In an op-ed today in the Boston Globe, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes on what may be the biggest issue at stake in the 2016 election: the future of the US Supreme Court.
The court’s decisions have a profound impact on American families. In the past two decades alone, it effectively declared George W. Bush president, significantly weakened the Voting Rights Act, and opened the door to a flood of unaccountable money in our politics. It also made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, preserved the Affordable Care Act not once but twice, and ensured equal access to education for women.
On Election Day, three of the current justices will be over 80 years old, which is past the court’s average retirement age. The next president could easily appoint more than one justice. That makes this a make-or-break moment — for the court and our country.
That’s true. As People For the American Way recently laid out in our Judgment Day report, virtually every single important issue—from voting rights to guns to reproductive freedom to workplace fairness to the environment and beyond—will be at stake before the Supreme Court. And because the Justices most likely to retire in the next few years come from both sides of the bench, our country has the opportunity to pull the Court from its dangerous rightward lurch of the last decade—or to solidify a far-right majority for a generation.
But just as important as preventing the next president from appointing more Justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas and Alito, we need to elect a President who will appoint extraordinary jurists who understand the profoundly progressive nature of our constitution. In her op-ed, Senator Clinton lays out what that looks like.
As president (and a lawyer and former law professor), I’ll appoint justices who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint; make sure the scales of justice aren’t tipped away from individuals toward corporations and special interests; and protect citizens’ right to vote, rather than billionaires’ right to buy elections.
All of this is good news for progressives—and why People For the American Way has been pushing so hard for more conversation about the importance of the Supreme Court as we head into the 2016 election. But it’s not enough.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to push candidates of both parties to make clear what kind of judges they’d appoint to our nation’s highest courts, because, as Secretary Clinton says, “There’s a lot at stake in this election. Nowhere is this clearer than in the US Supreme Court.”
Fox News pundit and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson joined radio host Alex Jones yesterday to discuss Donald Trump’s success in the polls, which led the two commentators to hurl insults at Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who is one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, for saying that “Trump wants to literally write racism into our law books” by banning Muslim immigration.
Jones compared Abedin to a hippo featured in a Ringling Bros. poster that was displayed behind Carlson: “Let’s take Huma Abedin, who I notice you have a picture behind you of her on your wall of that Ringling Bros. [poster]. That actually does look like her, Hillary Clinton’s special friend.”
He went on to say that if “Trump or a conservative” had a “special friend” like Clinton does, the media would be all over it. “Her whole background, she seems to just get away with everything,” Jones added. “I think that also sticks in people’s craw that these Democrats and establishment Republicans are above the law, they don’t get reviewed, they don’t get looked at, and then Hillary’s little hippo, she can do whatever she wants, stay in the same hotel room or whatever, this should be looked into.”
Calrson, who was apparently amused by Jones’ joke about Abedin looking at a hippo, took issue with Abedin’s “insane” characterization of Trump’s policies as racist: “That is exactly the kind of language of rhetoric that divides people, that makes people hate each other, that whips the population into a greater frenzy. That’s every bit as irresponsible as anything Donald Trump has suggested and, unlike Donald Trump, she’s actually in a position of power.”
Glenn Beck dedicated an entire segment of his radio program today to absolutely excoriating Donald Trump for mocking a New York Times reporter with a disability last week and then laughably trying to deny that he had done so. After repeatedly blasting Trump, Beck eventually began to speculate that the business mogul's entire presidential campaign is part of some secret deal to help Hillary Clinton get elected to the White House.
After pointing out that pretty much all of Trump's stated positions make no sense and often directly contradict his previously stated views, Beck concluded that is is "more logical" to conclude that Trump is running for president in order to launch a third party campaign for the purpose of undermining the Republican Party and benefiting of Hillary Clinton.
"What are the odds that he is a spoiler?" Beck asked. "What are the odds that he got into this because he's friend with the Clintons and he'll get massive payback? If Hillary Clinton gets in because he ran third party, do you know the favor they're going to owe him?"
"It makes no sense otherwise," Beck insisted, asserting that "it's more logical to believe that" scenario than the idea that Trump is actually a Republican or even someone who cares about the issues.
This new theory, of course, somewhat conflicts with Beck's previous theory that Trump's campaign was a conspiracy designed by "big business" to destroy the Tea Party.
In a speech last month, Rafael Cruz repeated his claim that America will be no more if Hillary Clinton becomes president.
Cruz told an audience in Minnesota that they should support his son, Sen. Ted Cruz, in his effort to “take this country back” because “we don’t have any more time.”
