Todd Levine is an attorney who is a founding member and partner at a respected law firm called Kluger/Kaplan/Silverman/Katzen & Levine, P.L. He was interviewed by Idea Mensch. In the interview, he discussed the following:
During the interview, Idea Mensch asked Todd Levine what a typical day for him looked like? He responded that no day was typical because that is the nature of the commercial litigation area of law. He said one day he could be put on a trial in Fort Lauderdale, while the next day he could end up being in West Palm Beach. He said later on in the week he could be discussing details with clients in another city in Florida.
The attorney was also asked how he stays productive. His answer was simple, as he said he tries to make the most with the time has has available. An example of this is he sometimes takes calls while he is travelling across the region for work.
Bringing Ideas To Life
Todd Levine talked about how he brings ideas to life. He said the best way to bring ideas is to be creative. He spurs creativity by continuing to learn all he can about the area of law he practices. He also said that attorneys should have extensive knowledge about the cases they work on, as this can bring ideas to life.
He carefully examines the role that resilient constitutions can play in protecting against the turmoil and chaos that typically reign supreme during populist takeovers of countries. Although he cautions that a wave of populism does not necessarily pose the same level of threat to human rights and the rule of civil law as does the musings of an autocratic leader, Professor Choudhry warns that widespread populism in a country can threaten the existence of a democratic system. He thinks that strong constitutional principles can keep a society rooted in order and the respect of fundamental rights for all, but there are some aspects of a populist wave that simply cannot be constrained by the rule of law. As such, he thinks that it is a bad idea for a constitution to take too harsh of an approach to instilling democratic rule at the risk of alienating opposition groups and creating an environment ripe for a major populist rebellion.
Background Information on Professor Sujit Choudhry
Professor Choudhry has devoted his entire academic career to the study of constitutional principles and how they are interpreted by different countries. He has remained steadfast in his commitment to increasing scholarly knowledge of various constitutional structures and the role that they play in either maintaining peace or failing to prevent against political chaos around the world.
When asked why he is so confident that comparative constitutional studies will experience a boom in interest across the globe in coming years, Professor Choudhry explained that access to online legal materials and instant updates about the political events occurring around the world make it one of the most exciting times to study constitutional law. His passion for constitutional study is certainly contagious because his students are flocking to sign up for more of his law courses in droves. One of the basic concepts that Professor Choudhry tries to instill in his law students is that constitutional principles can make the difference between a country putting violent civil strife in its past or continuing to condone awful human rights abuses. Simply put, the endurance of constitutional principles throughout the world can make the difference between life and death for some marginalized groups in societies.
According to the research of Professor Choudhry, the fact that a particular country has enacted and lived by constitutional principles means that it is much less likely to erupt in civil war or permit human rights abuses against its own citizens. Even though the precise content of a country’s constitution may vary widely throughout the world, the fact that a government is constrained by the tenents of a constitution means that there is a much better chance that country will be able to survive political differences amongst groups of citizens in the long run. Although no country’s constitution is absolutely perfect by any means, Professor Choudhry still considers this governing code an excellent starting point from which national governments can build their legislative, judicial and executive structures with the goal of enduring.
Her residential state of Michigan is furthermore an area that has witnessed the recent growth and development of numerous charter organizations. Each one of these organizations controls private academic institutions that are to a predetermined degree subsidized by local community revenues. Mrs. DeVos’ father, Mr. Prince, created an old-fashioned as well as faith-based association referred to as the Family Research Council in the year 1983.
Her obligations in her new job and her challenges as the United States of America’s most recent manager of the Education Department in President Trump’s overseeing political administration are both hindered by the overall controversy that has followed the construction of the other parts of President Trump’s government. A student of Calvin College together with Holland Christian High School in her residential state of Michigan, the brand new manager of the Education Department desires to deliver her morals to her place of work. Mrs. DeVos happens to be particularly pro-private education. An active couple of conservative people, the DeVos husband and wife team is a pair that is well established in the Midwest.
Mrs. DeVos at the same time began to take her vow of office before Mike Pence, an individual who is the present vice president of the United States of America, at the center for the federal government in Washington. According to the discoveries of the “Forbes” periodical, the DeVos family unit possesses the 88th most extensive wealth of the United States of America. In addition to that, Mrs. DeVos supports educational vouchers which are disseminated by the federal government to ensure that young kids can quickly join privately owned academic institutions.
The fact is that her fresh approach on privately-owned education and learning was the reason why many of the members of the Senate cast their votes against her verification in her new role as the most recent manager of the Education Department. She seems to have time and time again stated that she wishes to make it crystal clear that she would love to cater to the concept of making it possible for worried moms and dads to have the ability to choose the appropriate education for their small children. At the same time, many of the ideas discussed by Mrs. DeVos happen to be at the center of an interchange of views with regards to how to take a look at the present performance of American academic institutions.
