People Like Class Warfare

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Class Warfare, Corporate Greed, Economy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

A new Washington Post/Bloomberg poll asked Americans whether they would support or oppose a variety of ideas to reduce the budget deficit. Unppoular ideas were pretty much what you expect: raising taxes on the middle class, reducing Social Security benefits, and reducing Medicare benefits. But a couple of ideas enjoyed broader support — most of the public approves of reducing military spending and … Read More

What Citizens United Hath Wrought

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Election 2012, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Last year's Citizens United case was, for most court watchers, one of the worst-decided case in Supreme Court history.  Worse even, some say, than Bush v Gore.  That case allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts on political advocacy (but mostly corporations since they had the $$$$). What we have now is a huge infusion of money into politics, and … Read More

A Not-Too-Subtle Exemption

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance ReformLeave a Comment

One of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever was handed down last year: the Citizens United case, which basically said that corporations were not subject to financial limitations when they fund political candidates.  It's a bad decision because it rests on what I believe are two mistaken Constitutional interpretations: The First Amendment applies to corporations/organizations Spending money on political candidates is … Read More

The Golden Issue: Campaign Finance

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Constitution, Democrats, Election 2010, Polls, Republicans, Supreme Court1 Comment

If the Democrats were smart, they will take this issue and own it.  The issue: the recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, where the Supremes ruled 5-4 that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to political speech and can therefore use their profits to support or oppose individual candidates. The decision appears … Read More

Smell A Rat?

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Election 2008Leave a Comment

Alice Rocchio lives in Flushing, Queens, a modest blue-collar suburb, with her husband, Pasquale.  She works as an office manager in Manhatten; He’s an Amtrak foreman. They rent their home.  They drive a 2003 Buick and a 1993 Chevrolet.  The average income for their zip code is $58,069. Nothing unusual so far, huh? But what if I told you that … Read More

More Like This Please

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Election 2008Leave a Comment

"Nice guy" Edwards goes on the offensive, and takes a subtle swipe at Hillary today in Hanover, NH: Real change starts with being honest — the system in Washington is rigged and our government is broken. It’s rigged by greedy corporate powers to protect corporate profits. It’s rigged by the very wealthy to ensure they become even wealthier. At the … Read More

Law-Breaking Pastor Calls On God To Smite His Accusers

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Election 2008, GodstuffLeave a Comment

Wiley S. Drake recently used Church letterhead — and his talk show broadcast directly from his First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, CA — to endorse Mike Huckabee for president.  But some atheist jerks at Americans United for Separation of Church and State ratted him out to the IRS, who are now investigating the church’s tax-exempt status. How did … Read More

Supreme Court Roundup

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Constitution, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Two seemingly contradictory cases on the First Amendment from the Supreme Court today. On the one hand, it is permissible to regulate student speech (at a public parade) when it references drugs.  So, the First Amendment be damned. On the other hand, the same coalition of Justices think we cannot restrict issues ads (a McCain-Feingold regulation) because that would place … Read More


Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Courts/Law, Crime, Environment & Global Warming & Energy, Supreme Court, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Lot of things coming from the Supreme Court today.  I’ll combine it all here: (1)  In Hudson v. Michigan, a recent controversial decision involving the "knock & announce" tactics of police raids, Scalia apparently "twisted the words" of an eminent criminolgist to reach his conclusion.  The criminiologist complains here. (2)  SCOTUS announced today that it will hear a case about … Read More

You Call That “Reform”?!?

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance ReformLeave a Comment

Hastert’s plan to reform Congress’ relation with lobbyists is kind of, well, sucky.  As WaPo notes: According to lobbyists and ethics experts, even if Hastert’s proposal is enacted, members of Congress and their staffs could still travel the world on an interest group’s expense and eat steak on a lobbyist’s account at the priciest restaurants in Washington. The only requirement … Read More

How Money Hurts Politics

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance ReformLeave a Comment

I’ve been swooning rather out-of-character for Barack Obama all day, which is why I find this from Matt Yglesius to be particularly disturbing: If the [Democratic] party leaders had had their way, not only would Obama not have been delivering the keynote address at the convention, he wouldn’t be the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate at all. Plan A was … Read More