If his son fails to win the GOP presidential nomination, he warned, a “mushy, middle-of-the-road, stand-for-nothing moderate like Jeb Bush” will come out on top, “and if Jeb Bush gets the nomination, Hillary will be our next president and this country will be destroyed.”
Channeling Michele Bachmann, WorldNetDaily columnist and Fox News regular Morgan Brittany predicted today that Hillary Clinton is set to win the presidential election and “it’s obvious that there is nothing to stop this inevitable victory except an act of God.”
Upset that Clinton didn’t trip up during her testimony before the Benghazi Special Committee last week, Brittany wrote that Clinton’s election is now unavoidable: “At this point it doesn’t look like anything can stop the Clintons from returning to the White House. If none of our best interrogators can get anything to stick, no one can.”
Wondering if Clinton’s “nomination and eventual presidency has been a set up from the get-go,” Brittany wrote that she will continue to “hope and pray that at some point the Clintons will have to answer for all of their lies, corruption and greed to a higher power, and perhaps at that point justice will finally be served.”
I must admit that in all of my years on this earth I have never seen two people get away with more lies, obfuscation and corruption than Bill and Hillary Clinton. After listening to her 11 hours of testimony about Benghazi this week, I was sure that some way, somehow she would be held accountable for something. Alas, that idea was just wishful thinking. I was at least hoping that after her emails showed that she knew the Benghazi attack was not connected to the video she would have said that she was sorry for what she told the victims’ families – but of course, she couldn’t do that, could she?
At this point it doesn’t look like anything can stop the Clintons from returning to the White House. If none of our best interrogators can get anything to stick, no one can. She snookered them into holding the hearing in public so that she could pull out the sympathy card, firmly holding her head high as they “bullied” her. I’m sure she had months with an acting coach to pull that off.
Her nomination and eventual presidency has been a set up from the get-go. Anyone who doesn’t see it has to be blind, and the sad thing is that it doesn’t look like anything can be done about it. The fix has been in for years, and that’s why the Democratic Party has no viable candidate running except her. Jim Webb knows it, Chaffee knows it (both of whom have dropped out of the race), even Bernie Sanders knows that he is just there as a sham candidate. The media will continue its fake reporting, gushing over how wonderfully presidential she is and pretending that this is an actual election. As such, it’s obvious that there is nothing to stop this inevitable victory except an act of God.
The Republican donor class certainly isn’t doing anything to counter her at this point. Who knows? Could they even want her to win?
I just hope and pray that at some point the Clintons will have to answer for all of their lies, corruption and greed to a higher power, and perhaps at that point justice will finally be served.
In case you needed any further evidence that the Benghazi Special Committee hearing with Hillary Clinton yesterday did not go well for the GOP, American Family Radio host Sandy Rios panned the performance of the House Republicans as a “disaster.”
After calling Clinton a “consummate professional at lying and covering-up,” Rios conceded today that the former secretary of state was “wonderful” and “looked great,” while Republicans on the committee appeared to be grandstanding and incompetent.
“They are not capable, they are lined up with a professional,” she said. The right-wing radio host was also upset that Democrats on the panel were even allowed to ask Clinton questions.
There were two types of questions that House Republicans posed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s hearing of the Benghazi Special Committee: 1) questions that had nothing to do with Benghazi (see Blumenthal, Sidney), and 2) questions that were already thoroughly assessed and answered in the seven previous investigations into the 2012 attack.
As an example of one question of the latter sort, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton whether the targeted U.S. facilities were being used to send weapons to armed Syrian groups.
This theory, popularamongconservativeactivistsandpundits, goes that the Obama administration used the American annex in Benghazi to arm Al Qaeda, ISIS and other radical Islamists…who then attacked the Americans, for some reason.
The theory was first posed to Clinton in a 2013 hearing by Sen. Rand Paul, who himself admitted that he didn’t “have any proof” of the allegation.
The Associated Press reported last year that the claim doesn’t hold water…unless you believe that Republicans are aiding the supposed cover-up:
A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Republicans criticized the Obama administration and its then-secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016. People in and out of government have alleged that a CIA response team was ordered to "stand down" after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels. None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report.
Today, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her agenda for taking on the corrosive effects of money in our democracy. People For the American Way president Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
"Hillary Clinton should be applauded for putting out a comprehensive plan to address the disastrous effects of money in our elections. This is the kind of leadership we need to take on this challenge, and this is the kind of plan that Americans are demanding. I look forward to seeing Secretary Clinton talking with voters about her agenda for reforming our elections as a centerpiece of her campaign.
