Tag: Courts

*VIDEO* Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On The IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups (07/29/15)

Subcommittee On Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights And Federal Courts
Chairman: Ted Cruz
Witnesses: John Koskinen, Cleta Mitchell, Stephen Spaulding, Edward D. Greim, Lawrence Noble, Toby Marie Walker, Diana Aviv, Jenny Beth Martin, Gregory L. Colvin, Jay Sekulow


……………………….Click on image above to watch video.
………………— Note: hearing begins at about the 18:45 mark —

Click HERE to visit the official website of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee



Jeb Bush Courts Wealthy Democrat Donors In The Hamptons

Jeb Bush Snares A Democratic Moneyman On Hamptons Tour – Bloomberg


Behind a garden modeled on Monet’s, Jeb Bush addressed a lawn-full of chief executives and hedge-fund managers at an East Hampton, New York, estate Saturday morning. While the candidate is no stranger to courting wealthy donors, this time was different: about half the attendees were Democrats.

“This guy sells well,” said Kenneth Lipper, the money manager and registered Democrat who hosted the event, after Bush left. Virtually the only one who left without writing a check, Lipper said, was a buck deer that wandered past the group assembled on the wooded grounds.

The wealthiest donors are playing an unprecedented role in the early stages of the 2016 race. For the first time ever, most candidates are raising more money through super-PACs, which can accept donations of up to $1 million or more, than through the traditional campaign accounts that are capped at $2,700 per donor.

No one has raised as much in this new environment as Bush, who had amassed about $103 million in his super-PAC and another $11 million for his campaign by the end of June. The Lipper event shows how widely Bush is ranging in his quest for donors.

The race for money adds to the importance of places like the Hamptons, Wall Street’s oceanside playground, where Lipper remarked that it’s become fashionable to spend more than $100 million on a vacation home. The entire annual income for the median U.S. household – $50,000 – wouldn’t cover more than 900 of the summer rentals here listed on one brokerage’s website.

After answering questions for an hour at Lipper’s event, Bush left for two more gatherings at a pair of mansions near the beach.

“People with money like him,” said Andrew Sabin, 69, a top local Republican fundraiser and a co-host of one of the Bush events. “I’m sure there’s a lot of poor people that like him too. It so happens there’s not a lot of poor people in the Hamptons.”

Bush’s schedule took him to the six-bedroom beachside mansion of Clifford Sobel, a former ambassador and entrepreneur, who served crab cakes and bruschetta. Then there were cocktails at the home of Emil Henry, a former Treasury official and now the CEO of an infrastructure fund.

The Bush campaign wouldn’t comment on the events or say how much was raised, but Lipper said his event alone raised about $230,000.

Over a salad on the deck at the South Fork Country Club prior to attending two of the fundraisers, Sabin said donors appreciate the way Bush’s staff keeps in touch.

“We get a rundown every week – they’re very transparent,” said Sabin, who runs a precious-metals refining business with offices from China to Dubai. “Some guys take your money, you don’t know what they’re talking about until you read it in the newspaper.”

During a course of the lunch with his girlfriend, Kathy Qian, Sabin passed out copies of a magazine that features him and his 60-foot fishing boat, Above the Ground; said he gave to 256 charities; and mentioned the climate-change center he created at Columbia Law School (“a big one”). An ardent environmentalist, Sabin said he’s encouraging Bush to become “the Teddy Roosevelt of this century.” He said he’s indifferent to the rise of big money in politics.

“I believe in free enterprise,” Sabin said. “You earned that money, you can do what you want with it. I don’t have a problem with it at all.”

In some ways, the Hamptons are Hillary Clinton territory. The Democratic candidate and her husband have often rented summer homes here, and it’s popular with movie stars and entertainers who tilt liberal. Suffolk County favored Democrats in the last three presidential races.

But Lipper estimated that the crowd of about 70 at his event was almost evenly split between the parties, and virtually every one of them donated to Bush. Lipper, 74, said he introduced Bush as the candidate who will “bring unity and civility to the process.” He was impressed when Bush started his visit by introducing himself to Lipper’s kitchen staff.

