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    ‘McCutcheon’



    McCutcheon Who?

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014


    McCutcheon who? FEC what? What’s this all about?

    You can take my word on it: it’s a pretty big deal. We were hoping our friends on the Supreme Court bench would stick to their democratic principles and rule against McCutcheon. But they didn’t. And the consequences of the decision could fundamentally change the way elections work in our country.

    So who exactly is McCutcheon?

    McCutcheon is basically your run-of-the-mill Rich Uncle Pennybags. He’s a conservative businessman from Alabama who likes to donate thousands of dollars to political candidates. But he was a little sore after the last election when federal authorities told him he couldn’t donate more than the legal limit, which is set at $123,200.

    I know, bummer right? I can definitely relate. NOT!

    These limits, by the way, exist because of a rule in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974, which aimed to limit corruption in the wake of the Watergate Scandal. In democracy-speak, that’s a good thing. It keeps our leaders honest (somewhat).

    So Mr. McCutcheon decided to take his case to the Supreme Court to overturn these limits. The case went to trial last October and we’ve been waiting since then for news on the Court’s decision.

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced its decision in a 5-4 vote to overturn the legal limits on campaign donations. This is a victory for Mr. McCutcheon and a loss for democracy.

    What does this decision mean for young people in America? Actually, quite a lot:
    • Rich people can give more money to help influence the outcome of elections. The wealthiest 1% now has even more power than before to throw money around and influence election outcomes. Is that fair?
    • Those of us (ahem, young people) who don’t have a ton of money will now have an even harder time getting our voice heard. With the youth unemployment rate hovering around 16%, there are few young people who could even come close to the existing donation limit.

    So what can we do about it?

    The Supreme Court overturned the limits because it believes that donating money to a political candidate is an expression of free speech. But if that’s the case, and money really does equal free speech, then doesn’t that suggest that people with more money have more freedom? I don’t know about you, but that sure doesn’t sound like democracy.

    If we stay informed, register to vote, and show up on Election Day, we can reclaim our inalienable right to participate in our democracy and influence our elected leaders. The power shifts to us.

    You with me? Visit www.rockthevote.com and register to vote today.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 7, 2013

    Monday, October 7th, 2013

    Al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi is captured by U.S. troops; bikers are charged with assault in SUV incident; Boehner won’t budge without negotiations; Indy winner Dario Franchitti suffers injuries from brutal crash; and police investigate a possible hate crime against a U.S. soldier. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus spoofs the government shutdown, and Kate Moss reunites with Topshop.

    -Sandy + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    U.S. Said to Hold Qaeda Suspect On Navy Shiphttp://rtvote.com/1fUILe1

    A suspected Al Qaeda operative, Abu Anas al-Libi, was captured by American troops in Libya over the weekend. He is currently under military custody on a Navy ship rumored to be heading to New York for criminal prosecution. Abu Anas is likely to hold significant intelligence information on Al Qaeda.

    Biker who swung helmet in New York SUV attack ‘overreacted’ but didn’t beat driver, lawyer says,http://rtvote.com/18JYjuv

    On September 29, Alexian Lien accidentally bumped a biker and stopped his vehicle. Angry bikers soon surrounded his SUV, which also seated Lien’s wife and 2-year-old daughter. Lien plowed through three more bikers, which prompted the gang of motorcyclists to pursue and beat Lien. Reginald Chance, 37, is being charged with first-degree assault and gang assault after being caught on video smashing his helmet through Lien’s car window. Two other bikers were charged, and police wish to find and question two others.

    Boehner vows no deal on budget or debt limit without spending talks with Obamahttp://rtvote.com/18K4vmr

    It is Day 7 of the government shutdown, and we have ten days until a government debt default. President Obama has demanded Congress raise the debt ceiling without any conditions, but House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Sunday that there would be no such action and no end to the government shutdown unless Obama and Senate Democrats negotiate with House Republicans. Boehner wants spending cuts through entitlement reform. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns of the dangers that would result if the debt ceiling is not raised.

    Indy winner Dario Franchitti, 13 others hurt in Houston race wreckhttp://rtvote.com/1fd17pk

    Three-time Indy winner Dario Franchitti, 40, suffered a concussion and fractures to his spine and ankle after a serious crash on Sunday’s Grand Prix of Houston. Fellow driver Takuma Sato bumped Franchitti’s car, hurdling it into the protective fencing. 13 spectators were hurt; 3 of them were sent to the hospital but are listed in good condition.

    Police: Black man kills white soldier in possible hate crimehttp://rtvote.com/1e4c9tL

    Spc. Tevin A. Geike, a 20-year-old Caucasian soldier, died after being stabbed by an unidentified African-American man in his mid-20s. Geike was on his way to celebrate his upcoming discharge from the Army with two fellow soldiers when someone in a passing car directed racist comments toward them. The car stopped, and five black men engaged in a verbal confrontation with the three white soldiers. They returned to the car, but one of the black men fatally stabbed Geike before leaving. Investigators suspect this was a racially charged hate crime.

     

    PUNDITS

    E.J. Dionne, Jr. points to the government shutdown as the potential end of the tea party in “Shutdown: The tea party’s last stand”, http://rtvote.com/1fVcX8L

    Ruth Marcus voices concern over the potential consequences of the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case in “Eroding the checks on campaign contributions”, http://rtvote.com/1fdsXSg

     

    CULTURAL

    Miley Cyrus Spoofs The Government Shutdown With A Remake Of “We Can’t Stop” On SNL,http://rtvote.com/1e4np9C

    Kate Moss Teams Up With Topshop Again, http://rtvote.com/1fVejjU

    Miley Cyrus on Today: Singer Addresses Nude Picture Controversy, Sinead O’Connor Feud, and More,http://rtvote.com/18Kyomv

    Charlize Theron Recovering After Neck Surgery: Doing “Fine,” Says Source, http://rtvote.com/18KyScn

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com