"All across the political spectrum, Americans are sick and tired of a system that serves the needs of big donors instead of ordinary people. 85 percent of Americans believe we need major reforms in the way money impacts our elections. Republicans, Democrats and independents support taking strong action, including amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United. And they want judges who will put the rights of individual Americans over the interests of corporations and special interests. Candidates on both sides of the aisle would be wise to follow her lead and speak out for a broad range of solutions that can put voters back in charge of our democracy. “
There’s no denying it: the destruction of our campaign finance laws has created an out of control system that poses a serious threat to our democracy. The announcement that Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has raised over $114 million, along with the fact that the Koch brothers plan to spend almost $900 million, feeds into the fears of many that the U.S. is turning into an oligarchy, where the views of wealthy donors are the only ones that matter. A huge majority of Americans think the campaign finance system needs reform, and this is an issue that presidential candidates can’t ignore.
This week, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, an outspoken opponent of big money in politics, pledged to introduce legislation at the start of the next session that would provide public financing for elections. Hillary Clinton has also stated her support for small-donor public financing. A bill introduced earlier this year by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) attempted to level the playing field by providing voters with $25 to spend on elections and to match small individual donations to a candidate 6 to 1 with public money, which would turn into a 9 to 1 match for candidates that rejected large donations altogether.
In addition, both Sanders and Clinton have expressed their support for a constitutional amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, as has Sen. Lindsey Graham. These two solutions, public financing of elections and an amendment to get big money out of politics, are both highlighted as measures needed to fix the broken campaign finance system in “Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Reform Agenda,” released by PFAW and other campaign finance reform proponents. As the agenda makes clear, for lasting change we have to move beyond “individual statements or even individual solutions” toward a comprehensive set of policy solutions.
Three out of four Americans are in support of a constitutional amendment, and over 5 million people have signed a petition in favor of it. Many other political leaders at the state and local level from both major parties want to put an end to the post-Citizens United big donor arms race.
With outside contributions in the 2012 federal elections totaling $1 billion, and with the Koch brothers alone already pledging to spend $889 million from their political network in 2016, it’s no wonder 85 percent of Americans agree that the campaign finance system needs serious reform. A particularly disturbing aspect is the prevalence of “dark money,” or political spending by outside Super PACs and so-called social welfare groups with no disclosure requirements. In the 2014 elections, 31 percent of all independent campaign spending was from groups that had no obligation to disclose their donors.
Despite deep concern from their constituents, Congress has been hesitant to take action against dark money being funneled into our elections. Though Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Disclose Act, which would require that all organizations disclose their political expenditures, Senate Republicans blocked the Senate majority from being able to vote on it.
The American people haven’t given up just yet. 73 percent support a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to limit political spending. Further, more than 550,000 have signed a petition urging President Barack Obama to issue an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending.
Just this week, advocates for campaign finance reform experienced a major victory when the DC Circuit unanimously upheld the “pay-to-play” provision that bars federal contractors from donating to federal candidates and party committees. In addition, presidential candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, and Hillary Clinton have all expressed support for removing big money’s electoral influence.
“We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people,” said Clinton in her kick-off campaign speech.
The movement against dark money clouding our elections has experienced a momentous push as Americans demand a more transparent campaign finance system.
On Friday’s episode of “The Savage Nation,” far-right radio host Michael Savage warned listeners that there are “tens of millions of people who are ready to snap” just like Dylann Roof did in Charleston, South Carolina, as a result of the Obama administration’s policies.
“There’s a lot of blame to go around,” Savage lamented about society’s supposed moral decay, which he blamed on liberal public schools and the separation of church and state. He called out President Obama for being a “phony, fundraising fraud” and Hillary Clinton for “defending illegals who are overrunning our institution.” He also pointed fingers at the American Medical Association “who dispense drugs like Kool Aid.”
Savage reserved his biggest critique for “the hatred being imposed upon this country by this criminal government, flooding American with criminals, rapists, murderers, thieves” through immigration. These conditions, he continued, are “affecting people and driving them crazy” and “affecting tens of millions of people who are ready to snap.”
The radio host’s rant is the latest installment of a series of controversial remarks about the shooting, including his suggestion that Roof may have been “a programmed killer set loose by the government.”
