Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: Resolve to Overturn ‘Citizens United’ Spreads Through the States
Featured Take Back the American Dream speaker Katrina vanden Heuvel: “Writing for the majority in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’ … Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer both suggested that given these ‘huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance,’ Kennedy’s assertion doesn’t hold and the court should reconsider its ruling. It will have the opportunity to do just that on Thursday when it considers the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in December to uphold the state’s century-old ban on corporate political expenditures in state elections … It is that kind of corruption—which Justice Kennedy minimized—that has moved dozens of local communities across the country to speak out during Resolutions Week, an effort to pass local and state resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. Over 100 resolutions have already been proposed.” Click here to join Katrina vanden Heuvel, June 18-20, at Take Back the American Dream.
Dimon Testifies Today
Jamie Dimon releases testimony in advance of today’s Senate hearing. McClatchy: “‘We will not make light of these losses, but they should be put into perspective. We will lose some of our shareholders’ money – and for that we feel terrible – but no client, customer or taxpayer money was impacted in this incident,’ Dimon said in his prepared remarks … Dimon’s reference to no customer or client money being lost was a backhanded jab at regulators who are trying to separate these activities…”
Wall St. donating to Romney, big. Politico: “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors $37.1 million to $4.8 million. Near the front of the pack are 19 Obama donors from 2008 who are giving big to Romney … Romney is helped by Obama’s support for Dodd-Frank, emphasis on higher taxes for the wealthy and aggressive anti-Wall Street rhetoric.”
Romney Struggles To Explain Opposition To Hiring Teachers, First Responders
Obama’s “gaffe” is tripping up Romney, says NY Mag’s Jonathan Chait: “Romney has taken to lashing him for his proposal to help state and local governments rehire many of the teachers, police officers, and firefighters they have had to lay off. This has placed Romney in the odd position of both opposing the hiring of popular government workers and defending the status quo…”
Dems Win AZ Seat By Defending Social Security
Social Security and Medicare key for Democratic victory in AZ special House election. W. Post: “…the race centered on [Ron] Barber’s ties to the national Democratic Party and, more importantly, [Jesse] Kelly’s past statements about overhauling the nation’s entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare … Democrats ran footage and quotes of Kelly talking about getting rid of the entitlements … Democrats point out that basically every GOP incumbent has voted for a Republican budget that overhauls Medicare and that they can use the issue against any number of Republicans, particularly incumbents, all across the country.”
ND voters reject initiative to abolish property tax reports NYT.
Justice Dept. files suit to stop FL voter purge. CNN: “Using information from Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the state identified more than 100,000 names of non-eligible voters that could potentially be on the lists illegally. The Justice Department contends the Florida program improperly uses the information collected from old driver’s license applications, saying the data could be outdated.”
Occupy activist beats Citibank, save mom’s home. ThinkProgress: “Citibank foreclosed on Colleen McKee Espinosa, Nick’s mother, who fell behind on her mortgage after she stopped receiving child support payments. She attempted to make two past-due payments to Citibank to catch up on the mortgage, but was instead notified that the home was already in foreclosure. Despite assurances that the bank wanted to work with her, it denied her a mortgage modification and was set to auction the home at a sheriff’s sale tomorrow. Instead, under pressure from Occupy Homes MN and other activists, the bank announced today that it approved a modification that will keep the family in its home.”
Conservative Christian groups get behind pro-immigration reform. NYT: “Tom Minnery, the senior vice president of policy for one evangelical group, Focus on the Family, said many of the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants should be free to ‘come out of the shadows’ … Mr. Minnery spoke at a Capitol Hill news conference called to announce that more than 150 Christian evangelical leaders, including from the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals, were endorsing an overhaul of immigration policy. The evangelical leaders expressed opposition to such notions as ‘self-deportation,’ which Mr. Romney favored in a Republican debate …”