Number of political organizations established since June to raise unlimited amounts of money to elect or defeat candidates: 33
Odd bedfellows call for earmark reform
Public Citizen, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Taxpayers for Common Sense and lobbyists from Holland & Knight and K&L Gates called this week for earmark reform. Campaign contributions from those that receive earmarks should be limited and congressional aides should be forbidden from attending campaign fundraisers, among other things, they said.
$500 million: Maybe this is why climate legislation failed
The oil, coal and energy industries spent $500 million since January 2009 to defeat climate legislation, according to a new analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The industries’ next goal: to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from doing its job and curbing greenhouse gases.
Wealthy Democratic donors are sitting this election out
Many wealthy people who have donated to the Democratic Party in the past are holding back this year, The New York Times reports. George Soros, for instance, who gave more than $20 million in the 2004 election, prefers to give his money to progressive groups that are pushing for specific policies relating to health care, the environment and foreign policy.
Now we have a price tag: Ex-Senate staffers are worth $740,000 a year to firms
Former Senate staffers hired by K Street firms can each pull $740,000 a year into the firm, according to a new study from the London School of Economics. When a senator leaves the Hill? The staffer brings in 24 percent less for the firm.
Fox puts its money on the Republicans
Fox News, which gave a controversial $1 million donation earlier this year to the Republican Governors Association, has given $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Politico reports. The Chamber is pulling out the stops to elect Republicans to take control of Congress.
Morgan Stanley won’t take advantage of Citizens United ruling
Morgan Stanley won’t take advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and so won’t pour unlimited amounts of money into races, the company says. Perhaps the top brass saw what happened when Target got skewered for giving money to a group supporting a right-wing, anti-gay candidate. However, Morgan Stanley still will contribute to political action committee funds, which are subject to caps.
Rove’s American Crossroads: 800-pound gorilla of the “Super-PACs”
American Crossroads, created by Republican strategist Karl Rove in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, is emerging as the biggest of the “super-PACs” – groups formed to amass money from corporations and wealthy donors, then use it to defeat or elect candidates, according to an ABC News profile. American Crossroads has raised more than $31.6 million for the upcoming elections and aims to gather $52 million by Nov. 5. The Federal Election Commission doesn’t yet have information about most of the donations.
New online poll shows 98 percent think Citizens United ruling hurts democracy
It’s far from scientific, but it is interesting: In an online poll by U.S. News & World Report, more than 98 percent of respondents said the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling is harming democracy.
Who are these shadowy, pro-corporate groups?
We know their names but don’t know much about them. People for the American Way, however, has put together information about nine pro-corporate organizations that are using the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling to elect candidates that will advance the corporate agenda.
Montana corporate spending limits being challenged
As has happened in many states this year, Montana’s rules limiting corporate spending in elections are being challenged as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. We can’t say how this will turn out, but in other states, the spending limits have been struck down. The groups challenging Montana’s law are Western Tradition Partnership, Montana Shooting Sports Association and Champion Painting.
Get the Money & Democracy Update delivered to your inbox! Sign up here.