Supreme Court voids overall campaign donor caps

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

WSJ: In a 5-4 ruling, the majority believes limits violate the First Amendment.

The plurality opinion, by Chief Justice John Roberts, said those caps infringe on free-speech rights and aren't justified by the public interest in fighting political corruption.

Still, the court left intact the limits on the amount an individual can give to specific candidates and political committees, currently $5,200 to a candidate for the primary and general elections, with higher limits to political committees.

Read more here.

 

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Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

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Thursday, December 11, 2014
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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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Free Falling

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The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


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Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


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Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

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The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


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Three problems with Obama's immigration order

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By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


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The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

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Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


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