Since the 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for record-breaking levels of election spending, Americans have pushed for a change. According to a recent New York Times poll, 85 percent of Americans agree that the campaign finance system needs reform, from “fundamental changes” to a “complete overhaul.” Now Americans are going to their state and local governments to spearhead efforts to get money out of politics.
Over 125 bills regarding campaign spending have been introduced in 33 statehouses in the last few months, even in the conservative stronghold Texas. Some of these efforts have been bipartisan; Montana’s Democratic governor Steve Bullock collaborated with a Republican-controlled legislature to pass a bill that requires nonprofit “social welfare” groups to disclose their political spending.
“When somebody's hiding in the shadows and gut-shoots you, you have a right to know who's taking a shot at you,” said Republican Montana state senator Duane Ankely.
Americans are already working to fix the problem of big money in politics. More than 150 organizations have supported the Unity Statement of Principles which articulates the values underlying key solutions to ensure a democratic system of government where everyone’s voice is heard, everyone follows the same set of rules, and where everyone is held accountable. One important solution to the problem of big money’s influence in politics is a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and let the American people establish reasonable limits on election spending.
Sixteen states and more than 650 cities have passed resolutions urging Congress to adopt such an amendment. Activists in twelve states recently delivered petitions to their members of Congressmen asking them to support the amendment, and with 311,950 local petitions were delivered to district offices in California alone. Further, nearly three in four Americans support implementing a constitutional amendment. Presidential candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and even Republican Lindsey Graham, have all spoken in favor of campaign finance reform. The movement to get money out of politics already enjoys bipartisan support at all levels of government, and the stage is set for even more momentum, particularly around an amendment, moving into 2016.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
This week, we learn that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are in cahoots with radical Islam, Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition is a hoax, Ferguson has unleashed a wave of criminals, and gays continue to destroy the nation.
Obama’s Muslim Plot
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly explained in an interview with WorldNetDaily this week that President Obama is planning for the U.S. to take in Muslim refugees from war-torn nations such a Syria as part of his plan to wage “war on America,” knowing full well that Syrian refugees seek to “take over the world and establish their caliphate.”
“I don’t think he should let any Muslims in this country,” Schlafly said. “There is no reason why they should come in.” By permitting Muslim refugees to enter the U.S., Schlafly argued, “Obama is trying to absolutely change America by bringing in people who have no sympathy with what Americans believe.”
On her Eagle Forum blog, Schlafly also praised Ann Coulter’s new anti-immigrant screed “Adios America,” thanking Coulter for “alerting Americas to how Obama and the Democrats are destroying the land we love” by “diluting our population” with individuals “who commit all sorts of unspeakable crimes, in particular crimes against very young women and girls.”
Michael Savage joined in on the conspiracy theory, calling Obama a “con man shyster” who is attempting to destroy America by “injecting, like a virus, Muslims from Syria into all-white communities in America.” Obama, according to Savage, has also taken “infected children from Honduras and put them in every school district he could.”
Plenty of right-wing activists are upset about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. But some have looked beyond the headlines to reveal the true conspiracy that’s afoot.
Alex Jones, host of “InfoWars”, hypothesized that Jenner’s announcement was actually just a plot to distract Americans from Obama’s mischievous, scheming ways. Jones declared that he does not “like being force-fed constantly this weird, one agenda. The obsession, it’s got to be from like five, six years, because I cover media, with the trannies and transvestites.”
“What’s behind the agenda?” Jones asked, revealing that the true agenda of the media is to not only distract us from Obama’s civil war but to “make the coolest thing to be” a “tranny or a transvestite” and glorify a “creepy old guy.”
Jones is not alone in his suspicions, as Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy In Media wondered in Barbwire if Jenner’s transition was just “a hoax” to promote her upcoming TV show. Kincaid argued that the greatest threat is to children, criticizing Jenner’s supporters for sending an “extremely damaging” message. Kincaid made sure to warn us that “the nation may not survive, as it becomes a laughingstock before self-destructing or becoming easy pickings for a determined foreign adversary.”
While it may seem like Jenner is simply showing the world her authentic self, Kincaid urged us to question, “Where is the evidence that this is anything but a hoax?”
Hillary Clinton And Her Radical Muslim Cronies
The right loves to hate Hillary Clinton, and the latest conspiracy theories paint Clinton as a supporter and friend of “murderous Islamic thugs.” Rick Wiles, host of “Trunews,” spoke to Christopher Farrell of Judicial Watch Tuesday about his group’s claim that the U.S. compound in Benghazi was “arming Al Qaeda” and coordinating arms shipments to Islamic terrorists in Syria. While this connection may force some to then question why Islamic terrorists attacked the Benghazi compound in 2012, this question did not concern Wiles and Farrell.
