November 2010

 

Lawrence N. Hansen: Midwest Democracy Network champion led ‘life of purpose’ From the sweltering Mississippi of 1964’s “Freedom Summer” to Washington’s marbled corridors of power to the rough-and-tumble of Illinois politics, Larry Hansen devoted his nearly 50-year career to making American democracy work better.Hansen, vice president of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago since 1994 and former aide to both former Vice President Walter Mondale and U.S. Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III, died of cancer at his home in River Forest, Illinois on November 15, 2010. He was 69.As Program Officer of the Joyce Foundation’s Money and Politics Program, one of his signature achievements was to help create an ... read more
ELECTION 2010: SECRET MONEY, INCIVILITY LEAVE LASTING IMPACT League Calls on Congress to Fix Secret Cash in American ElectionsWashington, DC – The League of Women Voters of the U.S. reflected on the midterm elections today, expressing grave concern about the conduct of the 2010 elections."The impact of election 2010 goes far deeper than which party controls the House or the Senate," said Elisabeth MacNamara, national League President. "The tens of millions of dollars in secret money spent in this election are a recipe for scandal. Voters were overwhelmed by millions of dollars in negative ads but didn't know who paid for many of them. Pay-to-play politics won't change until we know ... read more
ELECTION 2010: SECRET MONEY, INCIVILITY LEAVE LASTING IMPACT League Calls on Congress to Fix Secret Cash in American ElectionsWashington, DC – The League of Women Voters of the U.S. reflected on the midterm elections today, expressing grave concern about the conduct of the 2010 elections."The impact of election 2010 goes far deeper than which party controls the House or the Senate," said Elisabeth MacNamara, national League President. "The tens of millions of dollars in secret money spent in this election are a recipe for scandal. Voters were overwhelmed by millions of dollars in negative ads but didn't know who paid for many of them. Pay-to-play politics won't change until we know ... read more
Time to End Judicial Elections?       The 2010 judicial elections, “awash in cash and blaring attack ads,” argue for ending the election of judges to the bench, a New York Times editorial declared.The editorial, entitled “A Blow to the Courts,” cited Election Day outcomes in Iowa and Illinois as among the most troubling. It was one of three major commentaries on recent retention elections. A Philadelphia Inquirer editorial also used the term “body blow” in discussing the Iowa vote, in which three justices were ousted, while a National Review commentary described the vote as an appropriate response to “judicial ... read more
2010 Judicial Elections Increase Pressure on Courts, Reform Groups Say Election Day 2010 brought a new round of special interest money, nasty ads and wedge issue politics into America’s courtrooms, breaking several spending records and spreading costly, ideological hardball campaigns into new states. The roar of this year’s national politics—which favored populists and partisans, and tilted against incumbents and the establishment—played out in judicial elections and referenda in a number of states. In Michigan, Supreme Court candidates were vastly outspent by political parties and an out-of-state group in a TV ad war whose cost was estimated at $5 million to $8 million. In Alabama, combined ... read more