Democracy

News Release | ConnPIRG | Democracy

First-of-its-kind “Refrain From Political Spending” Resolution to Be Voted on at Bank of America Shareholder Meeting

On Wednesday, May 9, shareholders at Bank of America will vote “yea” or “nay” on a first-of-its-kind “refrain from political spending” resolution. Resolutions addressing political spending are among the most popular in the 2012 shareholder season, many dealing with disclosure of such spending. This is the first shareholder season for this groundbreaking resolution which was introduced by socially responsible investment firms Trillium Asset Management at Bank of America and 3M Corporation and by Green Century Capital Management at Target Corporation.

Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Auctioning Democracy

A new report by ConnPIRG Education Fund and Demos shows an analysis of the funding sources for the campaign finance behemoths, Super PACs. The findings confirmed what many have predicted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s damaging Citizens United decision: since their inception in 2010, Super PACs have been primarily funded by a small segment of very wealthy individuals and business interests, with a small but significant amount of funds coming from secret sources.

News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

New Report Released: Auctioning Democracy

Today ConnPIRG Education Fund and Demos released a new analysis of the funding sources for the campaign finance behemoths, Super PACs. The findings confirmed what many have predicted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s damaging Citizens United decision: since their inception in 2010, Super PACs have been primarily funded by a small segment of very wealthy individuals and business interests, with a small but significant amount of funds coming from secret sources.

Report | Democracy

Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

State governments across the country have been moving toward making their checkbooks transparent by creating online transparency portals – government-operated websites that allow visitors to see who receives state money and for what purposes. Forty states provide transparency websites that allow residents to access databases of government expenditures with “checkbook-level” detail. Most of these websites are also searchable, making it easier for residents to follow the money and monitor government spending. This report is the second annual ranking of states’ progress toward new standards of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. 

News Release | Democracy, Financial Reform, Tax

Foreign Funds in American Elections

This week we learned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce could be using money from foreign corporations to fund attack ads in our elections. According to reporting released by Think Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign owned businesses, including companies owned by foreign governments. The Chamber has already run more than 8,000 attack ads and according to the Washington Post, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “vows to spend $75 million or more on November's midterm election cycle.”

News Release | Democracy, Financial Reform

Citizen United Solution Unveiled

Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Chris Van Hollen introduced a series of strong reforms in response to the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling.

Media Hit | Democracy

A Threat to Democracy

The U.S. Supreme Court's lamentable 5-4 decision last week to sweep away a century of practice and precedent and allow torrents of corporate money to flood elections threatens to make our political system even more the playground of the rich at the expense of the average citizen.

Citizens United Opinion Widens Corporate "Personhood" Rights

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission will significantly expand the role that the most powerful corporations play in election financing. In a shocking burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court decided that corporations should be treated in the same manner as ordinary citizens and be allowed to spend the massive amounts of money they accumulate on direct attack ads for or against Members of Congress.

Report | Democracy

A Public Interest Internet Agenda

Broadband Internet is the means by which increasing numbers of Americans earn a living, receive an education, consume goods and services and participate in their democracy.  Yet despite it’s importance, the United States ranks 15th among developed nations when it comes to broadband deployment. 

News Release | Democracy

Court ID Decision Burden to Students

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board upholds an Indiana state law that requires voters to present a state issued photo identification. In a 6 to 3 decision, the Court determined that voter fraud takes precedence over burdens the law places on voters. The decision is expected to place a disproportionate burden on student voters.

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