News from the Votemaster
Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of the Arizona Immigration Law
Yesterday the Supreme Court said that several parts of a controversial immigration law passed by the state of Arizona were unconstitutional but one part was probably OK. The court said that Arizona could not make it a misdemeanor for illegal aliens to be in the state or apply for a job. It didn't immediately outlaw the provision that police officers who stopped someone for reasons other than immigration law violations must check on that person's immigration status if there was any doubt about it. But the Court also didn't preclude revisiting this issue when the law is fully implemented. The decision was 5-3 with Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself since she had been involved in the case as Solicitor General before joining the Court.
President Obama mostly praised the verdict since the federal government had sued Arizona to overturn the law. Mitt Romney was tied in knots over the decision. On the one hand, his base is completely against illegal immigration and even more against any path for illegal immigrants to become citizens (such as the DREAM act). On the other hand, if he were to adopt this position, he knows it would drive the Latino community into the arms of the Democrats for years to come. There is no position he can take that is consistent with winning the election. He will try to refuse even point-blank questions about the law and the decision for as long as he can. For evidence, see this interview his spokesman gave after the decision. The spokesman was repeatedly asked for Romney's position directly and he simply refused to answer the question, no matter how hard the interviewer pushed. While Romney may think this is a satisfactory answer, it is likely that many Latino voters will not see it that way. In practical terms, Romney's refusal to comdemn the law may hurt him in Arizona, where his lead is only 3% and the size of the Latino population in the state is appreciably larger than the size of the Mormon population there.
Also unfortunate for Romney is that the Court's decision on the ACA won't come until Thursday, letting this story dominate the news for 3 days. While it will be pushed off the front pages Thursday, the damage with Latino voters will already have been done and will not be undone easily. Recent polls show Romney getting 25% of the Latino vote nationwide. Observers believe that he needs the 40% that George W. Bush got in order to win states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia. The politics surrounding this issue are not going to make that any easier.
Supreme Court Says States May Not Ban Corporate Money from Campaigns
But the news yesterday for Romey was not all bad. In a 5-4 decision, the Court said that Montana's century-old law barring corporations from donating to political campaigns violates the constitution. In effect, it extended its Citizens United ruling to the states as well as the federal goverment. Despite the tens of millions of dollars third parties have spent on attack ads this year, the Court sees no problems here. In effect, if a corporation gives a donation to a candidate who then promises to lower corporate taxes, it is bribery and a felony. But if the corporation gives the money to a candidate known to hold that position without extracting an explicit promise to vote for lower corporate taxes, it is free speech. It is a very fine line. So far this year, nearly all the big money has favored the Republicans, although most of it has come from individual billionaires rather than corporations.
The Democrats have introduced a bill called the DISCLOSE act to try to limit corporate political expenditures by forcing corporations to get approval from the stockholders before spending corporate funds on campaigns (which makes this an issue of corporate governance rather than free speech), but the bill has no chance since the Republicans are uniformly opposed to it. If most of the money had been flowing to the Democrats, they might have come down on the other side of the fence.
This decision has even spurred some talk about amending the constitution to bar big money in campaigns, but enactment of such an amendment seems unlikely, even though huge majorities of the public are against corporations getting involved in campaigns.
Primaries Today in Five States
While the last presidential primary today (in Utah) is not exactly a cliff hanger, there are other primaries that are important. For one, New York Republicans will choose who they want to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) although no matter who wins the primary, it will be a tough fight against the popular Gillibrand. Also, there are competitive elections in several New York congressional districts, most notably in NY-13, where 82-year-old Charlie Rangel is facing a serious challenge from Adriano Espaillat, a state senator. Rangel was recently censured by the House ethics committee, but still remains popular in his district.
Competitive races are also expected in CO-05, where Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is facing a wealthy banker, Robert Blaha, in OK-02, which is an open seat, and in SC-07, which is a new district.
Today's Presidential Polls
|Michigan||40%||40%||Jun 14||Jun 15||Denno Research|
|New Hampshire||51%||43%||Jun 21||Jun 24||ArkansasG|
|Utah||26%||68%||Jun 15||Jun 21||Dan Jones|
Today's Senate Polls
|State||Democrat||D %||Republican||R %||I||I %||Start||End||Pollster|
|Utah||Scott Howell||29%||Orrin Hatch||63%||Jun 15||Jun 21||Dan Jones|
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Previous HeadlinesJun25 Key Supreme Court Rulings Expected this Week
Jun25 On Social Issues, Voters Trust Obama More than Romney
Jun25 Charlie Cook Does Not Expect Another Wave Election
Jun25 A New Partisan Divide: Old vs. Young
Jun23 Bain Capital's Firms Outsourced Jobs Overseas
Jun23 Wealthy Democrats Not Donating to SuperPACs
Jun23 Obama's Latino Strategy is Working
Jun23 Only 34% of Americans Believe Obama is a Christian
Jun22 Romney Reverses Course on Immigration in Speech to Latino Officials
Jun22 Romney Sees Path to Victory Running Through the Midwest
Jun21 LeMieux Formally Ends Florida Senate Run
Jun20 Supreme Court to Rule on Whether States Can Stop Corporate Campaign Donations
Jun20 Democrats to Push DISCLOSE Act
Jun20 Interesting Analysis of the Political Effects of the ACA Ruling
Jun20 Schumer Plays Nice with Wall Street
Jun19 Obama's Decision on Immigration Popular with Likely Voters
Jun19 Immigration Issue Could Affect Other Races
Jun19 Rubio Not Being Vetted for Veep
Jun18 Crisis Averted in Greece as Center-Right Party Wins Election
Jun18 Can Any President Govern?
Jun18 Child Propaganda Takes Off
Jun18 Interactive Chart Shows Unemployment Numbers
JJun17 Greek Vote Today Could Roil Financial Markets Worldwide
JJun17 What If the Supreme Court Strikes Down Just the Mandate?
JJun17 Electoral votes: Obama 279 Romney 230
JJun17 Senate: Democrats 51 Republicans 47
Jun17 What If the Supreme Court Strikes Down Just the Mandate?
Jun16 Obama's Action on Immigration Opens Fissure within Republican Party
Jun16 Ohio Speeches by Obama and Romney Preview the Campaign Ahead
Jun16 Ginsburg Hints at Sharp Disagreements Ahead
Jun15 Campaigns Waiting Anxiously for Supreme Court
Jun14 Improvement to the Tipping-Point state Table
Jun14 Casino Owner Bets on Former Opponent
Jun14 Autopsy on the Arizona Special Election
Jun14 Majority Blame Bush for the Bad Economy
Jun13 Allen Wins the Republican Primary in Virginia
Jun13 Gifford's Aide Wins Her Seat
Jun13 Summers (R) and Dill (D) to Face Off in Maine but it Probably Doesn't Matter
Jun13 Congress' Approval Rating Now at 17%
Jun13 Republicans Have No Plan B on Health Care
Jun12 Median Family Net Worth Plunges 40% in 3 Years
Jun12 Attacks on Bain Capital Are Working
Jun12 Federal Government to Sue Florida to Stop Purging the Voting Rolls
Jun11 Should Obama Ignore Swing Voters?
Jun11 Obama Losing Support Among Jews
Jun11 Fun and Games in Maine
Jun11 Pick the Veep
Jun10 Reid Puts His Political Machine to Work for Berkley
Jun10 Rubio First Choice for Veep in CPAC Straw Poll
Jun09 A Demographics vs. Economics Election?