When the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court made its final decision regarding the landmark case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, there was an aftermath that still exists today. The American political system was not only made non-transparent because of the ruling, but the long-term democracy effects were also seen by End Citizens United as something that should be prevented.
End Citizens United immediately swung into action to overturn the ruling and to do its part to mitigate the repercussions of a decision that it believes was severely flawed.
There were other landmark court cases that required American’s to stand against a narrow segment of the population that believed fairness and balance of power weren’t part of the Nation’s founding principles. Court cases from history such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade, show how American democracy sometimes needs to be challenged to bring change, even though the consequences and ramifications of initiating those cases were considered controversial at the time.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling began from a simple case of non-disclosure that Americans had a right to and the laws demand. End Citizens refused to disclose the responsible parties for a campaign ad, disguised under the premise that it was a movie, that the conservative group wanted to run against then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Based on FEC rules, the funding of the ad needed to be disclosed, which the group refused, when an FEC complaint was filed. Although Clinton was no longer a candidate and Barrack Obama was already sworn in as the 44th President, End Citizens took its case to the Supreme Court. The 5-4 ruling overturned the FEC ruling and transparency in the political process became almost extinct according to politifact.com Justice Stevens dissented on the ruling and said, “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”
The dissent is at the core of End Citizens United’s mission. The ramifications of the ruling are widespread, and there are many professionals in the political process that understand that “new rules” are being established as a result of the court’s decision, which has allowed corporate campaign contributions to infiltrate the system. The unlimited contributions are largely anonymous and put democracy in jeopardy.
The strategy of End Citizens United is to disrupt the political “gaming of the system” by rooting out offenders who continue to circumvent transparency. While overturning the ruling is a priority, End Citizens United has advanced its cause by endorsing candidates who are in favor of campaign finance reform and by supporting them in their efforts as incumbent’s, or challenger’s, in order to break the corrupt cycle.
End Citizens United is a grassroots caucus that seeks to overturn the decision by the Supreme Court to allow unlimited use of undisclosed funds in both party and individual campaigns in the United States Elections. It has mobilized like-minded supporters from across all the states in the US. The group seeks to sensitize Americans on what it believes is a threat to democracy in the US. Some of the activities it is pursuing include raising funds to support selected candidates from either political divide as long as such a politician demonstrates strong support for their objectives. The organization has a plan to spend $35 million in support of its cause.
Getting Rid of Big Money from American Politics
End Citizens United has crafted a list of 20 Republican candidates it wants out of leadership. The organization wants the group that has come to be referred to as the Big Money 20, out of politics. The group of 20 candidates is said to have favored interest that exceeds the expectations of their own constituents. They have shown compromise in a variety of ways including accepting large donations, supporting legislation that is believed to be counteractive to the efforts of ridding politics of the big money vice or openly or subtly opposing finance reforms. The Big Money 20 group includes Ted Cruz; the Senator for Texas, the Senator of Nevada, Dean Heller, Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, Mike Bishop of Michigan, Mike Bost from Illinois, Rod Blum, Mike Coffman, the Colorado Rep, Ryan Costello from Pennsylvania, Rodney Frelinghuysen from New Jersey, Dan Hunter from California, Will Hurd of Texas, Darrel Issa from California, the New Jersey Rep Tom MacArthur, the Minnesota Rep, Erik Paulsen, Pat Meehan of Pennylvania, the California Rep, Dana Rohrbacher, the North Carolina Rep. Rob Pittenger, Peter Roskam from Illinois, Mimi Walters from California and Claudia Tenney Rep for new York.
According to the Executive Director of End Citizens United, Tiffany Muller, the above list represents some of the worst pretenders in leadership among the Republicans. The Political Action Committee has set a target to raise over $35million from the grassroots to aid its preferred candidates in the midterm elections of 2018.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people and granted corporations the right under the First Amendment’s right to free speech, to contribute to political campaigns. This ruling put democracy on sale to the highest bidder and even opened the door for foreign countries to inject themselves in the American political process. Corporations can now donate to politicians anonymously.
In Florida, incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has the endorsement of End Citizens United. As a NASA astronaut, Bill Nelson traveled through space as a member of the Columbia crew and entered politics in the great state of Florida in 2001. To increase transparency in campaign financing, Bill co-sponsored the 2015 DISCLOSE Act. Nelson supports the mission of Ends Citizens United to return democracy to the hands of people and not corporations. A potential challenger to Nelson’s candidacy is the current governor of Florida, Rick Scott who has expressed interest in running for the Senate. The fact that Florida turned red in 2015 imperils Nelson’s reelection bid. Nelson supports the Fair Elections Now Act to increase transparency in government, and he supports legislation that requires public companies to disclose all political contributions to the Securities and Exchange Commission. End Citizens United endorses Bill Nelson’s reelection bid for senator from the state of Florida.
