What We’re Reading This Week – 3/7/14

What We're Reading This Week - 3/7/14

2014: Senate Race Baiting Sinks a Nomination for Civil-Rights Chief– Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic

We were disappointed to see Dego Adegbile, President Obama’s pick to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, be voted down this week for his organization’s involvement in the criminal defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Andrew Cohen draws a continuity between what happened and the “Willie Horton” ads of 25 years ago, and argues that penalizing an individual for providing an individual with their constitutional right to a fair trial flies in the face of the rule of law.

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife – Dave Levinthal – Center for Public Integrity

One of the big political stories of the year has been infighting within the Republican party between the Washington establishment and insurgent Tea Party figures like Ted Cruz. Dave Levinthal outlines the major players and who’s funding them — with both sides rolling in dark money, the brawl is only going to get bigger.

Pro-Obama Group Fires Fundraiser Who Diverted Felon’s $100K Gift – Michael Isikoff – NBC News

When we called out Organizing For Action, the nonprofit built on the remains of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, for offering top donors face-to-face meetings with the president, they promised that they wouldn’t sell access to the White House. Now, it turns out they went back on their word. OFA has fired a staffer following an MSNBC story alleging that she promised access to President Obama in a small clutch at a reception in exchange for a $100,000 donation, when the donor was actively seeking a pardon for his 1991 Medicare fraud conviction.

Conservative group Alec trains sights on city and local government – Ed Pilkington – The Guardian

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate front group that connects business executives with right-wing lawmakers to write “model” legislation is notorious for its impact on state and national policy — most notably for its involvement with controversial “Stand Your Ground” policies in Florida and other states. Now, they’re branching out to the local level.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Prevent Partisan Gerrymandering – Ian Millheiser – ThinkProgress

Justice John Paul Stevens, famous for his scathing dissent in Citizens United, argues in his new book that we should amend the Constitution to put a stop to incumbent-friendly redistricting that’s locked many lawmakers into can’t-lose districts until 2020.