People For the American Way



In This Issue


SPOTLIGHT: Government By the People Campaign Builds Momentum

African American History Awareness Month -- A Chance to Prove

Young Elected Officials Make a Difference by Protecting Consumers

PFAW Applauds Moves Towards Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell

--Featured Video


The Equine Posterior Achievement Award


EPA Awared mini


January's winner -- overwhelmingly -- was Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

See Why & Vote For This Month's Winner >


The Citizens United Decision and How to Fix It


The Supreme Court upended our political system with its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The decision, in which the Court ruled that Congress was prohibited from limiting the influence of corporations in elections for public office, represents an unprecedented attack on the core democratic values of the Constitution, and all of us, progressive, centrist and conservative alike, should be deeply concerned about its implications.

  Find Out More >  



Government By the People Campaign Builds Momentum


corporate court

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter, "I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country."

The Founders didn't anticipate the threat of corporations to our democracy when the Constitution was ratified, nearly three decades before Jefferson penned those prescient words. But they did give us the tool we need to address then-unforeseen challenges like the Roberts Court's overreaching decision in Citizens United v. FEC: the ability to amend our Constitution.

The Court, by a one vote margin, kicked open the door for unlimited corporate money in our elections with its radical reinterpretation of the First Amendment. While there's some good legislation out there that would mitigate the damage, the only way to undo the harm of Court's ruling completely is with a constitutional amendment. And support for an amendment is growing.

More individuals, organizations and officials are signing on to the effort every day. Senator John Kerry called for a constitutional amendment earlier this month and just this past week, Senators Chris Dodd and Tom Udall introduced a bill in the Senate to do just that.

Also this month, People For released a poll that clearly shows Americans want limits on corporate cash in elections and would support a constitutional amendment.

If you have not added your name to the petition calling for an amendment, please do so here >

You can have organizations of which you are a part join the effort here >

And if you have not become a fan of the campaign's Facebook page, please do that now >


The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC made it so elections could essentially be bought by corporations. It won't be easy, but with your help, we can stop the unlimited flood of corporate cash.

Help us put the power in our democracy back where it belongs: in the hands of voters.





Young Elected Officials Make a Difference by Protecting Consumers

YEO poster

Read the YEO Frontline News to find out how progressive Young Elected Officials around the country are tackling the featured issue of the month: Consumer Protection.

Read More >

The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.




African American History Awareness Month -- A Chance to Prove


PFAW and PFAW Foundation honor African American history and, with the rest of the country, celebrated African American History Awareness Month in the month of February. Director of African American Religious Affairs Leslie Malachi shares her thoughts on this time of reflection for not only African Americans, but all Americans.

In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history. Today the celebration in the arts and science, public and private business industries, sports, domestic and foreign policy, and political, social and economic justice arenas continues in February and is now known as African American History Awareness Month.

Read More >



PFAW Applauds Moves Towards Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell


The Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on the possibility of ending Don't Ask Don't Tell. During their historic testimony, leaders of the military voiced their support for ending the policy.

Read More >




Justice Samuel Alito Has Some Things He'd Like to Say...

Alito has something to say

President Obama rightly criticized the Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC during his State of the Union Address. Based on his body language, Justice Alito didn't think the criticism of his and his colleagues' audacious judicial activism was warranted.

Watch >



VA Legislator: Disabled Children Are God's Punishment for Women Who've Had Abortions

Bob Marshall press conf vid

Watch Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall claim at an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion.

Watch >





Right Wing Watch: CPAC Conference 2010!


Check out the complete coverage of this year's CPAC conference at Right Wing Watch. This year, at the preeminent conference of the conservative movement, tension erupted over gay inclusion, Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll proving the influence of the Tea Partiers in the movement and "President" Gingrich made his reappearance. Read about these topics and more now.

Read More >


Despite the Right's Objections, Maryland To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages from Other States


Maryland Attorney General released a well-reasoned opinion that firmly establishes that the state may recognize same-sex marriages from other states (and countries). The Far Right, of course, wanted an opinion stating that Maryland would not recognize out-of-state marriages. Unfortunately for them, the law just wasn't on their side, and the Attorney General was not willing to twist it for their purposes.

Read More >


Rev. Kenneth Samuel Responds to Rep. Trent Franks


You'd think that Congressman Trent Franks would have learned from his brush with fame last year when he declared that President Obama was an "enemy of humanity" because he's pro-choice.

But he didn't. Congressman Franks argued that African Americans were better off under slavery than having the constitutional right to reproductive choice.

Watch the video response >


John Yoo versus Reality


It seems that the latest filing by John Yoo's lawyer -- in a case brought by a prisoner who was illegally detained and tortured based on Yoo's advice-has all the hallmarks of one of Yoo's own briefs: it's slipshod, morally questionable and utterly unsupported by the facts.

Read More >


Right Wing Watch: The Conservative Movement's "Definitive Statement"


You have to hand it to the Right because when they produce a manifesto, they go all out.

When Religious Right signed on to the Manhattan Declaration a few months back, they hailed it as akin to standing up to the Nazis and declared themselves willing to suffer everything from exile to death to defend it, while comparing themselves to those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

This month, right-wing leaders are gathering to sign The Mount Vernon Statement, which they claim will "define the conservative movement's principles and objectives," and they went to George Washington's farm outside of Washington DC to do it.

Read all the coverage of the Mount Vernon Statement >


Virginia's New Radical Right Governor Begins His Assault


Pat Robertson's man in the Virginia State House, Governor Bob McDonnell, has been in office less than a month and is already delivering on the Religious Right's agenda ... at the expense of Virginians' civil rights.

Read More >


Judging, Judges and Prop 8


Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, in a piece titled, "Don't ask, don't judge?" gave a rhetorical green light to Religious Right activists who have responded to news that federal judge Vaughn Walker is gay by attacking his ability to rule fairly on the constitutional challenge to Prop. 8, the California ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples of the right to get married.

Read More >


Ronald Reagan's Court


By any measure, the Supreme Court has moved far to the right in the last few years. In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage writes about how the decision in Citizens United shows how far the court has moved on corporate issues. He also makes a cogent observation about the origin of this pro-corporate tilt.

Read More >


Justice Alito: Words v. Actions [VIDEO]


The media spent a lot of time obsessing over Justice Samuel Alito's injudicious show of disapproval during the State of the Union. They went a bit overboard, but were it not for that, millions of Americans may have missed the Citizens United ruling entirely.

Read More >


What Moderates?


Patricia Smith, President Obama's choice to be Solicitor of the Department of Labor, passed an important procedural hurdle: the Senate decided to vote on her nomination.

What's remarkable is that, unlike past attempts to block votes on executive branch nominees, the vote was entirely along party lines. Even the so-called moderates in the Republican party, like Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, voted against allowing an up or down vote on a second-tier executive branch nomination.

Read More >


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