March 05, 2013, 03:45 pm
By Taylor Lincoln, research director, Congress Watch division, Public Citizen
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which gave rise to outside groups that could accept unlimited contributions to influence elections, was not intended to eviscerate laws limiting the size of contributions to candidates and parties. But the data from the 2012 elections show that it has effectively done so.
In Citizens United, the court assumed that independent expenditures by outside groups — unlike contributions to candidates and parties — do not pose a threat of corrupting elected officials. Therefore, the court concluded that independent expenditures cannot be regulated.
February 07, 2013, 04:30 pm
By Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator, Tea Party Patriots
While Barack Obama is busy shredding the Constitution, Washington, D.C. insider Karl Rove is busy trying to destroy what is left of the Republican Party by launching a multi-million dollar Super PAC to usurp representative democracy, disenfranchise American voters, and concentrate even more power in Washington DC.
Rove and the professional “consultant class” think that only Washington D.C. insiders like them – not the American people – should get to decide who runs for public office.
That’s why he is launching the “Conservative Victory Project” – a Super PAC whose mandate is to wrestle local decision-making power away from the American people, so that only Washington DC insiders can hand-pick our candidates – against our will – again.
February 05, 2013, 08:05 pm
By Sal Russo, co-founder and chief strategist, Tea Party Express
The Tea Party movement is a major force in American politics because people are sick and tired of the tax-and-spend policies and crony capitalism of both political parties. Now we learn of the newly launched Conservative Victory Project that wants to push the Tea Party out and replace them with the failed strategies of 2008 and 2012.
After Election Night 2012, even some Tea Party members bought into the false narrative of devastating losses in the Tea Party’s conservative ranks. However, the Tea Party grew in Congress with the election of 27 new Tea Party conservatives to the House and three new Tea Party Senators. The movement again exhibited electoral strength even while the GOP establishment stumbled badly.
January 22, 2013, 08:00 pm
By Allan J. Lichtman, professor of History, American University
Second inaugural addresses like second honeymoons typically lack the pizazz of the first go-round. There hasn’t been a memorable second address since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second inauguration in 1937. Even the great communicator Ronald Reagan delivered a pedestrian second inaugural address.
Expectations for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration were not as sky-high as they were four years ago. This time, however, President Obama far exceeded expectations. He may not have delivered a speech for the ages. But he gave a powerful address that laid a foundation for his second term in office.
December 05, 2012, 02:00 pm
By Rob Sobhani, former candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland
This fall I ran for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as an Independent, and spent about $7 million of my own assets to challenge a man considered one of the safest incumbents in America. Through an abbreviated campaign launched just after Labor Day, I encountered most of the obstacles for those seeking major elective office in our country and when the votes were counted had won about 17 percent with the remainder going to the incumbent, who was handily re-elected, and the Republican nominee. What I learned is to win as an Independent in America, one needs either a household name, a machinery that can prevail over both major parties, or just the tremendous luck of both parties disgracing themselves to such an extent that voters are willing to take a chance on something totally different.
November 30, 2012, 04:00 pm
By Sharon Waxman, International Rescue Committee
With the presidential election behind us, attention has turned to the impending “fiscal cliff”. By New Year’s Day, the Obama Administration and Congress must identify $1.2 trillion in savings between spending cuts, revenue increases and entitlement reform. Otherwise, most federal programs will be cut by a staggering 8.2 percent.
November 19, 2012, 03:00 pm
By Cesar Vargas, director, DREAM Action Coalition
Republicans, fresh from their electoral defeat, are considering their own legislation to compete with the DREAM Act. Sen. Kay Hutchinson (R-Texas) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have put forward the ACHIEVE Act, similar to the alternative that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) worked on last summer and which would offer a untenable type of legal status for undocumented youth. However, a significant difference between this bill and the original DREAM Act is that the ACHIEVE Act does not even guarantee a path to citizenship.
The DREAM Act is already conservative in nature and has even gathered support in the past from prominent conservative leaders, including Senator Hutchison herself, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
November 11, 2012, 01:30 pm
By Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.)
At a time when our country faces great uncertainty, one thing has remained constant – the men and women who stand on the frontline to defend the freedoms and values upon which this great country was built.
The service of our nation’s veterans spans every day of every year of every decade of our country’s existence. Over the past two centuries, our world has changed and the duties of the Armed Forces have changed with it. However, the bravery, dignity and honor of our men and women in uniform remain firm.
November 08, 2012, 08:30 pm
By Winnie Stachelberg and Jeff Krehely, Center for American Progress
This year, election night brought results that would have been unthinkable four years ago: stunning wins for proponents of marriage equality for gay couples across the nation. This historic moment indicates how far the LGBT movement and the country have come in the past four years on marriage equality and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Four years ago, President Obama’s win was tempered by the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which undid the state Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed same-sex couples to marry. And given that Obama at that time did not support marriage equality, his victory left many LGBT Americans wondering when a sitting United States president would finally support this right.
November 08, 2012, 06:15 pm
By Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.)
Sequestration was never intended to be good fiscal policy. It was never intended to be policy, period. When Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011, they formed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, more commonly known as the Super Committee, to cut nearly a trillion dollars from the federal budget. Sequestration – a fancy word for painful cuts to every area of the 2013 budget – was a failsafe in case Super Committee negotiations broke down.
The plan was simple: By passing sequestration into law, Congress was creating a deterrent against its own gridlock. The law was so unpalatable to both sides – Democrats wanting to avoid cuts to social programs, and Republicans wanting to safeguard defense spending – that theoretically, everyone would negotiate in good faith to avoid it.