Lipper’s career in finance includes creating the Lipper & Co. investment management firm and advising Oliver Stone on the film Wall Street. He was also a key fundraiser for New York City Mayor Ed Koch, and later served in his administration.

Despite the opulent surroundings, the Hamptons hosts couldn’t spend much on food and drink without running up against limits on in-kind campaign contributions, Lipper said. So he limited his expenses to about $2,000. That meant a simple brunch of berries and melon, mini-bagels, and cheese quiche.

“It was kind of spartan, he said, “but it was fine.”



*VIDEO* Judicial Watch: The IRS Has Misled The Courts; They Are In Real Trouble



Courts Strike Down Challenges To Right To Work

Courts Strike Down Challenges To Right To Work – Washington Free Beacon

A pair of federal courts struck down union challenges to labor reforms in Indiana and Wisconsin last week, preserving major Republican gains aimed at cutting costs and attracting business.

Federal Judge Philip Simon on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit aimed at preventing Indiana from becoming the first right-to-work state in the Midwest. He rejected the union’s contention that Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and the legislature overreached in pursuing labor reforms.

“None of the legal challenges launched by the union here to attack Indiana’s new Right to Work law can succeed,” he wrote. “The electorate can ultimately decide whether [lawmakers’] judgments are sound, wise, and constitute good governance and can express their opinions at the polls and by other means. But those are questions beyond the reach of the federal court.”

Glenn Taubman, an attorney with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, was not surprised the unions failed to derail the reforms, which allow employees to opt out of forced unionization.

“Since the 1940s, the Supreme Court has upheld right-to-work laws in the face of union attacks, as RTW laws do not infringe on any union ‘rights,’” he said. “It is forced unionism and monopoly representation that infringe on individual employees’ rights.”

Judge Simon’s ruling only applies to federal challenges to the law. Unions have also sued in state court to prevent the law from going into effect. They say it violates an Indiana constitutional provision that prevents the government from denying private organizations their rightful wages.

“Indiana’s own constitution says that you can’t mandate people to act without just compensation,” said Marc Poulos, an attorney challenging the Indiana law on behalf of the Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (IIIFFC). “Right-to-work no longer allow us to collect the reasonable fees for the representation we provide all employees.”

However, supporters of the law point out that the provision refers to the government honoring its own contracts for services rather than private transactions, such as union dues. Republican state Rep. Jerry Torr, who authored the right-to-work law, said he believes it will survive all legal challenges.

“Right-to-work has passed in more than 20 states and those have all withstood the various challenges and the test of time. Eventually our law will be found to be appropriate,” he said.

Soon after the Indiana ruling, a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s public sector labor reforms, which helped close Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit after its passage in 2010. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the act “in its entirety,” overturning a previous federal ruling that stopped Act 10’s prohibition of automatic union deductions from employee paychecks and recertification.

The labor groups that brought the suit contended that curtailing the ability of unions to automatically collect dues from employee paychecks violated its freedom of speech. The court, however, determined that the system represented a “subsidy” to unions rather than an extension of natural rights.

“While the First Amendment prohibits ‘plac[ing] obstacles in the path’ of speech… nothing requires government to ‘assist others in funding the expression of particular ideas, including political ones,’” the decision says.

Walker welcomed the ruling, hoping it would allow the state to move past the division and at times violent upheaval caused by union members and allies.

“Today’s court ruling is a victory for Wisconsin taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “With this ruling behind us, we can now focus on the next state budget, which will invest in priorities to move our state forward.”

The ruling represented Walker’s second major victory in the fight to preserve the reforms, which took away collective bargaining for public sector employee benefits and pensions, while preserving them for salaries. Walker previously survived a recall election sponsored by the unions.

Act 10 has saved Wisconsin more than $2 billion since its June 2011 implementation.

The rulings come as unions ramp up legal challenges to Michigan’s new right-to-work law. Taubman says the courts have helped to solidify the foothold labor reformers have made in the heavily unionized Midwest.

“Because federal law is so clear, any union efforts to challenge laws that outlaw forced unionism or union bosses’ special privileges are destined to fail,” he said. “This is why the Michigan union bosses realize that any potential legal challenges they may bring to derail that state’s new RTW law are futile and a complete waste of their members’ money.”

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