Wiles compared the end of Gary Hart’s presidential campaign due to a photograph surfacing “of him with a pretty blonde sitting on his lap” to the apparent “murderous Islamic thugs sitting on the lap of Hillary Clinton.”
While a Republican-led investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence found Judicial Watch’s allegations about arm ships to Syria to be as credible as Hillary playing Santa with Islamic terrorists, Farrell and Wiles are not the only ones to remain unconvinced. David Horowitz, a far-right conservative activist, alleged in an interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, leaked information to the militants who killed four American diplomats in Benghazi. Clinton “got four people killed in Benghazi,” Horowitz argued. “She, you know, disclosed her private emails to Huma Abedin, a Muslim Brotherhood operative that showed where Ambassador Stephens was all the time, making him a perfect target.”
‘The Ferguson Effect”
Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last Friday titled “The New Nationwide Crime Wave” and the effect has been a week of media outlets sounding the alarm. Apparently, the civil unrest that began after the killing of Michael Brown has flooded the country, inspiring widespread crime.
What this theory lacks in nuance it makes up for in cherry-picked statistics that create a misleading image of increased violence and death. Switching between comparing shootings, violent felonies, and gun-related homicides, Mac Donald argued that the U.S. is “in the grips of a hysteria against cops” and that “cops have gotten the message that they should back off policing,” causing the flood gates to open and crime to wash over the nation.
This tsunami of crime, claimed Mac Donald, is the fault of the “mainstream media, the university presidents talking about assaults on blacks and of course the president and former attorney general.”
Anti-Gay Conspiracy Of The Week
This week in anti-gay conspiracies, gay men are exporting sodomy “to the entire universe” and the prospect of gay marriage will destroy America and cause millions to flee and/or demand secession.
Mike Heath, former head of the Maine Family Policy Council and current blogger on BarbWire, warned that the “[gay] virus is spreading rapidly. It won’t be enough to pervert the whole world with this evil anti-family worldview. Since the developed governments of the world aspire to colonizing planets we have to prepare for the export of sodomy to other worlds—to the entire universe!” Referencing the Apostle Paul, Heath pointed out that “you can tell when a nation has become a walking corpse when it has endorsed perverted sex.”
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, in an interview with CNS News, had a similarly dire warning, claiming that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would “literally cause the destruction of our country.” The court is “toying with something that’s like dynamite and will destroy our country,” he said.
If, however, by some stroke of luck America does not blow up following a ruling in favor of marriage equality, WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah promises that it would be met by secession and mass emigration. Farah wrote that “we need a Promised Land. We need and Exodus strategy.” He asked if there are “any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” If governors cannot promise Farah this, he promised us there would be a “pilgrimage by millions of Americans” fleeing marriage equality.
CNS News posted an audio clip of part of the interview:
CNS News posted an audio clip of part of the interview: - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/roy-moore-gay-marriage-will-literally-cause-destruction-our-country#sthash.SG52o5UE.dpuf
Yesterday, in a speech in Texas on the importance of voting rights, Hillary Clinton made one of the most important remarks of her campaign so far: "We need a Supreme Court who cares more about the right to vote of a person than the right to buy an election of a corporation."
With the 2016 national elections upcoming, wealthy donors supporting both parties are gearing up to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into the races; billionaires David and Charles Koch have already pledged to spend $889 million. But a report from Reuters shows that Americans, frustrated by the overwhelming influence of big money in politics, are organizing to fight back.
In the Philadelphia mayoral race, three billionaires spent $7 million to elect Anthony Hardy Williams. In response, unions and community groups rallied around his challenger, Jim Kenney, organizing a march to stop the wealthy donors from “buying [their] next mayor.” Technological developments are making such organization easier: the creators of Crowdpac, an app that lets entrepreneurs gather funding towards donations, say that they want the app to be used to organize small donors to counteract the effects of billionaire spending.
This is reflective of a wider trend in public opinion. Americans are sick of letting big money influence their elections; 84 percent say that money has too much influence in political campaigns today and nearly 3 in 4 Americans support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and limit campaign spending.
Americans have organized at all levels of government to get big money out of politics. Activists have held rallies and marches devoted to the cause and demanded that their representatives in Congress take steps to reduce big money’s influence. Five million of them have signed a petition calling for a constitutional amendment to limit the amount of money spent in politics. Sixteen states and more than 650 cities have already called for an amendment.
