FROM Fred Wertheimer
Big Money and Stealth Campaigns Since the US Supreme Court declared that private spending is a form of free speech, political campaigns have been as much about money as anything else. Now, the Obama White House is attacking Republicans for hiding the sources of millions of dollars, suggesting they might be raised illegally overseas. Republican agents like Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are striking back, accusing Democrats of a government-run smear to divert attention from the economy. Even some Democrats are worried about a backfire. Meantime, as the TV commercials multiply, is this the “year of the Missing Candidate?”
The US Supreme Court and Partisan Politics Last week, by a vote of five to four, the US Supreme Court overturned two of its own precedents and a 63-year-old limit on corporate spending in political campaigns. The majority said it was lifting the burden of "censorship." The dissenters said it was opening the door wider than ever to corporate corruption.
The US Supreme Court and Partisan Politics Corporations are individuals with First Amendment rights, and they can spend whatever they want to in political campaigns. So said the US Supreme Court last week in a 5-to-4 ruling that overturned two of its own precedents and a 63-year-old limit on corporate spending in political campaigns. The majority said it was lifting the burden of "censorship." The dissenters said it was opening the door wider than ever to corporate corruption. Is the decision a victory for free speech or will it drown out "the voice of the people." Will there be more money in politics than ever before? Will Republicans get a big, new advantage? Will there be all that much of a difference? We look at the ruling, the controversy and the possible impact in this year's elections and beyond.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.