Nation in brief: Corporate donors targeted in bill
WASHINGTON – Corporations and unions would have to identify themselves on political ads they bankroll, and the CEO or top official would have to make “I approve this message” statements under legislation introduced in Congress on Thursday.
The measures are a direct response to a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court in January that upheld the First Amendment rights of such groups to spend money on campaign ads – a decision that greatly enhances their ability to influence federal elections.
Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, a campaign finance legislation veteran, said the ruling was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this distinguished body.”
The bill had no Republican sponsors, but Sen. Charles Schumer said Democrats were talking to GOP lawmakers and “a good number” were favorably disposed.
Sentence 40 years for agent’s murder
SAN DIEGO – A 17-year-old Mexican youth has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was shot repeatedly east of San Diego last year.
Christian Daniel Castro Alvarez sat silently with his head down throughout Thursday’s sentencing in San Diego federal court.
Rosas was shot several times in the head, from behind and while lying on the ground. Castro’s attorney argued that two accomplices now in Mexico fired the fatal shots.
Schwarzenegger backs reform law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged California’s full support Thursday for national health care reform, throwing the weight of one of the nation’s most prominent Republicans behind an overhaul that has caused a deep political divide and prompted at least 18 states to file legal challenges.
Schwarzenegger said it’s time to set politics aside and start implementing the new law, even as many states worry the costs of the overhaul will widen their budget shortfalls.
“The plan is not without flaws,” Schwarzenegger said. “But it is the law. And it is time for California to move ahead with it. Thoughtfully. And responsibly.”
The Republican Governors Association said it believed Schwarzenegger was the first GOP governor to come out strongly in favor of the law.