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It’s been months since the North Carolina Judicial Coalition sprang on to the election scene as an upstart in the otherwise sleepy world of judicial elections.

State and national media portrayed the super PAC—formed by former state Republican Party chair Tom Fetzer, conservative businessman Bob Luddy (founder of the private Thales Academy schools) and others to help finance the re-election of sitting Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby—as an example of the unlimited campaign spending that could be unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and a particularly dangerous one, given that judges were involved.

Unlike Newby and his Democratic challenger Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV, who’ve both accepted public financing, PACs like the Judicial Coalition have no limits on how much they collect and spend, other than they can’t contribute directly to a candidate committee. They are otherwise free to support or oppose candidates as they see fit.

So what’s the Judicial Coalition been up to since June?

Tough to tell, since it has yet to tell the state board of elections how much money it’s raised and how it’s spent that money. Read More

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A new release from the highly skilled folks at Public Policy Polling:

“Montana’s constitutional amendment setting it as state policy that ‘corporations are not people’ has a wide lead for passage right now with 53% of voters saying they support it to 24% who are opposed. Democrats (67/13) and independents (59/25) both stand strong behind the ‘corporations are not people’ movement, while Republicans are pretty evenly divided with 32% of them supporting it and 35% opposed.”

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The veteran journalist pulls no punches in this excellent essay. I like this passage:

“Let’s see if we’ve got this right: On the one hand, conservatives declare that corporations and the superrich can spend all they want on exercising their First Amendment rights, but on the other, they demand to keep it secret so the rest of us can’t exercise our First Amendment rights to fight back? Have you ever heard of more cowardly lions?

It’s one big joke. Big enough to make you cry. Three things don’t go together: Money. Secrecy. Democracy. And that’s the nub of the matter. This is all a sham for invalidating democracy in the name of democracy. It’s the trick authoritarians always use to hide their real intention — in this case absolute power over our public life and institutions: the privatization of everything. The Supreme Court is pointing the way. Instead of mitigating the worst excesses of both the state and the private sector, the Court has taken sides. Saying to the massed wealth of the one percent: America is yours for the taking, for the buying.”

Watch/read it by clicking here.

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Corporate campaign influence has been on the rise ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling. Now some North Carolina legislators are planning to introduce a resolution calling on Congress to amend our Constitution and firmly establish that money is not speech.

Orange County Rep. Verla Insko led the charge Wednesday:

“Corporations and trade unions are not people. They should not be able to buy political influence through unlimited advertising; they should not be able to purchase control over public policies,” said Insko. “This is not Democracy. This is not what our Founding Fathers intended.”

For more, click below for a short video from Wednesday’s press event:

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