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dabnotu:

Looks like we have another shot at undermining Citizens United.

New Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Jo White is considering a rules change that would require corporations to disclose their political spending. The best part: this solution totally circumvents Congress, which is way too flooded with corporate money to take action.

Already ALEC, the Chamber of Commerce, and major oil companies have begun to freak out about the possible change. (Which is usually a good sign we’re doing something right.)

[…]

In the 2012 elections, corporations spent a record $6 billion on electoral spending, much of it funnelled through super-PACs designed to conceal their real source. The secretive nature of campaign spending allows CEOs and boards to spend company money with zero oversight from investors, customers, or the general public.

Forcing companies to disclose their political spending would make them answerable to investers, customers, and American citizens. It’s the first step toward saving our democracy from the influence of corporate money.

(via
So what punishment should the owners of the West Fertilizer Corporation receive? Should they be treated like other violators of anti-terrorism law? They killed far more people than the Tsarnaev brothers. Should they be charged with murder? Should they even serve prison time? It’s highly unlikely that even the latter will happen given the amount we excuse anti-social corporate behavior. Corporations now have free speech rights but they don’t have personal responsibility. Of course, the real question is how many other ticking time bombs are in communities around the nation? There are few industries with the potential for massive disaster of fertilizer, but between petroleum, chemicals, and mining, there are all sorts of communities suffering from enormous environmental and workplace safety problems. Grain elevators with poor safety standards litter much of the nation. Then there’s industries most of us don’t even think about, like fertilizer. Without a far more vigorous regulatory structure with real consequences for corporations, workers and communities will continue to bear avoidable burdens.

West Fertilizer Violated Federal Anti-Terror Regulations - Lawyers, Guns & Money (via dendroica)

And our Representatives and Senators that have pushed for austerity for 33 years have crippled the federal government’s oversight, and BTW have you noticed that the mainstream press is ignoring Texas’ culpability in this disaster?  Ignoring the fact that a state even one as big as Texas is much smaller than the entire US and should be able to keep better track  of their companies.  But, at the least even under the conditions we have today, they should be in charge of zoning with regards to a general system that hospitals, and apartments, and schools should not be within a zone of danger from  a company that will put it’s employees and its neighbor at risk.  If the state of Texas does not take the managers of that plant into custody by next week,  you know that they are going to let this pass and that will tell other dangerous businesses know that Texas is the place they can go and nothing will happen to them if they slaughter their neighbors.

A recall petition should be started against Governor Perry right now, or Texans are saying it’s okay for a business to kill them or their loved ones anytime its profitable, and believe me lots of businesses will find it profitable.

(via liberal-focus)

ecowatchorg:

Vote Elevates Community Rights Over Corporate Privileges—Bans Fracking and Injection Wells

"Corporations that violate the prohibitions or that seek to drill or site injection wells in the Township will not be afforded “personhood” rights under the U.S. or Pennsylvania Constitution, nor will they be afforded protections under the Commerce Clause or Contracts Clause under the federal or state constitution."

nprfreshair:

Stephen Colbert on creating his Super PAC

The whole thing came about by accident. We were just trying to do a parody ad of a Tim Pawlenty ad, and I couldn’t figure out how to end it. And then I said, ‘Well how does his ad end?’ And his ad ended with just a simple card on the screen that said, ‘LibertyPAC.com’ — whatever his political action committee was. And I said, ‘Okay, just put a ColbertPAC.com at the end and one person on the staff said, ‘Do you want me to buy that url?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, yeah — we might want to use that later.’

And then the network called and said, ‘Are you really going to get a PAC?’ And I said, ‘Why do you ask?’ And they said, ‘Because if you actually get a PAC, that could be trouble.’ And I said, ‘Well then I’m definitely going to do it.’ Because I like the idea of, why is it trouble? Everybody can do it, why can’t I do it? … We’d done jokes on Citizens United for about a year, and then I realized, ‘Oh, well this is what the whole year is about. It’s really about this whole new flush of cash into our political system that is in large part untraceable or traceable only after the fact when it’s too late, after the primaries, after the elections is over. And I said, ‘OK, well let’s just try to do it’…

We really played the game hard up through the South Carolina primary, when Jon Stewart took over my Super PAC, because I announced my plans to form an exploratory committee about whether or not I should run for president, to illustrate how easy it is to give money to somebody else and really have control over what happens. Ostensibly it’s no longer in your control, but you’ve given it to your best friend, who actually rides to work with you this morning and you share a building.

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