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Reuters: Citizens United loses free speech appeal over New York donor rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out a constitutional challenge by the conservative group Citizens United to New York state’s requirement that registered charities disclose their donors annually.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected claims that the requirement violated the First Amendment because it intimidated donors from contributing, cutting off money needed to conduct free speech, and was a prior restraint on the ability to solicit donations.

Writing for a 3-0 panel, Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler said New York has important interests in stopping fraud and abuse by charities, and requiring them to disclose names, addresses and contributions of their largest donors makes enforcement easier.

“While we think it plausible that some donors will find it intolerable for law enforcement officials to know where they have made donations, we see no reason to believe that this risk of speech chilling is more than that which comes with any disclosure regulation,” Pooler wrote.

The court also found no reason to believe that New York and its Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, enforced the disclosure requirement “in anything but a uniformly content-neutral fashion.”

Citizens United was also the plaintiff in the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case allowing unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions in election campaigns.

It advocates for limited government, free enterprise and strong families.

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Wash Times: Eight years after Obama’s unusual State of the Union attack, Citizens United endures

The Capitol’s chambers are no strangers to violence, though fortunately the anniversary of the last canings has passed the sesquicentennial mark. It was only eight years ago, however, that President Obama chose to go after Supreme Court justices in that arena.  The occasion was his first State of the Union address and the topic was Citizens United, a case the justices had decided in a 5-4 ruling a week earlier, dealing an uppercut to the campaign finance reform movement by ruling that interest groups’ political spending is protected speech under the First Amendment.

The decision rocked politics, and Mr. Obama predicted it would “open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.” In the first election after the ruling, spending did soar. Cash in congressional races leaped 46 percent and continued to tick up in the years since. But spending on presidential elections has dropped since the ruling, challenging Mr. Obama prediction of runaway campaigns.

“I think the impact was enormously exaggerated by opponents of the decision right from the beginning,” said lawyer Ted Olson, who argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiffs.

That was about what Citizens United expected when it went to court in the first place. In 2008, the conservative group tried to air a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton, who at that time was the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for president. The group wanted to run ads touting the film and its blockbuster title, “Hillary: The Movie.” At the time, however, federal law prohibited a corporation from airing the ads, deeming them anti-Clinton electioneering subject to the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance restrictions.

“When we first got to the Supreme Court, our main interest was just to show the documentary and some ads,” said Michael Boos, the executive vice president and general counsel of Citizens United. Conservatives — including President George W. Bush, who signed it into law — believed the courts would declare McCain-Feingold unconstitutional, eliminating its prohibition of corporations using their “general treasury” dollars to fund any “electioneering communications” within 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.

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CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the one year anniversary of his inauguration on Fox & Friends

CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the one year anniversary of his inauguration on Fox & Friends


WaPo: Bossie: Don't believe Michael Wolff's trashy efforts to undermine Trump

David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, was deputy campaign manager of the Trump campaign and deputy executive director of the Trump presidential transition team.

At about 2:20 a.m. the morning after Election Day, Kellyanne Conway’s cellphone rang. It was the Associated Press calling the 2016 presidential election for the ultimate political outsider, Donald J. Trump. When the call came there were about a dozen of us, senior campaign staff, along with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), his wife and the Trump family in the residence atop Trump Tower. I remember standing near Melania Trump after Conway shared the news. Mrs. Trump was ecstatic that her husband had just been elected the 45th president of the United States. All of us were. I don’t remember Michael Wolff being in the room.

This week’s effort to undermine President Trump and his administration comes in the form of Wolff’s trashy, headline-grabbing book, “Fire and Fury,” which first lady Melania Trump correctly said belongs in the “bargain fiction section.” The explosive allegations in the book attributed to former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon are disappointing to many, including me. Bannon must have realized the distraction that such inflammatory rhetoric would do to the momentum of the Trump agenda that’s finally being achieved for the American people. It is inexcusable.

In our own recent book, “Let Trump Be Trump,” Corey Lewandowski and I offered a firsthand account of a campaign the likes of which this country had never seen. From the Mobile, Ala., “Trumpmania” event in August 2015 to our last stop in Grand Rapids, Mich., early on Election Day, Trump’s rallies were the driving force of his campaign. Millions of people packed arenas around the country, often standing in line for hours, to see their candidate.

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Fox News: Dems will win midterm elections without GOP tax deal: Bossie

Nov. 28, 2017 - 4:58 - Former Trump Campaign Deputy Director David Bossie on Trump's meeting with Senate leadership on the GOP tax plan.


Fox: Bossie: Sessions Must Appoint Special Counsel to Investigate Uranium One Deal

David Bossie said Attorney General Jeff Sessions must appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal, because that's the only way to get to the bottom of it.

This comes amid renewed scrutiny of the controversial 2010 uranium deal, which gave Russia control of part of the uranium supply in the U.S. The deal occurred while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, and questions have been raised about money routed to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton around that same time from Russian interests.

Hillary Clinton said reports about her ties to the Russian nuclear deal are "baloney," claiming that they have been "debunked repeatedly."

