(CNN) – Political figures reacted to the release of Supreme Court rulings Monday on the controversial Arizona immigration law and over campaign finance.
The high court struck down key parts of the Arizona bill, voting 5-3 that the federal government has the power to block the state's measure. However, the court upheld one of the most controversial parts of the bill – a provision that allows police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the United States illegally.
(CNN) - The Supreme Court refused Monday to reconsider one of its most controversial decisions of recent years, which has had a dramatic effect on election campaigns.
In a 5-4 ruling, with the more liberal justices dissenting, the high court refused to hear arguments over whether a state can limit campaign spending by corporations.
Washington (CNN) - Actor Alec Baldwin made a cameo on Capitol Hill Wednesday, advocating for a bill aimed at changing finance regulations for congressional elections.
At a press conference accompanied by Democrats Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Connecticut Rep. John Larson, and Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree. Baldwin stressed the importance of "reducing the influence of corporate lobbyists and special interest money."
Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court's conservative majority appeared to hold the cards Monday in a key campaign finance reform case involving an Arizona election law that would provide matching funds to underfunded candidates. The justices could continue a recent legal trend and strike down another effort at government restrictions on election spending.
The state law offers extra taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately funded opponents or by independent political groups. A key sticking point during the one-hour oral arguments was whether this law was designed to "level the playing field" through a public finance system, a legislative goal the court in the past has said is unconstitutional.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to eliminate the federal public financing system that helps pay for presidential campaigns and political conventions.
The vote was 239-160. Ten Democrats voted with the Republicans to pass the bill.
The House bill, sponsored by Oklahoma Republican Rep Tom Cole, would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. This voluntary public financing system was created in 1976, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, to lessen the influence of corporate money on campaigns. Taxpayers can check off a box on their tax returns directing $3 in federal money to the program. Candidates who apply for public financing must adhere to overall spending limits.
Washington (CNN) - In rural southern Virginia, 14-term Democratic Congressman Rick Boucher says he's never had an election enemy quite like the ones he's facing this year.
Its not his opponent, but instead it's what he calls a "shadowy" group that is funding television ads against him.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate will vote Thursday whether to take up a hot-button campaign finance reform bill. The measure is designed to bring more transparency to campaign ad spending by corporations, unions and other independent groups.
Republicans unanimously blocked a similar effort just over a month ago and a top Senate GOP leadership aide said Wednesday he doesn't expect any Republican defections this time.
Known as the DISCLOSE Act, the Democratic bill is a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that lifted decades-old restrictions on corporate and union political ad spending. The bill requires entities that pay for political advertising to indentify themselves in the ads.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of playing politics by scheduling the vote in the waning days of the Senate session and just weeks before the midterm elections.
(CNN) - Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell's campaign is calling "frivolous" a watchdog group's charge the candidate used campaign funds for personal expenses in a complaint filed with authorities Monday.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints with the Delaware U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Election Commission against O'Donnell, charging that more than $20,000 of O'Donnell's spending in 2009 and 2010 was illegal because O'Donnell was no longer a candidate.
"By committing tax evasion, false statements, and basically embezzling her campaign funds, Ms. O'Donnell has basically broken criminal law, and must be held to account for that," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan told CNN.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans narrowly blocked Democratic campaign finance disclosure legislation in the Senate Tuesday after raising concerns the bill would curb freedom of speech and tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats.
A 57-41 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed for the Senate to cut off debate on the measure. Republicans unanimously opposed the measure while Democrats solidly backed it.
Democrats said the legislation - known as the DISCLOSE Act - would bring greater transparency to campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions, and other special interests, which were able to ramp up political spending in the wake of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission earlier this year.
The bill would require organizations paying for political advertising to disclose the names of their top donors in the ads, similar to what now is required of political candidates for federal office.
Republicans accused Democrats of trying to preserve their majorities in the House and Senate by skewing the rules in the favor of labor unions, trial lawyers, and other Democratic-leaning groups. Democrats denied that was their motive, and made certain changes to the bill last week aimed at satisfying GOP critics.
The Republicans were not mollified.
Updated: 5:06 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote Tuesday on whether to end debate on a campaign finance bill, and Democrats fear a unified Republican filibuster will prevent the measure from moving to a final vote.
A key Republican, moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, opposes the bill because it puts less restrictions on labor unions - a key Democratic constituency - than on corporations and other large donors, an aide to Collins said Monday.
"The bill would provide a clear and unfair advantage to unions, while either shutting other organizations out of the election process or subjecting them to onerous reporting requirements that would not apply to unions," said the Collins aide, Kevin Kelley.
Collins is one of the few Republican senators considered a possible vote in support of Democratic-backed proposals. With Republicans holding enough Senate seats to block legislation, the inability of Democrats to attract support from Collins shows the precarious status of the bill.