President Obama is on board, and presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham, and Bernie Sanders have expressed support for a constitutional amendment. Clinton and Sanders have also emphasized the importance of nominating Supreme Court Justices who would restore balance to the Supreme Court and restore the American people’s ability to impose reasonable limits on money in politics.
The movement against big money in politics is gaining momentum as the election nears.
Speaking at the Iowa National Security Action Summit this weekend, retired Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons argued that President Obama’s “Marxist background” leads him to believe many of the world’s problems have been created by America. Lyons concluded that Obama views anything that undercuts America as “objectively progressive.”
Not only is Obama anti-American and anti-Western, Lyons said, but he is actively “pro-Islam, pro-Iranian, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.” Obama’s supposed support of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, has allowed the group to “penetrate every American national security and intelligence agency”, bringing our nation to ruin from the inside. These infiltrators will soon attempt to substitute the American Constitution with “draconian Sharia Law” if Americans do not act immediately, Lyon warned.
He added that Obama, in his attempt to take down America, is using sequestration “as a vehicle for unilateral disarmament” to weaken the nation and further permit the penetration of Islam.
Obama is not acting alone, however, as according to Lyons Hillary Clinton is in on the deal too. Lyons prefaced his criticism of Hillary Clinton by claiming that the Russian government blackmailed President Bill Clinton using inside knowledge of his affair with Monica Lewinsky, leading Clinton to give the Russians $4.6 billion in “cold, hard cash.”
From a mailman flying a gyrocopter to the Capitol to protest big money in politics, to Hillary Clinton making the issue a centerpiece of her campaign, to Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsey Graham being asked about their stances on campaign finance reform at Q&A events, it’s clear that money in politics is shaping up to be a major issue in 2016. Yesterday The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported on the grassroots push to spotlight the topic of big money’s influence on our democracy:
[F]ive years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision — which held it was unconstitutional to ban independent political spending by corporations and unions, and helped set off a financial arms race — there are signs that politicians are beginning to confront a voter backlash.
….For those who feel strongly about it, the 2016 primaries and caucuses — and the up-close access they bring to the presidential contenders — offer a ripe opportunity to elevate the topic.
In New Hampshire, nearly 500 people have volunteered to attend public forums and press the White House hopefuls about money in politics, Weeks said.
"When the leading candidate for president says she's going to make reducing the influence of money in politics one of the four pillars in her campaign, you know that that's going to be a major issue in 2016," Baker said. "So this is a very, very big deal."
While there are many issues that divide Americans, addressing the big-money takeover of our political system is not one of them. That both Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton expressed support for an amendment to get big money out of politics in the past two weeks underscores the fact that fighting to fix our broken democracy is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good politics – across the political spectrum.
With the movement to take back our democracy from wealthy special interests growing by the day, some of the country’s top political leaders are taking note and bringing the issue of money in politics front and center for 2016.
Yesterday presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics and said that campaign finance reform was going to be one of the four pillars of her campaign.
As PFAW’s Executive Vice President Marge Baker pointed out:
That Hillary Clinton will make the fight against big money in politics the centerpiece of her campaign is indicative of how much Americans care about this issue. She’s tapping into a deep-seated belief among people of all political stripes that we have to reclaim our democracy from corporations and billionaires. Americans are ready for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United, and ready for leaders who are going to make it a priority.
Amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United is a widely popular proposal with cross-partisan support. A July 2014 poll of Senate battleground states found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor a constitutional amendment, including majorities “in even the reddest states.” In the five years since the Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support an amendment to overturn the decision and get big money out of politics. More than 5 million Americans have signed petitions in support of an amendment.
WASHINGTON – According to media reports, today presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics, with campaign finance reform set to be one of the four pillars of her campaign.
“That Hillary Clinton will make the fight against big money in politics the centerpiece of her campaign is indicative of how much Americans care about this issue,” said People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “She’s tapping into a deep-seated belief among people of all political stripes that we have to reclaim our democracy from corporations and billionaires. Americans are ready for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United, and ready for leaders who are going to make it a priority.”
Amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United is a proposal that enjoys broad, cross-partisan support. A July 2014 poll of Senate battleground states found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor a constitutional amendment, including majorities “in even the reddest states.” In the five years since the Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support an amendment to overturn the decision and get big money out of politics. More than 5 million Americans have signed petitions in support of an amendment.
This is not the first time Clinton has spoken about a possible amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United. In July 2014, Clinton said that she would “consider supporting an amendment.”