Udall, Heinrich Introduce Fair Elections Now Act

first_imgUnder the legislation, qualified Senate candidates would earn grants, matching funds, and television vouchers to run competitive campaigns based on small-dollar contributions, rather than rely on funding from wealthy donors and corporate special interests. U.S. SENATE News: The Fair Elections Now Act amends the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971 to establish a voluntary method for financing Senate campaigns. The Fair Elections system is composed of three stages:To participate, candidates would first need to prove their viability by raising a minimum number and minimum dollar amount of small-dollar qualifying contributions from in-state donors. Once a candidate qualifies, that candidate must limit the amount raised from each donor to $200 per election.For the primary, participants would receive a base grant that would vary in amount based on the population of the state that the candidate seeks to represent. Participants would also receive a 6-to-1 match for small-dollar donations up to a defined matching cap. After reaching that cap, the candidate could raise an unlimited amount of unmatched $200 contributions if needed to compete against high-spending opponents, as well as contributions from small-donor People PACs. The candidate could also opt to request additional small-dollar matching funds in the period just before the general election. For the general election, qualified candidates would receive an additional grant, small-dollar matching, and media vouchers for television advertising. The candidate could continue to raise an unlimited amount of $200 contributions if needed, as well as contributions from small-donor People PACs.  The Fair Elections Now Act wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit. It would be financed by a 0.5 percent fee on annual federal contracts over $10 million, with a maximum annual fee of $500,000 per contract. WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with 23 Senate colleagues, have introduced the Fair Elections Now Act, which would dramatically change the way U.S. Senate elections are financed. The bill also creates a type of small-donor political action committee, known as a “People PAC.” In contrast to traditional federal PACs that can accept contributions of up to $5,000 per year from individuals or Super PACs that can accept unlimited contributions, People PACs would only be permitted to accept contributions of $200 or less per election from individuals. People PACs would thus allow average citizens an opportunity for making their collective voices heard. Small donors would be able to aggregate their funds in a People PAC to make campaign contributions of up to $5,000 per election to qualified Fair Elections candidates. Coupled with the Fair Elections public financing system, People PACs would elevate the views and interests of a diverse spectrum of Americans, rather than those of the traditional, wealthy donor class. The Fair Elections Now Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The Fair Elections Now Act would help reduce the influence of wealthy donors and big-money special interests by creating a voluntary system of public financing for Senate candidates. Candidates who participate in the Fair Elections process would agree to limit their campaign spending to the amounts raised from small-dollar donors plus the amounts provided by the Fair Elections Fund. The bill is also supported by a number of organizations, including Public Citizen, Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice, League of Women Voters, Democracy 21, Voices for Progress, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, and Demos. “We have a broken campaign finance system that lets billionaires and corporations exercise outsized influence in our elections all while hiding in the shadows,” Heinrich said. “This bill helps restore public confidence in congressional elections that currently force candidates to constantly chase money for their campaign coffers. Our electoral process should be fair and open, and the results should ensure every citizen has an equal voice in our democracy.” Special rules would apply for runoff and uncontested elections. Participating candidates would receive enough funding to compete in every election, without having to spend most of their time raising money. “Ever since Citizens United gave a blank check to corporations and the ultrawealthy to influence our politics, special interests have poured unlimited sums of money into our elections—much of it lacking even basic transparency. As a result, too many Americans in New Mexico and across the country have every reason to believe that their government no longer answers to them,” said Udall, the lead sponsor of the For the People Act, a comprehensive package of pro-democracy and anti-corruption electoral reforms. “This bill would create a level playing field with a public financing system that amplifies the voices of regular voters and empowers small-dollar, grassroots donors from across the political spectrum. Now more than ever, we need to reform our broken campaign finance laws, get big money out of politics, and put power back in the hands of the American people—be they Republicans, Democrats or independents.” The bill was included earlier this year in the For the People Act – a sweeping package of comprehensive reforms that would fix our broken politics and make government work for the people. The landmark legislation, companion legislation to H.R. 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives, aimed to restore the promise of American democracy by making it easier, not harder, to vote; ending the dominance of big money in politics; and ensuring that public officials work for the public interest. Earlier this year, the House passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 234-193.last_img read more