"I've heard her story before of, 'this is old news,'" Bossie said on "Outnumbered" today. "Jeff Sessions, who is a law-and-order attorney general, must appoint a special counsel for the Uranium One investigation. It has to happen."



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The Hill: Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

The approval question, however, sat inside State for nearly two weeks without an answer, prompting Desai to make multiple pleas for a decision.

“Dear Jake, we urgently need feedback on this. Thanks, Ami,” the former president’s aide wrote in early June.

Sullivan finally responded on June 7, 2010, asking a fellow State official “What’s the deal w this?”

The documents don’t indicate what decision the State Department finally made. But current and former aides to both Clintons told The Hill on Thursday the request to meet the various Russians came from other people, and the ex-president’s aides and State decided in the end not to hold any of the meetings with the Russians on the list.

...

The Hill was alerted to Bill Clinton’s attempted meeting with Dvorkovich from a nonpolitical source involved in the FBI investigation into Russian nuclear corruption. The Hill then scoured through thousands of pages of documents released under Freedom of Information Act requests over the past four years and located the Bill Clinton emails in a batch delivered to the conservative group Citizens United.

The head of that group, David Bossie, said Thursday the documents forced into the public by federal lawsuits continue to shed light on new questions arising from Hillary Clinton’s time at State, and that Citizens United still gets documents released almost every month.

“Citizens United continues to unearth important information about the relationship between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation through our ongoing investigations and litigation,” he said.

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WSJ: The Citizens United Disaster That Wasn’t

Critics warned that a flood of corporate money would irreparably taint politics. No such thing happened.

When the Supreme Court announced its 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the public condemnation from certain quarters was fierce. The notion that a corporation would spend large sums of money to support or denounce a political candidate struck many Americans as deeply troubling. Some saw the court’s 5-4 ruling, which held that corporate political spending is protected by the First Amendment, as constituting a grave threat to the democratic fabric of society.

“Starting today, corporations with large war chests to deploy on electioneering may find democratically elected bodies becoming much more attuned to their interests,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in a 90-page dissenting opinion. He retired from the Supreme Court at the end of that term and later suggested a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling.

Many of Citizens United’s harshest critics imagined a nation controlled by multibillion-dollar corporations that would dictate business-friendly legislation to paid-for lawmakers. A New York Times editorial predicted that the ruling would “thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century” by allowing “corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections.” The Washington Post warned that “corporate money, never lacking in the American political process, may now overwhelm both the contributions of individuals and the faith they may harbor in their democracy.” The San Francisco Chronicle warned that “voters should prepare for the worst: cash-drenched elections presided over by free-spending corporations.”

Since those predictions, two presidential and four congressional elections have come and gone. There’s now solid data, filed with the Federal Election Commission, showing how much money corporations have spent in recent elections. It turns out the apocalyptic forecasts were not just inaccurate but utterly insupportable.

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Over 100 National Leaders Send Message to McConnell: Confirm Trump Nominees ‘Now’

"The Conservative Action Project (CAP) Memo is signed by a who's-who of America. Former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, Secretary Ken Blackwell, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, First Liberty Institute CEO Kelly Shackelford, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, Citizens United President David Bossie, Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, Liberty Consulting President Ginni Thomas, CNP Action Chairman Bill Walton, and Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance are just 10 of the 112 conservative leaders telling the U.S. Senate that the tens of millions of Americans these luminaries represent have run out of patience and are, in a memo obtained by Breitbart News, demanding immediate action."

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Reuters: U.S. visas to six Muslim nations drop after Supreme Court backs travel ban

Michael Boos, general counsel for the conservative nonprofit Citizens United, which filed a brief to the Supreme Court in support of the Trump administration in the travel ban case, said the figures show the ban is having its intended effect.

"Clearly the purpose of the temporary ban was to reduce the number of visas that would be issued to persons from the affected countries, so it's not surprising that...when the court reinstated the ban, the number of visas would have dramatically diminished," Boos said. "If people are deterred from seeking admission to the United States because they're going to go through a vetting process that's real and substantial, then maybe they shouldn't be coming here in the first place."

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Statement of Michael Boos, Citizens United Vice President and General Counsel, on today’s ruling by a three judge panel of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Statement of Michael Boos, Citizens United Vice President and General...

Citizens United files FOIA lawsuit vs. State Department

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Citizens United files amicus brief in support of the Trump Admin

The lower court's ruling that Pres. Trump can't cancel DACA...

Citizens United releases news web video: “Appoint A Special Counsel To Investigate The Clintons”

Citizens United releases news web video: “Appoint A Special Counsel...

CU In The News

Reuters: Citizens United loses free speech appeal over New York donor rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday...

Wash Times: Eight years after Obama’s unusual State of the Union attack, Citizens United endures

The Capitol’s chambers are no strangers to violence, though fortunately...

CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the one year anniversary of his inauguration on Fox & Friends

CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the...

WaPo: Bossie: Don't believe Michael Wolff's trashy efforts to undermine Trump

David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, was deputy campaign...

David Bossie at CPAC 2017

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