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.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.