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marmar

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 65,211

Journal Archives

Billionaire-Backed Group Spends Unprecedented $290K in Minneapolis School Board Race


(In These Times) New campaign finance reports filed in Minnesota show that the 2014 Minneapolis school board election is being buoyed by a tremendous amount of outside money, including a $100,000 contribution from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s money went to a group that calls itself the Minneapolis Progressive Education Fund. This fund also benefited from a $90,000 influx of cash from California billionaire and venture capitalist Arthur Rock, and another $25,000 from Connecticut businessman Jonathan Sackler, a trustee of the Achievement First charter school chain.

A campaign finance report filed by the Fund this week shows that between July 30 and October 21, it raised $228,300 and spent $146,860 on such things as phone banking, strategy and campaign literature, including $8,500 for social media and website resources. In total, the group has spent more than $286,000 on the race this year.

There are four contenders for the two open at-large seats on the school board. So far, all of the Fund’s resources have been used to promote two candidates: Don Samuels and Iris Altamirano. In addition to a website that advises people to vote for Samuels and Altamirano on November 4, the Fund also sent out two glossy campaign mailers that advocate for Samuels and Altamirano and criticize incumbent candidate Rebecca Gagnon. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17303/minneapolis_school_board_election_gets_unprecedented_290000_in_dark_money



How Big Business Buys State Courts


In Depth: How Big Business Buys State Courts

Friday, 31 October 2014 09:35
By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | News Analysis


Last Halloween, tobacco giant Reynolds American quietly cut a $30,000 check for Justice For All NC, a nonprofit that funneled more than $1.6 million in outside funding into North Carolina's 2012 Supreme Court elections, to help incumbent conservative Justice Paul Newby keep his seat on the bench.

The Winston-Salem-based company's $30,000 donation was pocket change compared with the wave of outside spending that would flood the primary elections for the state's high court months later, but it was a start.

Justice For All NC sprung back into action in April, unleashing a flurry of attack ads declaring that state Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson is "not tough on child molesters." Hudson, the TV ads claimed, sided with sexual predators.

The attack was so nasty that the North Carolina Bar Association issued a statement condemning the ads and others like them. Hudson, a Democrat and a mother, called the ads "preposterous." ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/27154-in-depth-how-big-business-buys-state-courts


The Most Expensive Midterm Ever


(Truthdig) “Friend, I don’t know where else to turn.”

At first I thought it was an email from some crook claiming to be stuck penniless in a faraway airport. But the sender turned out to be Cory Gardner, a Republican trying to beat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, and he was asking for a campaign contribution.

It was more evidence of how money is the most powerful political force in the current election. So are the emails I receive daily from my dear friends Harry Reid, Bill Clinton and of course the Obamas, all of them addressed to “Bill,” all urging me to contribute to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Center for Responsive Politics OpenSecrets website reported Oct. 22 that almost $4 billion will be spent on the current election, making it “by far the most expensive midterm ever.”

If you wonder what this election, with its expected low turnout, is really about, just think of it as nothing more than a huge fund drive for both sides, run by political hustlers. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_most_expensive_midterm_ever_20141029



'Koch Congress' Could Make Oligarchy Official


from the Progressive:



By Victor Menotti


At a time when most Americans agree that the country has too much power in too few hands, the world’s two wealthiest men are only six seats away from seizing the Senate and consolidating their current control of the House. The result could be a full “Koch Congress” that further rigs the rules in their favor.

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch have a combined net worth four times that of well-known Democratic donor George Soros, and one hundred times that of Tom Steyer.

This summer, participants in the Kochs’ secret billionaires’ summit pledged to raise $500 million to take the Senate in 2014 midterm elections. After four decades of funding front groups and an elaborate ideology they call “economic freedom,” the Kochs embody today’s emerging American oligarchy. No one else can even compare.

At risk are the rights of all Americans, especially women, workers, voters, veterans, as well as the protection of our rapidly warming Earth, since the Kochs’ end game is to defend their carbon based wealth by continuing to pollute politics and the planet for free. In all the noise of this election season, there has been little discussion of the fact that two billionaire brothers are about to have “power of the purse” over the world’s wealthiest nation. ..............(more)

- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/10/187899/koch-congress-could-make-oligarchy-official#sthash.IVwnXycT.dpuf



Absentees put Snyder, Schauer race in dead heat


from the Detroit Free Press:



The race for governor has tightened into a virtual dead heat heading into the final days of this election cycle. And the Democrats' strategy to increase turnout by getting people to vote by absentee ballot is a big driver.