Project management: survival of the biggest

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Praxair’s new East China plant

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

A place for sharia

first_imgI work in an area where there is a large Muslim population. I think that sharia law may, in some circumstances, have a role to play, providing: all the parties agree; there is no attempt to replace English law with sharia law; and representatives are given a seat at the table. If the dispute resolution process can be eased by resolution taking place within a culture/religion-specific environment, then why not? I frequently see clients who, for cultural or religious reasons, are unable to take advantage of their rights and who end up disadvantaged as a result. If a sharia court could help, then we ought to give it a try. The spectre often raised is that, if we open the door to this, we will see adulteresses stoned in the street and thieves disarticulated at the wrist. This is offensive to the intelligence of the average law-abiding muslim. What is wrong with religious courts anyway? We have had them in this country for centuries. Howard Shelley, CMHT Solicitors, Walsalllast_img read more

Courts will ‘struggle to cope’ with Equality Act caseload

first_imgEmployment lawyers have warned that tribunals could be ‘submerged’ by a surge in cases stemming from the Equality Act 2010, which came into force this month. The act comes against a backdrop of increasing employment claims, with figures released by the Tribunals Service last week indicating that employment tribunals received 44,500 claims in the first quarter of 2010/11, up 6% on the same quarter last year. The act extends some of the protections provided by earlier legislation against associative and perceptive discrimination, harassment and victimisation at work. It also outlaws pre-employment health questionnaires and pay secrecy clauses in contracts. Pam Loch, managing director of Kent employment firm Loch Associates, said: ‘The tribunals may be submerged by claims testing the new provisions around discrimination by perception. Employees who are harassed because of a perceived disability or sexual orientation can now take their case to court and win damages.’ Gordon Turner, founder of London firm Partners Employment, said: ‘The new provisions will hit smaller employers hardest, because they haven’t the time or resources to manage complex laws. Employers will need ultra-sensitive radars to know who their staff are in relationships with, and so avoid claims of discrimination based on association. I expect a surge in claims with evidential complexities for the tribunals to unravel through lengthy proceedings. The courts will struggle to cope with the increased caseload.’ Christl Hughes, chair of the Association of Women Solicitors, said: ‘Parts of the new act, such as the outlawing of pay secrecy clauses, make it easier for female workers to know whether they are being paid less than male colleagues for the same work. Although much progress has been made, there remains a substantial pay gap between the sexes in the workplace, including within the solicitors profession.’last_img read more

