Truth Disclosed About Funding of $11 Opposition to Props. 30 and 32 by “Americans for Responsible Leadership”
Yesterday, the truth about the identities of the political contributors to the Arizona-based ”Americans for Responsible Leadership” group were revealed, after the California Supreme Court ordered them to disclose that information. The legal battle between Americans for Responsible Leadership and California’s watchdog political interest groups began after Americans for Responsible Leadership spent $11 million opposing two California Ballot measures under the cover of “dark money,” a term used to describe political contributions made anonymously by corporate interests. Americans for Responsible Leadership spent the $11 million fighting Prop. 32, a temporary tax increase, as well as Prop. 30, which would dramatically alter California’s campaign-finance scheme by banning labor unions from obtaining political contribution money through payroll deductions. Continue reading
120+ delegates to the Republican National Convention have sued the GOP alleging they are being forced into voting for Mitt Romney. They are asking that the Court unbind them from voting for Ron Paul, even though Paul has already ended his campaign . The lawsuit was brought in California.
The lawsuit essentially alleges that the GOP has engaged in racketeering to push Romney as the top candidate, and violated the Rules of the Republican Party. They accuse the GOP of violence, intimidation, and ballot stuffing to secure Romney as the GOP challenger to President Barack Obama.
Although the lawsuit will probably not conclude by the time the GOP National Convention takes place in August, the allegations should be investigated more carefully.
The ACLU is fighting to get answers for Americans put on the FBI’s “No-Fly” list. Last Friday, the ACLU’s attorneys argued in the U.S. Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit, representing 15 citizens and permanent residents, including four military veterans, who were banned by the FBI from flying to or from the US. They were never told why or how they ended up on the list, or how to get off the list.
Some of the victims are as follows:
One victim is Abe Mashal, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and dog trainer. “I have no idea why I’m on the list,” said Mashal. “I should have the chance to clear my name and live my life normally. This has been a real hardship for me both personally and financially.” There is more to Mashal’s story, according to Wikipedia:
Abe Mashal, a 31-year-old Muslim and United States Marine Veteran, found himself on the No Fly List in April 2010 while attempting to board a plane out of Midway Airport. He was questioned by the TSA, FBI and Chicago Police at the airport and was told they had no clue why he was on the No Fly List. Once he arrived at home that day, two other FBI agents came to his home and used a Do Not Fly question-and-answer sheet to question him. They informed him they had no idea why he was on the No Fly List. In June 2010, those same two FBI agents summoned Mashal to a local hotel and invited him to a private room. They told him that he was in no trouble and the reason he ended up on the No Fly List was because of possibly sending emails to an American imam they may have been monitoring. They then informed him that if he would go undercover at various local mosques, they could get him off the No Fly List immediately, and he would be compensated for such actions. Mashal refused to answer any additional questions without a lawyer present and was told to leave the hotel. Mashal then contacted the ACLU and is now being represented in a class-action lawsuit filed against the TSA, FBI and DHS concerning the legality of the No Fly List and how people end up on it. Mashal feels as if he was blackmailed into becoming an informant by being placed on the No Fly List. Mashal has since appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Al Jazeera concerning his inclusion on the No Fly List. He has also written a book about his experience titled “No Spy No Fly.”
The stories of how some people have ended up on the No-Fly list are, in certain cases, stunning:
- Robert J. Johnson, a surgeon and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, who ran as a Democrat against U.S. Representative John McHugh, a Republican, opposing the Iraq War, was put on the No-Fly list.
- U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), widely known for his civil rights advocacy, has been stopped many times.
- Walter F. Murphy, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that he was on the Terrorist Watch list because, in September 2006, he had given a lecture at Princeton that was “highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.”
- Jesselyn Radack, a former United States Department of Justice ethics adviser who argued that John Walker Lindh was entitled to an attorney, was placed on the No Fly List
- Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were on the list.
The No-Fly list was a creation of the Bush administration, following the 9/11 attacks. Immediately after 9/11, the N0-Fly list included 16 individuals. In the time that has passed after 9/11, the list has expanded to include over 1,000,000 names.
The ACLU’s argument is that the No-Fly list violates the constitutional rights of Americans by preventing them from traveling, but without giving them any due process or opportunity to challenge the blacklist.
Blagojevich, Muppets, and Goldman Sachs: How Rod’s Incarceration Magnifies The Deep Flaws in America’s Justice System
A few days ago, Rod Blagovich was taken into custody for incarceration in the Englewood, Colorado federal correctional institution for a 14-year sentence, closing the chapter on the ongoing saga involving the former Illinois governor. The crimes for which he was convicted? Bribery and political corruption. Taking advantage of his political office, for self-aggrandizement and for profit, at the expense of his constituents. Around the same time, an open letter was published by Goldman Sachs departee Greg Smith in the New York Times, accusing Goldman Sachs of corruption and “losing its moral compass,” which made ripples throughout Wall Street. According to Smith, over the course of his career, Goldman Sachs changed from being a respectable institution into one he could no longer bear to be affiliated with. Smith accused Goldman Sachs nurturing a culture that promoted greed and gleefully ripping off clients. The path to success at Goldman Sachs, said Smith, usually involved persuading gullible clients to buy worthless securities, making financial decisions based on how much money it would make Goldman Sachs (not the clients), and selling cooked-up financial products to clients that did not align with their financial goals. Perhaps the most telling portion of the letter was Smith’s admission that behind closed doors, Goldman Sachs associates (and managing directors) called their clients “muppets” - wood-headed inanimate playthings whose every moves would be controlled by the puppeteers, Goldman Sachs. Continue reading