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.
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.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.