German plans for electric cars could actually increase CO2 emissions

first_imgSometimes I am astonished with the ability of politicians of all shades and nationalities to ignore the lessons of our past.A case in point is the announcement by the German Bundesrat that it wanted the country to change completely to all electric cars by 2030 – that’s in 13 years’ time. There is nothing wrong with that in itself – particularly as it will reduce emissions from transport and help improve local air quality – superficially this may appear a great idea. However it should be viewed as neither a climate friendly nor a selfless act as it will increase carbon emissions and will also help the German car industry.At a time when the UK will have finally closed all its coal-fired power stations, Germany will be increasing its coal burning capacity, have closed its nuclear fleet of power stations – unless they can introduce truly awe inspiring amounts of storage and renewable generation. Germany will end up burning more coal to power this new fleet of electric cars. Germany will be increasing its coal burning capacity, have closed its nuclear fleet of power stationsIt’s similar to the rush to diesel engines, only in reverse. In the 1990s the EU encouraged the switch to diesel in order to reduce the CO2 emissions from cars and transport, but ignored the impact on local air pollution. It was not as if there wasn’t any evidence that diesel engines caused harm. Diesel engines are responsible for particularly dangerous micro-particulates, those nasty PM2.5 and PM10s that cause heart and lung problems. The really sad aspect of this is that there was plenty of evidence as far back as 1993 pointing to the negative health impacts. And yet the EU, Germany and the UK ignored the evidence and encouraged a switch. We are now living with the consequences.So why do we make these disastrous decisions seemingly ignoring the wider ramifications? It is certainly true that at the time of the switch to diesel, CO2 emissions were perceived to be the bigger issue. Politicians wanted to be seen to reacting to the danger. It would have been a selfless politician who argued that reducing car CO2 emissions wasn’t a good idea, particularly when the options for reducing emissions quickly were limited. The switch was an early, easy win given the relatively short time lags in car replacement and with dangers of increasing pollution levels sometime in the future why worry?Perhaps it is a step too far to suggest that vested interests saw the switch to diesel to be commercially advantageous. However, looking for someone to blame other than those responsible for ignoring the broader impacts would condemn others to repeat the mistake. It simply illustrates that, particularly with environmental concerns, the picture is rarely simple and policy should be based on a broad systemic understanding of the world around us. So it seems to me that the German politicians desire to have ‘zero-emission’ cars will ignore the impact of additional coal burning on CO2 emissions.In the short-term it might be good for German cities and their citizens. It will also be good for the German car making industry – but sadly will be very bad for the rest of the world.Nick Cullen is a partner at Hoare Lealast_img read more

Driven out: Housing crisis looms in flood-stricken Louisiana

first_imgDriven out: Housing crisis looms in flood-stricken Louisiana Published: August 17, 2016 6:07 PM EDT Updated: August 17, 2016 6:08 PM EDT DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) – With an estimated 40,000 homes damaged by deadly flooding, Louisiana could be looking at its biggest housing crunch since the miserable, bumbling aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a decade ago.People whose homes were swamped by some of the heaviest rains Louisiana has ever seen are staying in shelters, bunking with friends or relatives, or sleeping in trailers on their front lawns. Others unable or unwilling to leave their homes are living amid mud and the ever-present risk of mold in the steamy August heat.Many victims will need an extended place to stay while they rebuild. Countless others didn’t have flood insurance and may not have the means to repair their homes. They may have to find new places altogether.“I got nowhere else to go,” said Thomas Lee, 56, who ekes out a living as a drywall hanger – a skill that will come in handy. His sodden furniture is piled at the curb and the drywall in his rented house is puckering, but Thomas still plans to keep living there, sleeping on an air mattress.Exactly how many will need temporary housing is unclear, but state officials are already urging landlords to allow short-term leases and encouraging people to rent out any empty space they might have.“If you have a unit that’s an old mother-in-law suite and you can rent it out, let us know,” said Keith Cunningham, who heads the Louisiana Housing Corporation, the state housing agency.The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose very name became a punchline during Katrina, said it will look into lining up rental properties for those left homeless and will consider using temporary housing units.But FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate gave assurances that the temporary units won’t be the old FEMA travel trailers – a reference to the ones brought in after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that were found to have toxic levels of formaldehyde.The flooding that has struck the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas has left at least 11 people dead. More than 30,000 have been rescued, and at least 70,000 have registered for federal disaster assistance. At the height, 11,000 people were staying in shelters, though that had dropped to 6,000 by Wednesday.For the foreseeable future, home for Carolyn Smith, her husband, two grown sons and a family friend will be a 30-foot travel trailer supplied by a relative. It has one bedroom, a sofa-sleeper, four bunks and one bathroom.It sits in the driveway of the home she and her husband lived in for 48 years in Denham Springs. Nearby lies a pile of stinking debris pulled from the flooded, one-story wood-frame home.Smith and her husband are both in their 70s and on fixed incomes. She said she is not sure how they will make it in the coming months as they try to rebuild the house, which took on more than 4 feet of water.“We’re starting over again. From rock bottom,” she said. “At our age that’s kind of rough.”In a sign of the housing crunch, Livingston Parish officials are talking with FEMA about getting temporary housing for emergency and rescue workers. An estimated 75 percent of the homes in the parish of 138,000 residents were a total loss.Those with flood insurance will be in a much better place to begin rebuilding – but there won’t be many of them.Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said that only 12 percent of the homes in hard-hit Baton Rouge were covered by flood insurance, and only 14 percent in Lafayette. He called those figures shocking.Across the flood-stricken area, many residents said they weren’t required to have flood insurance and didn’t have it, since nothing remotely like this had ever happened before.“My father’s owned this place for 70 years. Never seen it like this. We never thought we needed it,” said Chris Bankston, owner of an auto parts place in the Livingston Parish town of Albany where workers were shoveling debris and carrying out ruined equipment and furniture.Water crept into his parking lot Friday night, and by Sunday his gasoline pumps were covered. Floodwaters had never come within 200 yards of the place before, he said.FEMA said more than 9,000 flood claims have been filed with the agency.Anyone with flood damage is eligible for FEMA aid of close to $33,000 – far less than many people without flood insurance will need to repair and replace their damaged property. The maximum payout under a home flood insurance policy is $250,000.Joseph Bruno, a New Orleans lawyer who is a veteran of the Katrina insurance wars, fears the greatest needs could be borne by elderly residents who paid off their homes and weren’t required by their bank to carry flood insurance.Ronald Robillard, 57, and his 65-year-old brother, William Robillard, have been living next door to each other in Baton Rouge homes owned by the older brother. Since both places flooded, they have been sleeping at a shelter at night and cleaning up the homes during the day.William owns the homes free and clear. He doesn’t have flood insurance to pay for the repairs but isn’t waiting for any government aid.“I figure by fixing it up one room at a time, we’ll be fine,” William said.“If they give us help, fine,” Ronald added. “We ain’t looking for a handout. Just a hand. That’s a true statement.” Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARElast_img read more