Claire McCaskill, the incumbent senator in the state of Missouri, has the endorsement of End Citizens United. An accomplished lawyer and former prosecutor, her first foray into public service was her election to the Missouri State Legislature. Moreover, in 2006 Claire McCaskill became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the great state of Missouri. As a Democratic senator in a deep red state, McCaskill works tirelessly to protect democracy from the corporate donors who are holding democracy hostage. McCaskill opposes the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and she supports the Democracy for all Amendment that would overturn Citizens United. End Citizens United supports Clair McCaskill’s reelection bid.
Ends Citizens United endorses incumbent Wisconsin senator, Tammy Baldwin, in her reelection bid. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin law school, Baldwin began her career in public service at the tender age of 24 serving on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. As Wisconsin’s first female senator and the country’s first openly gay senator, Baldwin has been very vocal in her quest to overturn the Citizens United Decision. In fact, she co-introduced a legislative reform bill designed to increase transparency in political fundraising. In support of democracy and transparency in campaign financing, Baldwin once stated, “When those at the top try to buy our democracy, I will fight back because your voice should be heard at the ballot box.” End Citizens United supports Baldwin’s reelection bid to the U.S. Senate.
She is polite and doesn’t participate in public controversy. DeVos doesn’t respond to her critics and rarely gives interviews. However, those in her home state of Michigan say she is a force to be feared.
“In Michigan politics, she instilled fear in a lot of people, and it’s not just because she’s a billionaire,” Mike Cox, a Republican and former state attorney general, said in a interview with the New York Times. “I found Betsy to be very determined, steely, when she sets her mind on a goal.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a DeVos critic, said DeVos is highly likable and talks in plain language, both which allows political opponents to let their guards down.
“There is a real tendency to underestimate her,” Weingarten said.
DeVos knows the ropes of business high society and political movers and shakers. She was born in 1958 into a conservative, wealthy family in Holland, Mich. Her father, Edgar Prince, built his auto parts company into a billion-dollar business. He was a strong supporter of Christian conservative causes, a practice instilled in his daughter.
Betsy DeVos was raised in the Christian Reformed Church and attended the Christian school Calvin College in Grand Rapids. She married Dick DeVos, also a from a power-broker Michigan family. Dick Devos’ family co-founded the multi-level marketing company Amway.
The DeVoses have become a power couple with both actively involved in Michigan politics and business. Dick DeVos ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor and was instrumental in building up downtown Grand Rapids. He was recently appointed to the highest civilian panel in the federal government that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Betsy DeVos has built her own portfolio in her advocacy for charter schools. She supported her husband in creating the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a public high school with a concentration on flight. The couple also formed an advocacy group that successfully lobbied against the created of a Michigan commission making all decisions regarding opening schools, including charter schools.
DeVos spent time in the early days of her secretary appointment visiting schools, including public, private and charter schools. One of those trips was to Florida where she visited charter schools opened by celebrity Pitbull, an unusual combination provoking media interest.
The couple is considered mega-donors to Republican Party interests, but also contribute significantly to a number of causes beyond politics. Their charitable giving totals $139 million over their lifetimes.
Most donations goes to educational and cultural causes, giving millions to charter schools, Christian education, universities and the arts. They also donated to Spectrum Health Foundation to recruit a top doctor and researcher for childhood cancers to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The move resulted in a “remarkable” survival rate for Michigan children, according to Betsy DeVos. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/policy-involvement/
The Trump Administration has brought some new names and faces to the national public’s eye. One name that is often coming up in the news is the Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos. One article that really seems to grasp the complexity of Mrs. Devos was published by the New York Times. The title of the article was, “Betsy Devos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter.” The article was published in February of 2017 and was written by Richard Perez-Pena.
This article discusses how publicly Mrs. Devos seems quite cool, collected, and a follower. However, in the background she is quite the fighter when it comes to topics she is passionate about, such as the education system in The United States. The specific topic discussed in this article is about how Mrs. Devos appeared to take President Trump’s stand in the transgender bathroom usage topic. In reality, though, Mrs. Devos fought against the President rescinding this policy. She even attempted to warn key players in the Education Department about the President’s decision before it was announced publicly.
Betsy Devos grew up in Holland, Michigan.She is the daughter of Edgar Prince, owner of a very lucrative auto parts company. She attended private schools throughout her childhood. However, even at a young age, Betsy could see that the education system was failing the majority of the children in the area. She is married to Dick Devos, son of Amway founder Richard Devos. Both families have a significant influences and financial backing to help them gain the support in various areas that they are passionate about.