With less than a week before the Nov. 4 election, Gov. Rick Snyder has only a two-point, 45%-43%, lead over Democrat Mark Schauer, according to an exclusive 600-person poll of likely voters taken Oct. 26-28 by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press, WXYZ-TV and their media polling partners. Nine percent of respondents said they still are undecided, and 3% percent said they are voting for third-party candidates.

Among those 9% undecided, however, the partisan leanings of 8% are toward Democrats and 1% toward Republicans. If those undecideds are put into the mix, the race is a 46%-46% tie, said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA.

"The ground game is starting to take effect with absentee voters," Porn said. "We've got ourselves a horse race." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/29/snyder-schauer-virtual-tie/18132579/



Michigan: Absentees put Snyder, Schauer race in dead heat


from the Detroit Free Press:



The race for governor has tightened into a virtual dead heat heading into the final days of this election cycle. And the Democrats' strategy to increase turnout by getting people to vote by absentee ballot is a big driver.

With less than a week before the Nov. 4 election, Gov. Rick Snyder has only a two-point, 45%-43%, lead over Democrat Mark Schauer, according to an exclusive 600-person poll of likely voters taken Oct. 26-28 by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press, WXYZ-TV and their media polling partners. Nine percent of respondents said they still are undecided, and 3% percent said they are voting for third-party candidates.

Among those 9% undecided, however, the partisan leanings of 8% are toward Democrats and 1% toward Republicans. If those undecideds are put into the mix, the race is a 46%-46% tie, said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA.

"The ground game is starting to take effect with absentee voters," Porn said. "We've got ourselves a horse race." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/29/snyder-schauer-virtual-tie/18132579/



Michigan: Testimony, e-mails shed light on right-to-work turmoil


from the Detroit Free Press:



LANSING – Michigan's right-to-work laws should be struck down because there was a concerted effort to prevent the public from witnessing the laws' passage — including the locking of doors to the Capitol and directing Republican staffers to fill seats in the public gallery, attorneys for the Michigan ACLU argue in court papers filed Wednesday.

The 2013 lawsuit on behalf of the Michigan AFL-CIO and other unions and two Democratic state representatives, originally filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, is now in the Michigan Court of Claims. It alleges violations of Michigan's Open Meetings Act during two turmoil-filled days of legislative action at the Capitol in December 2012, after Gov. Rick Snyder did an about-face in announcing he would support fast-tracked legislation on right-to-work.

Thousands of union supporters demonstrated inside and outside the seat of state government in Lansing and were met by more than 100 police officers, some on horseback. State troopers used pepper spray in some instances, made a few arrests and on the first day of debate, Dec. 6, shut off access to the Capitol for several hours, saying they were concerned about security and public safety.

The State of Michigan and other defendants, through the attorney general's office, have denied in court filings that any violations of the Open Meetings Act took place during passage of right-to-work legislation, which makes it illegal to require financial support for a union as a condition of employment. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/30/lawsuit-sheds-light-michigan-capitol-turmoil-right-work/18157739/



Question from marmar


When I click this post http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024631 in "My Posts", this is what comes up - a locked thread that I did not start rather than my OP. What happened?


Canvassing for Schauer/Peters for the last few weeks I've determined 4 things:


1) Schauer has a very good chance of winning.

2) Disgust with both major parties and the political system in general is widespread.

3) There's a depressing amount of ignorance/cognitive dissonance/stupidity among a significant portion of the voting population. (e.g., voters who complain about issues directly linked to Snyder but then plan to vote for him anyway)

4) Terri Lynn Land is only slightly more well-liked than Ebola


Chris Hedges & Sheldon Wolin: Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-exist? (pt 4 of 8)




Published on Oct 28, 2014
Journalist Chris Hedges and political philosopher Sheldon Wolin discuss the concept of "inverted totalitarianism" and its relevance for understanding contemporary politics

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