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New Mexico calls on Congress to overturn Citizens United ruling

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The New Mexico state legislature has approved a resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

“This marks a major victory for the constitutional amendment movement to reclaim our democracy,” said John Bonifaz, director of Free Speech for People, a coalition of groups that oppose the controversial ruling.

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“The Citizens United ruling presents a direct and serious threat to the integrity of our elections, unleashing a torrent of corporate money into our political process,” he added. “The ruling is also the most extreme extension yet of a corporate rights doctrine which has been eroding our First Amendment and our US Constitution for the past 30 years. As with prior egregious Supreme Court rulings which threatened our democracy, we the people must exercise our power under Article V of the Constitution to enact a constitutional amendment which will preserve the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.”

In the Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court held that First Amendment prohibited the government from placing limits on for-profit and not-for-profit corporations’ independent political spending.

The ruling gave rise to super PACS, officially known as independent-expenditure only committees. The groups can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections, as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.

Old-fashioned PACs, in contrast, can only accept annual donations of $5,000 or less and give a maximum of $5,000 per election to candidates and another $15,000 to political parties. Super PACs have also exploited a loophole that allows them to postpone the disclosure of their donors until after the elections they participate in.

New Mexico is the second state to call for such a constitutional amendment. Hawaii passed a similar resolution in April 2010. A number of cities, including Los Angeles and New York City, have passed similar resolutions as well.

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Trump aide told investigators Paul Manafort began spreading Ukraine conspiracy theories as soon as DNC server hack was revealed

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On Friday, a new batch of documents recording the interviews former special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors held with aides to President Donald Trump was released, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News.

One of the revelations in the interviews with Rick Gates, who served as an aide to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was that Manafort began pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine at the same time that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee became publicly known.

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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

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South Carolina Republicans gather for an ‘active rejection’ of social distancing measures: report

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On Friday, The New York Times reported on a gathering of Republicans in Conway, South Carolina that appeared to be an "active rejection" of social distancing measures and other public health guidelines.

"The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio," wrote Astead Herndon. "Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks."

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