End Citizens United Pressures the FEC Over Loose Social Media Political Ad RulesEnd Citizens United Pressures the FEC Over Loose Social Media Political Ad Rules

During the 2016 election cycle, Russian agents purchased thousands of ads on American social media sites – many of them pro-Trump and many more anti-Clinton. But few Americans knew where those Twitter and Facebook ads came from, or who paid for them.

They came from Russia, bought and paid for. But today’s campaign finance rules are so loose and inadequate, a hostile foreign power was able to have enormous sway over who U.S. citizens chose as their leader.

Now a group called End Citizens United is putting pressure on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to open its rule-making process for a reexamination of how digital political ads should be regulated.

End Citizens United submitted more than 150,000 signatures from citizens who are demanding that the FEC do a better job to provide better regulation of the kinds of ads that can pop up on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

As of today, such regulation is nonexistent.

End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) formed in 2015. It was a reaction to the now infamous 2010 Supreme Court decision that came to be known as the

Citizens United” ruling. What this Supreme Court did was allow unlimited amount of political “dark money” to flood into the U.S. election process.

The Supreme Court essentially ruled that “money is free speech” and thus could not be regulated. The ruling also established the idea that an international mega-corporation was essentially the same as “a human being.”

After the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, giant corporations and billionaires could donate as much money as they wanted to a candidate of their choice – in effect, “buying” the Congressman and Senators who serve as the representatives of all the American people.

The long-term goal of the new End Citizens United PAC is to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. To get that done, the people of America must support an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – it’s the only way to countermand a final Supreme Court decision.

A new Amendment requires two-thirds of the 50 states to ratify it, and then it must survive approval by Congress also on a two-thirds majority vote. It’s a long road to haul, but the members of End Citizens United are determined to make it happen.

In the meantime, there are more immediate fights — such as the alarming invasion of American social media platforms by outside agents, such as Russian troll farms. That’s why End Citizens United is working hard to pressure the FEC into tightening the rules on who can and cannot buy ads on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites used by millions of American every day. Learn more:http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/end-citizens-united-pac-wants-make-its-name-reality

 

End Citizens United InDefence of the Johnson Amendment

For many people, Lyndon Johnson is just a former US president who took over following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, many people miss or are unaware of one crucial detail. While serving as a senator, Lyndon B. Johnson championed a bill that sought to ensure that church money stayed as far away from politics as possible. His efforts saw the passing of what is popularly known as the Johnson Amendment in 1954.

At the time, the amendment did not seem to disrupt anything or make much sense. However, the effect of Johnson Amendment and everything it represents appears to have been thrown out the window. Judging from the recent turn of events, churches and other tax-exempt non-profit organizations will be allowed to pour donations aimed at driving political campaigns for their preferred candidates.

Many people do not understand the importance of the Johnson Amendment. Look at it from this context; in 2015, the donations made to religious organizations by the US citizens was over $119 billion. Contrast this figure with approximately $6.5 billion which was spent in the 2016 election (the most expensive election in the history of US). What are the fears associated with the repeal of the amendment – something that Trump promised during his presidential campaigns? The greatest concern is; once people make church donations, it will become impossible for them to know how the money is used in the end. A massive chunk of the $119 billion could be directed towards conservative political groups,an act that will destabilize the U.S democracy.

In May 2017, the president issued an executive directive discouraging the IRS from enforcing the amendment’s terms. While executive orders do not necessarily accomplish anything by themselves, this is a clear indication that Trump will try to keep his campaign promise of repealing the amendment.

Thankfully, End Citizens United is not taking this lying down. End Citizens United is committed to protecting the Johnson Amendment by all means. The PAC believes that the Johnson Amendment plays a fundamental role in ensuring the separation of the church and state in the United States. The issue could end up in the Supreme Court. Just like in 2010, no one can predict the court’s ruling. Unfortunately, the recent appointment of another conservative to the bench may mean a disappointing and disastrous decision regarding this amendment. Whatever happens, PACs and groups such as ECU have a tough responsibility of ensuring that dark money is kept away from the coffers of political campaigns.