Berwin Leighton Paisner could agree US merger in weeks

first_imgA 1,500-lawyer firm combining City practice Berwin Leighton Paisner and US-based Bryan Cave could be created later this month with partners at both firms set to vote on the combination.The two firms have been in discussions over a potential merger since last year and plans are understood to be close to a formal decision.A spokesperson for BLP told the Gazette: ‘BLP and Bryan Cave confirm that a proposal to combine the two firms will be voted upon by both partnerships with an outcome expected the week of 26 February 2018. No further comment will be made until the vote is finalised.’If the merger goes ahead, it will create a 1,500-lawyer firm with more than 30 offices.Other recent transatlantic deals include Eversheds’ combination with US firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan to create Eversheds Sutherland and Bond Dickinson’s tie-up with US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.last_img read more

UWF Wins Second Consecutive South Region Championship

first_imgNext Game: at Carson-Newman 11/19/2017 – 2 pm ET Watch Live Preview JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The University of West Florida women’s soccer pulled off a thrilling comeback against Lee University to win the South Region championship for the second year straight. UWF now moves on to the NCAA Quarterfinal, where the team will face Southeast Region host Carson-Newman on Sunday.The title is UWF’s fourth in the last six years, with the Argonauts bringing home the South Region Championship in 2012, 2013, 2016 and now 2017. West Florida is also now a perfect 6-0 in South Region title matches in its history.Lee came out strong in the first half, as Summer Lanter opened up the scoring in the 11th minute putting Lee up 1-0. Lee continued to press in the first half, but Katelyn Burkhart and company held strong. Lee University tallied 15 shots in the first half, more than double the Argonauts’ 6.Katelyn Burkhart registered six saves in the first half to keep the Argonauts in the game, while Lee goalkeeper Haley Gribler went mostly untested in the first half.The South Region final was a tale of two halves. UWF came out strong to tally a total of 13 shots to Lee’s 5 in the final 45 minutes of regulation. Savanna Soares’ shot was saved by Haley Gribler in the 48th minute. Kaljit Atwal was a constant pressure on the backline of Lee with four shots. Haley Gribler made seven saves for Lee, making spectacular efforts against Savanna Soares and Atwal, and Shantell Thompson’s corner kick in the 78th minute was flicked on by Atwal with a clever backheel only to be saved again.With just six minutes remain in the second half, Deneisha Blackwood went down in the box and UWF was awarded a penalty kick. Shantell Thompson stepped up and coolly placed the ball into a corner away from Gribler.Overtime was even between the two teams as both battled to create opportunities. Both defenses proved strong with neither team able to get a shot on goal.Senior Katelyn Burkhart emerged the hero with two penalty saves. Shantell Thompson, Robyn Herman, and Grace Busby converted their penalties to send UWF into the Quarterfinal match.UWF will face Carson-Newman at 2 pm ET on Sunday in Jefferson City, Tennessee.#ARGOS#Print Friendly Version Full Schedule Roster Live Statslast_img read more

