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Obama backs amendment to overturn Citizens United ruling

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WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama called for a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that made it easier for businesses to influence elections through large-scale donations.

“Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven- and eight-figure checks, most undisclosed,” to partisan political groups, Obama said during a chat on social news website Reddit.

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The groups, known as Super PACs, “threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens,” added the president, who spoke out strongly against the court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.

In the decision, the high court granted businesses and unions the right to make direct, unlimited and anonymous contributions to election campaigns.

The court ruled the issue was protected under the constitutional amendment that guarantees free speech.

Obama has urged Congress to vote to force Super PACs to reveal the names of their donors, but a related measure has so far been blocked.

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“Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United — assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it,” Obama said.

“Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight on the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

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But Obama’s campaign announced early this year it was reluctantly endorsing the activities of Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing his reelection bid.

“The president opposed the Citizens United decision,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote at the time in rationalizing the campaign’s support for Priorities USA Action.

“And the president favors action — by constitutional amendment, if necessary — to place reasonable limits on all such spending.”

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For the past three months, donations to Obama’s re-election campaign have fallen short of those to his rival, Mitt Romney.

The most recent figures from July showed that Obama’s campaign has some $120 million at its disposal, compared to $180 million for Romney.

These figures don’t take into account the Super PACs, which the Republicans seem so far to have mobilized with greater success than Obama’s Democrats.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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2012

Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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2012

British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate

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Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.

The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.

In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.

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2012

Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6

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President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.

Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.

Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019

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