How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

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Re: How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

Postby Serpent on December 2nd, 2016, 1:44 pm 

Bribery, perjury, and treason are among the least ambiguous reasons meriting impeachment, but the ocean of wrongdoing encompassed by the Constitution's stipulation of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is vast. Abuse of power and serious misconduct in office fit this category,
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/impeach.html
I'd like to see him go down for treason, but I'll settle for abuse... of anything or anyone.
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Re: How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

Postby Mossling on April 2nd, 2017, 3:15 am 

‘Dark money’ is threat to integrity of UK elections, say leading academics
The Guardian, 1 April 2017
Damian Tambini, director of the media policy project at the LSE, who heads the group made up of leading experts in the field, said that new forms of online campaigning had not only changed the ways that political parties target voters but, crucially, had also altered the ability of big money interests to manipulate political debate. “There is a real danger we are heading down the US route where whoever spends the most money is most likely to win. That’s why we’ve always controlled spending in this country. But these controls are no longer working.”
[...]

...the LSE found that loopholes in electoral law mean that spending by political parties during the referendum was almost entirely unregulated or even recorded. The real cost of the campaign – building databases to target voters via social media – occurred almost entirely outside the period regulated by law.

Tambini said: “We don’t have a system that is working any more. In this country, we have had laws to control spending by political campaigns but online campaigning has changed everything and none of the existing laws cover it. The ability to throw around large amounts of cash is almost completely uncontrolled. The key costs in campaigning – building the databases – is happening during the period when campaign spending is not regulated at all.

"There is a real danger that public trust in the democratic process will be lost. There is real potential for foreign influence. We have now the ability to manipulate public opinion on a level we have never seen before. And the current framework is weak and helpless.”

The Electoral Commission has not yet made any public statement but privately it said: “We did have this environment that guaranteed a level playing field. But with the shift online that has all changed. We won’t be able to limit the power of money in elections, that’s what we’re very concerned about.”
[...]

Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, at King’s College London, said the machinery of campaigning had changed so rapidly, the law has had no chance to catch up. “The first election where digital made a difference was in 2008. And now it’s where pretty much all the spending is. It has been a shift that has happened in less than 10 years. What we’re seeing is exactly the same sort of disruption that we’ve seen in news and music and other industries.
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Re: How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

Postby Mossling on April 24th, 2018, 12:04 am 

Authorities Launch Manhunt For Waffle House Gunman
HuffPost, U.S. NEWS 04/22/2018
Early Sunday, Reinking allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 rifle inside the suburban Nashville restaurant. He has been charged with multiple counts of criminal homicide.
[...]
“Keep your doors locked, keep your eyes open. If you see this individual, if you see a nude guy walking around this morning, call the police department immediately,” Aaron said at an earlier press conference.

One of the handguns that Reinking owned has not been located, Aaron said, and it’s unknown whether he has the weapon.
[...]
Reinking was arrested last July after he allegedly tried to cross a security barrier near the White House in an attempt to meet Trump, authorities said. Following the encounter, he was forced to surrender four firearms, but officials said the guns were returned to Reinking’s father. He gave them back to his son, police said.

Illinois police officers were called to a CVS parking lot in 2016 where Reinking threatened to kill himself, per police reports obtained by both ABC 7 Chicago and WKRN. Deputies’ reports indicated that Reinking claimed that singer Taylor Swift had been stalking and harassing him. Reinking said at the time that he believed Swift hacked his phone and Netflix account, adding that she asked him to meet at a Dairy Queen, according to ABC 7.



NRA's chief lobbyist: Donald Trump does not want gun control
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2018
The US National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist has claimed Donald Trump has reversed his position on gun control, just a day after the US president held a televised meeting with lawmakers in which he said he supported increased background checks for gun buyers.
[...]
Trump had also on Wednesday appeared to endorse aggressive measures to confiscate guns from dangerous people. Conservatives, including Pence, had suggested that it might be possible to petition a court to temporarily remove an unstable person’s firearms.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

Special interest of this sort can be especially lethal, it seems.
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Re: How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

Postby TheVat on March 9th, 2019, 10:51 am 

HR 1 takes some baby steps towards reducing special interest and dark money...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... eneration/


McConnell has expressed his fervent opposition to even relatively uncontroversial sections of the bill, such as making Election Day a federal holiday in order to give people more time to vote. McConnell called this a “power grab” for Democrats, a striking admission that Republicans do better when fewer people vote.


Be interesting to see how the public reacts to the Senate when it squashes HR 1.
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Re: How can Democracy avoid 'Special Interest'?

Postby TheVat on March 25th, 2019, 12:25 pm 

Nobody disputes that the North Carolina map was drafted to elect a maximum number of Republicans to the House, not even the Republicans themselves. The map has a 10-3 Republican tilt, one of its drafters said, “because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether such partisanship violates the Constitution. One case involves the Republican-drawn map in North Carolina. A companion case centers on Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which Democrats admit they redrew in 2011 to make it harder for the Republican incumbent there to win re-election.

The two cases hold the potential to set the course of American politics for generations. A decision to rein in partisan gerrymanders could reshape House maps in a number of states, largely but not exclusively to the benefit of Democrats. A decision not to rein in the mapmakers would give both political parties carte blanche to entrench themselves and hogtie their opponents when state legislatures draw the next decade’s House districts in 2021.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/us/s ... olina.html
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