Mrs. Devos has spent her entire adult life, and a significant amount of those fortunes, to shape the education system in the Michigan area. Throughout the years she has say on several school boards, local community boards, and has been a very active participant in the education system. She is now using that influence to help shape the future of the education system throughout The United States.
The team at End Citizens United, a political action committee, have a tough task ahead of them. Their moniker refers to the infamous 2010 Supreme Court case which saw a conservative group by the name of Citizens United lobby the Supreme Court in order to loosen restrictions on financial funding in Washington D.C. This case is often pointed to as one of the most important cases in terms of allowing dark money to pervade all of the United States government. End Citizens United, as their name would imply, is a PAC that was established to find a path to overturning the infamous and disastrous Citizens United case.
End Citizens United was established by Tiffany Muller, the current President of the PAC. The goal of End Citizens United has been simple from day one: they want to raise money and awareness in order to promote politicians who are willing to put forth legislation in order to repeal via constitutional amendment the 2010 Supreme Court case of Citizens United. Obviously this sounds difficult, and it is, but there is so much more going on behind the scenes than many people actually realize. Taking dark money out of politics when it has become such an influential aspect of the political machine sounds impossible because it means that predominantly conservative politicians are going to need to forego a payday in order to do the right thing.
Still, End Citizens United has seen renewed vigor and growth over the past six months since the election of Donald Trump to the White House. The PAC had a motivating first quarter in 2017 as they raised an impressive $4 million in donations. This is a strong start for their 2017 fundraising year with the goal to be a total of $35 million by the time the 2018 Congressional Elections start rolling around. If End Citizens United wants to make any headway in their mission they are going to need to have a strong showing in 2018. Action needs to start at the highest level of government and this could be the fastest track to making that happen.
While End Citizens United focuses on fundraising they are also looking to politicians who can help get their message out there in order to make a difference. One such politician is Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Senator Whitehouse has been a vocal advocate for amending Citizens United and he has always been fighting to get rid of dark money in politics. Whitehouse will be going up for re-election in 2018 and he will have the backing of End Citizens United behind him. End Citizens United will need to continue pursuing such strong politicians in order to get their message out as far and wide as possible.
George Soros was born in 1930 in Hungary under the pro-Nazi Hungarian regime. This was before he escaped to London for studies and later relocated to America. In London, Soros joined the London School of Economics where he operated as a waiter and railway porter. Afterward, he began his financial career at a merchant bank. As indicated in Politico, over the recent past years, Soros together with other rich liberals spent millions of dollars in support of various political aspirants of their choice. For instance, they supported the electing of Hillary Clinton against the retired President Bush and also against the current President Trump. However, Soros was not a great donor in US politics until the election of 2004 where he contributed $23,581,000 to 527 different Groups. Read this story about George at politico.com
On philanthropic matters, Soros has funded global efforts in promoting drug policy reforms. His philanthropic funding involves efforts to bolster non-violent democratization within post-Soviet states. The efforts are mainly from Eastern and Central Europe, and usually, take place through Open Society Foundations, formerly Open Society Institute (OSI) and National Soros Foundations. According to the Washington Times, Soros also funded the Ferguson protests by offering $33 million within a year to a group that incorporated activists.
George Soros has been a noticeable worldwide supporter of equitable standards and foundations for over 30 years. His magnanimous Association (Open Society Foundations) provides support to human rights and democracy organizations in over 100 countries. The New York hedge fund director is a standout amongst the most politically influential people in the world. From the mid-1980s specifically, he has utilized his tremendous impact to help reconfigure the political scenes of various countries around the globe.
Soros started his philanthropic activities in the year 1979, offering grants to dark South Africans under politically-sanctioned racial segregation. In the 1980s, he assisted in promoting the public sharing of ideas within the Communist Eastern Bloc by giving photocopiers that were used for reprinting banned texts. After the falling of the Berlin Wall, he established the Central European University and financed the cultural exchanges between the Western and Eastern Europe. Soros thus played a significant role in assisting the Soviet society that had affected him some time back.
With the ending of Cold War, George Soros extended his philanthropic efforts to the United States, Asia, and Africa where he supported a wide variety of new efforts to form more transparent, accountable, and democratic societies. He was among the key earlier voices that criticized drugs business.
Throughout the years, Soros has offered support to lawyers and paralegals that represented hundreds of unlawfully held people. Other similar efforts entail underwriting the biggest efforts in the globe that integrated the Europe’s Roma and offering school fees for thousands of bright and needy students from marginalized groups. To date, his political influence has continued to have bigger influence within the United States and even globally.