Local Effort to Undo Citizen's United; What Happened to America's Middle Class?

02/15/13 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today we’ll speak with David Cobb, the former Green Party presidential candidate who now heads Move To Amend—the effort to turn back the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. And later we’ll talk with Hedrick Smith, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has written a new book called Who Stole the American Dream? Both of our guests will be making speeches locally in the next few days.

But first one listener comment about yesterday’s show on which we featured an expert on Charles Darwin. Here’s what one listener had to say: tape

Three years ago: the US Supreme court issued it’s opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The nonprofit group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in 2008---in apparent violation of the McCain Feingold campaign reform act. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of McCain Feingold violated the First Amendment. Critics say the Supreme Court’s ruling said in essence that corporations have the same rights as people and that the court ruling established that money equals speech. Now there’s an effort to do something about that Supreme Court decision. With us in the studio are Ed Helm and Rennie Proulx local organizers with Move to Amend. And on the phone with us is David Cobb who is a national spokesperson for Move to Amend.

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The Pew Research Center – in a study released last year found that the percentage of Americans considered middle class has dwindled from 61 percent of the public in 1971 down to 51 percent today. In the state of the union address on Tuesday and the Republican response- both President Obama and Florida Senator Marco Rubio sought to position themselves as champions of the Middle Class. Our next guest, former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith has written a new book called Who Stole the American Dream. He’ll be at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg next week to Thursday at 7 to talk about his book and to also show a film he made about environmental destruction of Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. Thursday, February 21 7PM at Miller Auditorium Eckerd College: film: Real Eco-Horrors: Poisoned Waters

Hedrick Smith is the author of The Russians, The Power Game, and his most recent work, Who Stole the American Dream?, examines the impact and import of changes in America's political and economic climate over the past few decades.

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