October 29, 2013 •
More than $21M raised by opponents of the initiative
Opponents of Initiative 522, a ballot measure requiring food producers to label food items containing genetically engineered ingredients, have broken a Washington fundraising record.
The No on 522 campaign has raised more than $21 million, the most money ever raised by a statewide initiative campaign.
The overall fundraising for Initiative 522, on both sides of the issue, totals $27.7 million, which is the second highest total in state history.
October 29, 2013 •
Demonstration to urge lawmakers to update toxic substance law
Eight moms from Portland, Maine, joined hundreds of other moms from across the country to demonstrate on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in a campaign called the Safe Chemicals Stroller Brigade. The purpose of the demonstration was to raise awareness about unsafe chemicals used in household products and to urge lawmakers to consider updates to the 1976 federal Toxic Substances Control Act, which has not been updated since its passage.
The Maine moms also met with members of the state’s congressional delegation to lobby Congress for the passage of legislation proposed by Maine Sen. Susan Collins. The Chemical Safety Improvement Act would require federal regulators to test chemicals for their health effects across a variety of consumers, including children and pregnant women.
Photo of the United States Capitol by Zack Rudisin in Wikimedia Commons.
October 24, 2013 •
Court says limits are “likely unconstitutional”
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court ruling, denying a preliminary injunction on campaign contributions to independent-expenditure PACs. The lawsuit was filed by New York Progress and Protection PAC, who alleged that a wealthy donor, Shaun McCutcheon, pledged to donate $200,000 to the PAC in support of Joseph J. Lhota, a NYC mayoral candidate. McCutcheon’s donation, however, would exceed the contribution limit of $150,000 to independent-expenditure committees set by New York law.
The Circuit Court granted the injunction, stating the contribution limits are “likely unconstitutional” and the claim has a substantial likelihood of success. The Court further noted the plaintiffs would face irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted.
The donor in question, Shaun McCutcheon, is also embroiled in a similar suit before the Supreme Court of the United States, challenging the federal limits to campaign contributions.
October 22, 2013 •
Anonymous funding gives perception of judicial bias, State Bar says
The State Bar of Michigan has requested a declaratory ruling from the Michigan Secretary of State regarding the current interpretation of the state’s Campaign Finance Act as it relates to judicial campaign contributions.
Under the current interpretation of the law, issue advocacy advertisements are not considered expenditures, and thus are not required to be reported. This allows the funding sources of the majority of judicial campaign advertisements to remain anonymous.
The State Bar of Michigan argues that such anonymous funding gives a perception of judicial bias in the state. The Secretary of State must issue a declaratory ruling within 60 days of receipt of the request. Stay tuned!
October 21, 2013 •
Election scheduled for Nov. 19
Delegates from the Republican party have selected State Representative Julian Garrett to run in the special election for Iowa Senate District 13, which takes place November 19.
The special election will fill the seat vacated earlier this month by Kent Sorenson.
The Democrats will select their candidate Monday. Regardless of the outcome of this special election, the Democrats will retain control of the Iowa Senate.
October 21, 2013 •
Labeling of genetically-modified foods proves controversial
Initiative 522, which would require labeling on genetically modified foods in Washington state, has drawn negative attention from many of the nation’s largest and most recognizable food manufacturers, including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Nestle.
Pepsi is the biggest contributor to the effort to oppose the initiative, with its contributions accounting for $1.6 million of the $7.2 million total contributions collected to date.
Voters will decide the issue on November 5, with the election marking one of the most expensive initiative battles in the history of Washington state.
October 16, 2013 •
Override fails by two votes
The D.C. City Council failed to overturn a mayoral veto of The Large Retailer Accountability Act, a bill requiring large retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more to pay their employees a “living wage” of $12.50 per hour.
Seven of the 13 city council members voted to support the override of the veto, which was two votes shy of the nine votes needed for the measure to pass.
October 10, 2013 •
November 19, 2013
A special runoff election for Alabama House District 74 will be held on November 19, 2013.
This election will determine the outcome of the race for this House seat because the two candidates remaining, Dimitri Polizos and Charlotte Meadows, are both Republicans.
There are no candidates from opposing parties contesting these two candidates, so there is no need for a special general election.
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