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Posts Tagged ‘Federal election Commission’

Filmmaker Harry Hanbury considered making a series of short documentaries about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling — the one that opened the way for corporations to spend an unlimited amount of money on political advertising — but he wondered if the name “Citizens United” would resonate with the viewing public. Instead, he decided that if he was going expose the corrupting influence of money in politics, he couldn’t find a better villain than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber certainly plays the heel very well. During this past election, it bragged about what amounted to a money-laundering scheme i.e. allowing corporations to funnel anonymous contributions to the Chamber, which in turn could spend the money on candidates who support its pro-Wall Street, Big Oil, anti-regulation agenda. That way, the Chamber could be the heavy, while the anonymous corporate donors could keep their names out of the news. Add to that a Think Progress investigation that raised concerns that a small portion of the $75 million that the Chamber was spending on electioneering may have been coming from foreign entities, which, if true, would be a serious federal election law violation.

Hanbury’s documentary series, “The Loaded Chamber,” is running on GRITtv. Part 1, posted above looks at the Chamber’s role raising secret donations. Part 2, which looks at the toothless Federal Election Commission’s lack of oversight, and Part 3, which shines a light on the Chamber’s foreign cash pipeline, are posted after the jump. Hanbury, who screened his work Wednesday night at Public Citizen, promises more installments are on the way.

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Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • $7 million: Amount Republican donor Bob J. Perry, who helped finance the Swift Boat Veterans campaign against presidential candidate John Kerry, has given to the conservative group American Crossroads for the upcoming election
  • $4.8 million: Amount given to American Crossroads by Robert Rowling, CEO of a company whose holdings include Omni Hotels
  • $15 million: Amount American Crossroads raised in 43 days
  • $24.1 million: Amount American Crossroads has raised this year

FEC should investigate American Future Fund, groups say

American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit group pouring money into the 2010 midterm elections, appears to be violating campaign finance law, watchdog groups said in a complaint filed this week with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The agency should investigate whether American Future Fund must register as a political committee, which would make it subject to recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure requirements.

Stealth PACs database unveiled

With record amounts of secret money being funneled through nonprofit organizations to influence the upcoming elections, Public Citizen has created an Internet database to track the activity. The new Stealth PACs database, available here, tracks more than 100 groups that are working to influence the elections with large contributions from corporations, unions or wealthy individuals in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Courtโ€™s January 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That ruling gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts to influence elections (more…)

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