FROM Tara Malloy
Does Campaign Finance Reform Have a Future? By a vote of five to four, the US Supreme Court has taken another swipe at 40-year-old Watergate Era reforms designed to restrain the power of money in politics. An individual donor still can't give more than $2600 to a single candidate in a given election — but the total amount he or she can contribute is now unlimited. The majority says removing some limits on individual donors will strengthen democracy. The dissenters call that a threat to the very integrity of government. Political pros envision more money from mega-rich contributors as soon as this year's campaigns for Congress. Will that mean increased corruption, real or apparent? Will what's left of campaign reform survive the next challenge?
Big Money, Secrecy and Control of the Congress For months, the Tea Party movement has dominated political news but, with a few exceptions, its candidates have not done very well. That trend continued yesterday in primary results from Michigan, Missouri and Kansas. The 800-pound gorilla in November's final elections will be unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, legalized by the US Supreme Court's ruling this January in the Citizens United case.
Corporate Campaign Fundraising Goes into Overdrive The Tea Party movement has made political headlines, but the big news in this year's congressional races will be money. In January, the Supreme Court legalized unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, and corporate America is hoping to change control of the Congress. Right now, Democrats have more cash on hand, but corporate support for Republicans will be massive and contributors can remain anonymous. Money and secrecy can be a potent political combination. We talk about their potential impact on November's mid-term elections.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.