WBEZ | Citizens United http://www.wbez.org/tags/citizens-united Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en U.S. Senator Dick Durbin leads panel challenging power of Citizens United http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/us-senator-dick-durbin-leads-panel-challenging-power-citizens-united-101202 <p><p><img alt="" and="" back="" citizens="" class="image-original_image" democracy:="" flickr="" news="" of="" our="" radio="" responding="" rise="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/7639582918_e8ed74b807_z_0.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left; " super="" taking="" talk="" the="" title="Senator Dick Durbin, left, and Senator Patrick Leahy, right, at the Senate Judiciary Committee on " to="" united="" />On Tuesday, Illinois&#39; senior senator Dick Durbin endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit the power of <em>Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission</em>. Durbin led a subcommittee hearing about this Supreme Court decision, which allows unlimited campaign spending.</p><p>He isn&#39;t eager to make changes to the U.S. Constitution. He told <em>Eight Forty-Eight&#39;s</em> Tony Sarabia: &quot;I do believe it is, at least, a politically sacred document,&quot; and says he approaches any alterations to the document with caution. The Senate Majority Whip says he wants to remove the majority of campaign money from the few hands that might discourage the &quot;mere mortals&quot; from running a viable campaign.</p><p>&quot;Listen, I&#39;ve been in the House and Senate for a number of years and I&#39;m not one of these people who races to amend the constitution....you ought to be careful,&quot; said Durbin. &quot;And I know colleagues of mine don&#39;t view it the same way but I really pick and choose those things that I think are worthy of an amendment to that great document. This is one of them.&quot;<br /><br />Republicans were absent from the hearing, and Sen. Durbin&#39;s counterpart across the aisle, Sen. Mark Kirk, has been absent from Congress since a stroke sidelined him earlier this year. Durbin said he spoke with Kirk last week and is confident in the junior&#39;s senator&#39;s recovery but isn&#39;t making any predictions. He said, however, he&#39;ll be the first one at the Congress steps to welcome his colleague back to work when he&#39;s ready. &nbsp;</p><p>Durbin shared a few more of his thoughts about <em>Citizens United</em>:</p><p>&quot;I looked at legislative approach to try to moderate <em>Citizens United</em> and it has failed repeatedly in the Senate and it won&#39;t even be brought up for a vote in the house. It&#39;s an indication to me that the republicans feel they have a political advantage with Citizens United and they will not even join us in calling for disclosure, let alone any limitations on that Supreme Court case.&quot;</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s one thing though that gives me some hope: I&#39;ve been observing the Illinois political scene for decades and with one exception...the high bankrolling candidates have not succeeded. There&#39;s a built-in skepticism when people plow massive amounts of money into a campaign.&quot;</p><p>&quot;What I have found is that massive reform requires massive scandal. That&#39;s a pretty well-proven theorem when it comes to political science. The question is whether the American people will be so fed up with <em>Citizens United</em> and the mess it makes of our political process that they&#39;re going to basically speak out.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 08:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/us-senator-dick-durbin-leads-panel-challenging-power-citizens-united-101202 Campaign finance reports keep candidates' cash flow in check http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/campaign-finance-reports-keep-candidates-cash-flow-check-93181 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/tammy duckworth AP file.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Candidates for the U.S. House had to file a lot of paperwork over the weekend--third quarter campaign finance reports were due. Recent redistricting&nbsp; could generate a lot of tough primary elections in Illinois this year. New political boundaries mean new political matchups--and while the money was flowing in, it is also flowing out. WBEZ’s political reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/sam-hudzik" target="_blank">Sam Hudzik</a> checked the campaigns’ books and gave <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> his assessment.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Eskmo, "Moving Glowstream" (Savile's K-House Mix) from We Got More/Moving Glowstream (Ninja Tune)</em></p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/campaign-finance-reports-keep-candidates-cash-flow-check-93181 The role big business plays in shaping public policy http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-16/role-big-business-plays-shaping-public-policy-82413 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Citizens United protest Getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Local political action committees aren&rsquo;t the only players in the municipal elections- businesses also have a vested interest in who runs what. The political clout of corporations goes far back and the private sector has helped anoint many a king &ndash; locally and at the national level. Recently we&rsquo;ve seen President Obama turn to business for help jump-starting the economy. And many in the administration hope that Obama&rsquo;s new Chief of Staff&mdash;Chicago businessman Bill Daley&mdash;will bring the board room to the White House.</p><p>But how much power should corporate America wield? And how did they get so much in the first place? To help sort out the relationship between big business and politics, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke with DePaul University economics professor <a href="http://samson.comtech.depaul.edu/faculty/member/Thomas/Mondschean/S/" target="_blank">Thomas Mondschean</a>.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Feb 2011 14:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-16/role-big-business-plays-shaping-public-policy-82413