Thursday, January 21, 2010

More campaign ads — and maybe confusion

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. talks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, to dicuss campaign finance reform after the Supreme Court ruling.
WASHINGTON - There'll be a lot more special-interest money in political campaigns. And maybe even more confusion for voters trying to sort out who is behind the increasing clamor of TV messages.
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Thursday to allow corporations and unions to spend freely on elections seems certain to boost the political power of big business and labor. And perhaps diminish the clout of the political parties.
Its impact will be felt immediately. This year's midterm House and Senate campaigns already are under way.
The decision also opens the door for more challenges to already weakened campaign finance laws. The Supreme Court may be asked to go even further and let corporations and unions coordinate with campaigns or donate directly to them.
It's too early to say which political party Thursday's ruling benefits more. But Democrats, who draw a lot of support from less-wealthy unions, seemed glum, while Republicans, who tend to be backed by big-spending corporations, celebrated.
"It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans," said President Barack Obama, striking a populist tone.
But Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Senate Republican, said: "For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. Our democracy depends upon free speech, not just for some but for all."
The ruling lowered the six-decade wall separating corporations and unions from candidates for president and Congress, allowing the wealthy entities to spend as much as they want from their general treasuries to run advertisements advocating the victory or defeat of candidates at any point before elections.
It's likely to prompt businesses and labor to dole out unfathomable amounts of money in campaigns nationwide. The goal: elect the people who will do their bidding, while defeating those who won't.
And that means these special interests now will hold even more sway over elected officials than they already do, and certainly more than the average person. As has long been the case in politics, whoever has more money has more clout — and potentially more access to power.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Retirement announcement

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) announces that he will retire after his current term outside his home in East Haddam, Conn. on Wednesday. Dodd, who served five terms, is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2008. Dodd's wife Jackie and daughter Christina are at his right.

Democrat Elected Officials

  • Effingham County Board Distric G-Doug McCain
  • Effingham County Treasurer - Steve Dasenbrock
  • Effingham County Board District C - Karen Luchtefeld

Effingham County Democrats Officers

  • Chairman - Audrey Griffith
  • First Vice Chairman - Dan Niebrugge
  • Second Vice Chairman - Allen Wente
  • Secretary - James Hammer
  • Treasurer - Shirley McEvers