About End Citizens United

ECU was founded to overturn the extremely unpleasant Citizens United decision made by the Supreme Court in 2010. Established in 2015, ECU participated its first election cycle in 2016 with over $25 million in funding. Some of the Democratic candidates that the Political Action Committee has endorsed include Hilary Clinton, Zephyr Teachout, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold and Jon Ossoff. Read more on wikipedia.com to know more about End Citizens United.

 

Betsy Devos Continues To Play An Active Role In Improving The Society’s Welfare

Elisabeth “Betsy” Prince was in born in 1958. She is an American politician, businesswoman, and a philanthropist. She is an alumnus of Holland Christina High School. Later, she attended Calvin College where she obtained a degree in Political Science and Business Administration. While in college, she was actively involved in campus politics. DeVos grew up being a member of the North America Reformed Christian Church. Richard Mouw, a former president of Fuller Seminary, has described DeVos as having been influenced by Abraham Kuyper, who was the founder of political ideology in Christian Democracy.

Involvement in politics

Betsy DeVos has actively participated in Michigan Republican Party since 1982, and has served as a precinct delegate. Between 1992 and 1997, she represented Michigan as a Republican National Committee person, while also assuming the position of a Chairperson of the party from 1996 to 2000. Bill Ballenger, a former senator, has described her as an honest believer in fundamental Republican issues, and that no one can doubt her stand. In 2000, she resigned from her position and claimed that she had indeed fought for the grassroots and never at any time had she accepted to be used as a rubber stamp. She ran again for the party’s chairman position in 2003, and was elected without opposition.

DeVos’ family has been active in politics for decades, particularly in donating to political committees and candidates. She declared that her family’s involvement in political funding is not because of personal gains, but the expectation for results; a government that is good and honest, and able to serve the American people diligently.

Career in business and philanthropic work

DeVos and her husband, founded the Windquest Group in 1989. The firm, which DeVos Chairs, invests in manufacturing, technology, and clean energy. She is also a chief investor and a member of the board of Neurocore, a collection of centers dealing in brain performance offering biofeedback therapies for disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety. Her husband was also a former chairman of Amway and President of Orlando Magic NBA. Betsy pursues reforms in various nonprofit positions. She is the chairman of Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, and her interests in charity are far reaching. She takes active membership in various local and national boards, including Kids Hope USA, DeVos Institute for Arts Management, Foundation for Excellence in Education, and Mars Hill Bible Church.

In the education realm, one of DeVos early experiences in philanthropy was at the Potter’s House Christian School. During an interview with Philanthropy Table, she claimed that she understood the sacrifice the parents were going through in trying to pay the tuition fee for their kids. DeVos claims that she started giving support to individual students in the school, and before long it had grown into a larger commitment.

Agricultural Businessman Jose Manuel Gonzalez Is Newest Candidate for Governor

Jose Manuel Gonzalez is a lifelong businessman, comfortable in areas of agriculture and business growth, but now he is also the newest candidate for governor in Guarico Venezuela. Frustrated with local and national politics,Jose Manuel Gonzalez thinks he can make a difference and help his state realize its potential. The years spent dealing and negotiating amid businesses around the state and globe have set Gonzalez up with the experience needed to perform the duties necessary of the next governor.

What Guarico needs is a representative that is aware and mindful of the issues faced by families and businesses living and working within the region. Gonzalez believes he is this person, mainly because he has been performing tasks relevant to the area for decades. As an agricultural leader, many of the decisions he makes have a direct impact on the region, and likewise, decisions that are made on a statewide level effect the success of his businesses. Knowing firsthand what people within the state need to flourish is vital in a publicly elected official.

Gonzalez is able to point towards several years worth of serving the public, at all levels and in all areas of service. His track record of assisting local residents and standing up for and with other businesses in years long. Furthermore, Gonzalez has always been active in local politics and a vocal critic of policies and politicians that were not acting in the best interest of the people they were representing. In doing so, Gonzalez has always provided ideas for improvement and growth that might be better strategies suited to the specific needs of Guarico. This understanding of his home state and what it needs to contribute to a better Venezuela are vital to an individual looking to lead at this level of government. As the newest candidate for governor, Gonzalez’s business background will definitely serve him well.