Researchers find that the Citizens United decision gave Republicans a "significant" boost on Election Day 2010 in state legislative races. Which won't surprise you, nor will their finding that Citizens United, long advertised by the "liberal" media as a decision that benefited both corporations and unions, actually boosted corporations' electioneering power rather more than it did that of unions. So next time someone says Citizens United isn't so bad, "because look how badly all the big money picks did in 2012," remind them that the big money picks did quite well in 2010.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finds that Newt Gingrich's favorite company, FedEx, knowingly and unlawfully misclassified truck-driving employees as "independent contractors" so they could avoid paying benefits. And also so they could avoid paying for uniforms, insurance, fuel, maintenance, workers' comp, and trucks. Yes, you read that right -- trucks. FedEx also made their drivers pay the workers who took over their shifts if they went on vacation or took a sick day. FedEx's decision-makers obviously possess no morals or ethics whatsoever -- and one day, some judge will call me a terrorist for saying such a thing.
Obama Administration leases more than 430,000 acres of Gulf of Mexico waters to gas drillers so they can frack in the water. And which corporation got more lots than anyone else? BP, naturally, a little over four years after they took a massive dump in the Gulf. And dig the Halliburton engineer calling the deep Gulf waters "the most challenging, harshest environment we'll be working in. You can't have hiccups." I guess he would know from hiccups, amirite?
Alex Kotch at the Institute for Southern Studies tells us where the big money comes from in the North Carolina school vouchers battle, temporarily won by the side of good earlier this month when a state judge ruled the state's voucher program unconstitutional. The anti-voucher money tends to come from the NEA, but much of the pro-voucher money comes from the so-called American Federation for Children; two-thirds of the $300,000 it gave to North Carolina groups in 2013 went to three organizations with the same mailing address.
Finally, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader tells the story of the downfall of former South Dakota Sen. Karl Mundt, once one of the most powerful men in South Dakota and national politics. Long story short: after decades as a state stumper and appropriations power-broker, he suffered a massive stroke in 1969 which left him basically unable to serve -- but either he wouldn't resign, or wouldn't resign without a condition attached (apparently that South Dakota's outgoing Governor wouldn't appoint himself to Mr. Mundt's Senate seat). It's a fascinating read, one that suggests that Mr. Mundt's wife may have been unfairly maligned all these years. (Coen Brothers fans will of course remember another Karl Mundt: John Goodman's villain from Barton Fink.)