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It's not particularly surprising that oil executives at the Hess Corp. got a little excited when John McCain changed his position in June and called for offshore drilling, but it is interesting that the Hess brass, according to Talking Points Memo, apparently demonstrated their gratitude (cue cash register sound effect here) by writing some big checks to the McCain campaign.

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In their mad race for money, the front-running Democratic presidential candidates might be selling themselves to the devil. That is, in words more familiar to political debate, they might be delivering themselves into the hands of rich and powerful opponents of progressive policies.

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This is a complicated issue. We'll let the Washington Post take it: "The Supreme Court struck down Vermont's strict limits on campaign contributions and spending yesterday, in a splintered ruling that left intact the constitutional basis of current campaign finance laws but may make it difficult to put new curbs on money in politics."

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A law working its way through the California Legislature would provide for full public funding of credible candidates in statewide races. This is the real-deal way to eliminate the ruinous influence of huge campaign contributions in elections. It's already working in a few states, and a victory in California could start a nationwide revolution. Check it out. Sign a petition. Join the cause.

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