citizens united http://michiganradio.org en Commentary: Democracy and dark money http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-democracy-and-dark-money <p></p><p>Today is the 110th birthday of one of my greatest heroes: George Orwell, who spent his too-short life fighting for fairness, honesty and democracy.</p><p>Orwell has been dead since 1950, and today, when we use the adjective Orwellian to describe something, we usually don’t mean something good. We mean something dark, sinister and hypocritical, something that reminds us of his book <em>1984</em>.</p><p>Well, there’s no doubt that we have something of an Orwellian campaign finance system in this state, and today one of my living heroes, Rich Robinson, is releasing a new report showing in frightening detail just how much money dominates politics.</p><p>His survey, <em>Descending Into Dark Money</em>, shows that we don’t know where the vast majority of campaign spending comes from. And the system is designed to prevent us from finding out.</p><p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:38:56 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13228 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Democracy and dark money 2012 may see a huge increase in political ad spending in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/2012-may-see-huge-increase-political-ad-spending-michigan <p>One analyst expects Michigan will be awash in political advertising from special&nbsp;interest groups in 2012.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission">A 2010 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court</a> largely took the restrictions off <a href="http://truecreek.com/tag/political-advertising/">special interest political advertising.&nbsp;</a></p> Mon, 26 Dec 2011 21:34:30 +0000 Steve Carmody 5560 at http://michiganradio.org 2012 may see a huge increase in political ad spending in Michigan Michigan Supreme Court to consider who should prosecute violations of the state's election laws http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-consider-who-should-prosecute-violations-states-election-laws <p>The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow&nbsp;involving <a href="http://www.meijer.com/content/corporate.jsp?pageName=company">Meijer</a> officials who may have violated state campaign finance law.</p><p>The company financed a public relations campaign to kick out village trustees who opposed Meijer’s plans to build a new store in their community.&nbsp;&nbsp; The move may have violated Michigan’s campaign finance law, which bars corporations and their agents from making campaign contributions. The <a href="http://record-eagle.com/local/x2035756296/Meijer-submits-Acme-plan">Grand Traverse Eagle</a> has done a great job covering the case.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.co.grand-traverse.mi.us/departments/Prosecuting_Attorney.htm">Alan Schneider</a> is Grand Traverse County Prosecutor.&nbsp; He’s wanted to pursue an investigation against the Meijer officials. &nbsp;But attorneys for the Meijer officials involved say only the Secretary of State’s office has the authority to prosecute campaign finance cases.&nbsp;&nbsp; Alan Schneider says the Michigan Supreme Court must decide who’s right.</p><blockquote><p><em>“If there’s a crime, that’s a state crime, we are obligated to prosecute.”&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p>The whole issue could be moot.&nbsp;&nbsp; Last year, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission">the US Supreme Court struck down federal laws barring corporations from making political contributions.&nbsp; </a></p><p>Meanwhile, Meijer has paid millions of dollars in settlements to the state and the targeted village trustees. Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:43:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 949 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court to consider who should prosecute violations of the state's election laws