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Zephyr Teachout
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Zephyr Teachout is a scholar of constitutional law, and a Democratic candidate for the Governor of New York State. She teaches at Fordham Law School and is the former National Director of the Sunlight Foundation and Director of Online Organizing for Howard Dean's Campaign. She is author of Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United.

Entries by Zephyr Teachout

Republican Voters Want These Four Surprising Things

(330) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 5:26 PM

A presidential poll released as Speaker Boehner made his announcement shows Republicans want something no Republican candidate is talking about.

Last week, we -- MAYDAY.US -- ran a poll of the supporters of presidential candidates to find out where they stood on big, fundamental contentious issues around money...

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The Corruption Beneath Cuomo's Casino Push

(4) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 3:30 PM

Last November New York passed an amendment authorizing up to seven non-Indian casinos to be built in our state. Governor Andrew Cuomo -- who had pushed vigorously for the measure -- declared the outcome a win for New York. In reality, it was a win for a select few wealthy...

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Constitutional Change and Manageable Standards

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 11:00 AM

In a blog post this week, Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer critiqued an essay I wrote recently entitled "Constitutional Purpose and the Anti-Corruption Principle." The basic argument of my essay is that the global purposes of the Constitution should be relevant in making hard Constitutional...

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The Koch Brothers and Structural Rules

(6) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 4:22 PM

The Koch brothers began by amassing power in the energy sector, and then gradually collected companies and built a conglomerate. In the last decade, they have been amassing power in everything protected by the First Amendment -- political speech, petition (lobbying), assembly (through Americans for Prosperity) and now they are...

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Three Solutions to the Oligarchy Problem

(73) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 9:44 AM

A few years back, Simon Johnson wrote a brilliant and important piece in The Atlantic, called "The Quiet Coup." Johnson's basic point was that the United States, like a banana republic, has been taken over by oligopolistic powers. Looking at the financial crisis, he saw how concentrated, elite...

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How April in New York Can Change the Country

(4) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 12:19 PM

So you're depressed about Citizens United, and you feel there are no options. You want a theory of change, how we get from candidates raising all their money from one-percenters to candidates raising all their money from $50 donations? There is a theory. Its already happening, its being run by...

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Banks, Food, and Telecom: Break Them Up

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 11:59 AM

Yesterday there was an eight-hour revolution going on in Washington. From 12 to 8, activists and politicians from across the political spectrum demanded a new economy and the breakup of big political-economic monopolies.

At at lunch the right-wing American Enterprise Institute hosted an event on consolidation in the food...

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Time for a New Antitrust?

(10) Comments | Posted April 21, 2009 | 1:39 PM

This piece was co-written with Shawn Bayern, visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Duke University. Professor Bayern teaches business associations.

We now have an economy that we don't understand and can't seem to control even when we want to. Having created corporations, we have let some of them become "too...

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Who Decides? The Most Terrifying Part of the Proposed Bailout

(4) Comments | Posted September 21, 2008 | 5:01 PM

"Helicopter Ben" Bernanke and "the Hammer" Henry Paulson have just sent Congress a three page draft of a 700 billion dollar piece of legislation.

Set aside for a minute the haiku-like content of the Helicopter-Hammer plan, and think about what it really asks for: almost unlimited power. The Professor...

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FARA's Failings: Or How The DOJ Fails To Monitor Foreign Lobbying

(7) Comments | Posted July 24, 2008 | 11:35 PM

While Barack Obama's very public tour to Europe and the Middle East this week occupies the media's spotlight, there's a new storm brewing around a billion dollar private foreign policy industry -- which includes thousands of lobbyists conducting trade and military policy via cash and access. Chuck Schumer, joined by...

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New Evidence Shows Voters Aren't Chilled By Fraud Fears

(2) Comments | Posted June 9, 2008 | 10:29 AM

When was the last time you talked to someone who said, "I'd vote, except I think too many people are impersonating people they aren't, and my confidence in the system is undermined," or "I'd vote, but illegal aliens are showing up without proof of citizenship at the polls and getting...

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Political Parietals?

(7) Comments | Posted February 21, 2008 | 11:21 AM

I believe the New York Times story on McCain is irresponsible.

The lede follows this logic:

1. Several McCain advisors believed that he had a romantic relationship with a woman
2. He spent lots of time with that woman, who was a lobbyist
3. Even...

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Obama and Lobbyists Like Me

(3) Comments | Posted February 8, 2008 | 12:48 AM

Obama, oddly, is sending me money. I got a letter from Alexa Chappell yesterday, Deputy Director of Compliance of the Obama Campaign, with a check inside for $100, made out to me:

Thank you for your recent contribution to Obama for America. Unfortunately, our records indicate that you are...
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Obama's Character: Ethikai Aretai for America

(13) Comments | Posted February 4, 2008 | 11:05 AM

Both Clinton and Obama are smart enough to be president. Both are temperamentally competent to be president. When it comes to past behavior, I have every reason to believe both will support and enable progressive legislation. So for me, the question comes down to moral and international leadership, and the...

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Lobbyist for Pakistan Maxed Out Donations to Clinton

(122) Comments | Posted December 28, 2007 | 11:47 AM

The following piece was produced by the HuffPost's OffTheBus.

Like others in the race for the White House, Hillary Clinton has strong words for Pakistan, but has yet to propose the United States seriously consider limiting its aid to the country. But unlike the other leading Democratic presidential...

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John Adams To Mitt Romney: "Silly and Wicked"

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2007 | 11:32 AM

The following piece is produced by HuffPost's OffTheBus.

Yesterday, Romney quoted John Adams as saying that: "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people."

Adams was a...

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NYTimes Fails To Examine Mitt's Record

(47) Comments | Posted December 2, 2007 | 11:20 AM

The following piece was produced by HuffPost's OffTheBus.

If a citizen chose to use the New York Times as its source for learning about whether or not to support Governor Romney, she would be disappointed.

A review of the eight major Romney stories featured on the New...

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