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) that all health insurance plans provide contraceptive coverage at no separate cost.
We have some pretty exciting news to tell you about. We recently learned that an anonymous foundation donor has awarded Free Speech For People a $500,000 matching grant to help build our new Legal Advocacy Program. This means that any donations we receive in support of this new initiative will be matched dollar for dollar by this donor. Click here to donate and learn more.
Yesterday, on November 20th, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) (MA) officially joined Senator Udall's Amendment bill as a co-sponsor. Udall's bill would restore the authority of Congress and the states to limit campaign spending in elections. A previous introduction of the bill by Sen. Udall had 25 U.S. Senate co-sponsors. Senator Edward Markey (D) (MA) also joined late last month on October 28th.
Recently filed tax returns shed light on some of the dark money that flooded the 2012 campaign season
Newly filed tax returns are shedding light on some of the dark money that flooded the 2012 campaign season, and to no surprise, since the 2010 Citizens United ruling, this number has only increased. One particular group, American For Prosperity (the main political arm of the Koch brothers) dumped 122 million dollars into advocacy efforts.
Using data from www.FollowTheMoney.org, Mother Jones created a new map that illustrates which top industries gave the most to state-level campaign donors for the 2012 election (ballot initiatives and party PACs excluded).
The results may (or may not) surprise you. See the results here.
What industry dominates your state?
Wednesday, as part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), “We Are DC Super Lobbyists,” Quinn Gillespie Associates (a top lobbying shop in DC) President John Feehery and Chairman Jack Quinn discussed the role money plays in the current political system. Quinn wrote, “I happen to believe that the role of money in American politics is a very significant problem, some would say it has reached the point of being a cancer on our democracy.”
Voters passed local ordinances on Tuesday informing their elected leaders that they want a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to curb corporate power, and ending the practice of political contributions being the equivalent of free speech. Read more on the story here.
Congrats to our friends at Move To Amend for their work on helping to pass these measures!
Recently Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation and co-founder of The American Sustainable Business Council (a partner of FSFP) stated in a talk he gave at the 2013 American Business Council Continuity Forum:
Since corporations are considered "people," an idea endorsed by the 2010 Citizens United ruling, they're now using this corporate personhood in a whole new way.
The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case allows outside groups to give unlimited contributions in federal, state, and local races. Since its passing, there has been an influx in outside spending in mayoral races in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and now in Boston.