The Wall Street Journal is reporting Facebook will be requiring more transparency with political issue ads. “The latest [Facebook] move will cover “issue ads”—those that don’t specifically mention a candidate but weigh in on a divisive issue, including during an election campaign. Such advertisers will be required to confirm their identities and locations with the company.
In 2018, our state legislature is set to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WA VRA). We need to support the versions of HB 1800 and SB 6002 that keep voting system options open for local communities when they face issues such as racially polarized voting. Like its federal predecessor, this would allow communities to find their own solutions to changing demographics and how it impacts voting—instead of an overly restrictive mandate from Olympia.
We’ve already seen how mandates limiting local options has had policy consequences.
Seth E. Masket is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver. His new book is The Inevitable Party, a study of the consequences of anti-party laws in the United States.
Starting over 100 years ago, would-be reformers have taken power away from political parties in an attempt to remedy the effects of political machines and the bosses that controlled them. Masket tells us how today the new boss is the same as the old boss—as political insiders are resilient. They adapt to rules intended to disburse power, resulting in “reforms” that weaken democracy by fostering lack of transparency and polarization.
notorious Supreme Court ruling of recent times is 2010’s Citizens United v.
F.E.C. This ruling has captured many an imagination with the idea that the
Court somehow turned “corporations into people” or that money was
created into speech. This article is not about propagating these useless
catchphrases, rather, it is about how independent campaign expenditure prohibitions bump into 1st Amendment protections. I look at the history of
attempts to regulate independent campaign expenditures and how, in the process, a state censorship board was created.
Militiamen taking over a federal bird sanctuary in Oregon has me thinking about violent political actions. I have been studying American Indian history and there are similarities with actions some Indians took a generation ago. I hope the situation in Oregon will be resolved peacefully and there is precedent for this in the United States. The following are my thoughts based on an essay by Dean J. Kotlowski that is in the Roger L. Nichols compilation The American Indian: Past and Present