Duh! Tidak Ada Pesanan yang Masuk ke Boeing Sepanjang April 2019

first_imgSebagaimana yang dirangkum KabarPenumpang.com dari berbagai laman sumber, sejumlah varian pesawat Boeing yang lainnya seperti 787 Dreamliner dan 777 juga belum ada yang memesan. Memang, saat ini dapur Boeing masih ngebul karena mereka masih mengerjakan pesanan yang masuk pada akhir bulan Maret kemarin, seperti Lufthansa yang memesan 20 unit 787, dan British Airways yang memesan 18 unit 777X.Menurut laman cnn.com (14/5/2019), satu-satunya pesanan yang dilaporkan oleh Boeing untuk bulan April adalah entri pembukuan adalah empat pesawat 737 jet MAX yang telah dijual ke Boeing Capital di masa lalu dipindahkan ke lessor yang tidak dikenal bulan lalu. Boeing tidak menganggap hal tersebut sebagai pesanan baru. Sebagai gantinya, perusahaan mereklasifikasi penjualan yang sudah dilaporkan pada kuartal pertama.Baca Juga: Rampung Pembaruan Software 737 MAX, Boeing Siap Serahkan Hasilnya ke FAA Guna SertifikasiTidak satu pun dari model pesawat Boeing lainnya yang mengalami kecelakaan, dan maskapai belum melaporkan masalah keselamatan selain yang terjadi pada 737 Max. Tapi, masalah 737 Max bisa jadi alasan maskapai menunda pesanan untuk pesawat lain, kata Philip Baggaley, analis kredit utama untuk sektor transportasi untuk Standard & Poor’s.Jika dibandingkan dengan tahun 2018 kemarin, pada bulan yang sama, Boeing melaporkan total 76 pesanan yang masuk ke perusahaan.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… Related Boeing 737 MAX. Sumber: newatlas.com Pil pahit harus kembali ditelan oleh produsen pesawat asal Negeri Paman Sam, Boeing. Setelah sebelumnya diberitakan bahwa karyawan di interal Boeing mengakui bahwa produksian mereka jelek, kini perusahaan yang bermarkas di Chicago ini harus menghadapi kenyataan yang lebih pahit. Pasalnya, Boeing tidak menerima pesanan pesawat yang masuk selama periode April 2019 kemarin.Baca Juga: Akhirnya! Boeing Akui Adanya Kesalahan Sistem pada Boeing 737 MAX 8Jika dikaitkan dengan insiden jatuhnya dua pesawat 737 MAX 8 yang dioperatori oleh Lion Air dan Ethiopian Airlines, justru kosongnya pesanan masuk ini tidak hanya pada tabel 737 MAX saja, melainkan dari varian lain pun mengalami hal yang sama. Akankah ini menjadi suatu pertanda buruk bagi Dennis Muilenburg cs?last_img read more