Monthly Archives: October 2010

NYT Editorial: Drowning in Campaign Cash

October 30, 2010: Shrill political attacks have saturated the airwaves for months, but behind them is the real problem of this demoralizing election: the dark flow of dollars, often secretly provided by donors with very special interests.

The amount is staggering: Nearly $4 billion is likely to be spent once the final figures are in, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, far more than in the 2006 midterms, which cost $2.85 billion. It could even eclipse the $4.14 billion spent in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Much of this is a direct creation of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., which has cut away nearly all campaign finance restrictions.

Washington Post: Roberts Court rulings on campaign finance reveal shifting makeup, forceful role

October 31, 2010- Sometimes, it takes years to see the impact of a Supreme Court decision on American life, and sometimes a ruling lands with an explosion.

The Roberts Court's game-changing decisions on campaign finance reform have been both.

Almost from the moment Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the bench five years ago, the court's conservatives have acted systematically on their deep skepticism of campaign spending restrictions. They have repeatedly questioned the ability of Congress to regulate the role of wealth and special interest involvement in elections without offending the First Amendment guarantee of unfettered political speech.

Think Progress: USW President: U.S. Chamber Has Become ‘A Consulting Firm To Teach Companies’ About Outsourcing

October 30, 2010- As ThinkProgress has previously reported, over a million jobs have been lost due to outsourcing since 1994. One of the main organizations promoting outsourcing has been the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been taking money from foreign corporations and holding clinics on how to outsource American jobs, such as one sponsored by billionaire Sheldon Adelson “inviting local businesses in Florida to come to Jacksonville and learn about outsourcing from Chinese government officials like Li Haiyan, the Counselor for Economic Affairs for the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Chamber lobbyist Joseph Fawkner, and BChinaB.”

The Guardian: The Tea Party movement: deluded and inspired by billionaires

By funding numerous rightwing organisations, the mega-rich Koch brothers have duped millions into supporting big business

October 25, 2010: The Tea Party movement is remarkable in two respects. It is one of the biggest exercises in false consciousness the world has seen – and the biggest Astroturf operation in history. These accomplishments are closely related.

Shadow groups have spent nearly a quarter billion dollars on 2010 election: analysis

RAW Story, October 27, 2010- Karl Rove's American Crossroads has drawn a lot of attention for its high-profile fundraising and lavish spending on congressional races. But Rove's group, it turns out, isn't the only one at the plate. A detailed analysis of campaign spending by cloak-and-dagger "shadow groups" — who are able to shift vast sums of money into campaign advertising and affect the outcome of competitive races — show that the groups collectively have spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the 2010 cycle.

Money has already ruled the roost in American politics for years. But a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, cleared the way for independent special interests groups to raise unlimited amounts of cash from companies, unions and individuals to run ads expressly supporting or opposing federal candidates for office.

Corporate campaign ads haven’t followed Supreme Court’s prediction

Companies and unions have been able to avoid the transparency called for in the court's landmark ruling. Spending on next week's midterm election has been exorbitant.

Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2010- The Supreme Court sent a wave of corporate and union money flooding into campaign ads this year, but it did so with the promise that the public would know — almost instantly — who was paying for them.

"With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in January. "This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages."

RAW Story: Petition calls for Gold’s Gym to stop supporting Rove group

The CEO of the company that owns Gold's Gym has long given money to conservative causes and now that support may be backfiring.

Nearly 2000 people have signed an online petition that calls for Gold's Gym CEO Robert Rowling to cease his funding of groups like American Crossroads that support candidates working against gay rights.

Politico revealed last week that Rowling has donated more than $2 million to American Crossroads, a group founded by Karl Rove. The group backs politicians like Sharon Angle (R-NV) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) who have vocally opposed same-sex marrriage.

FULL STORY HERE:

Watchdog Groups Call For Appointment Of A Special Prosecutor To Investigate The Use Of Secret Money To Influence Elections

Comparisons To Watergate Scandal Grow

Washington, DC — October 25, 2010: Today, several watchdog groups dedicated to clean and transparent elections sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the improper use of tax exempt provisions to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the 2010 midterm elections. The letter, written by Kevin Zeese, the groups’ attorney and spokesman, states that groups such as American Crossroads, American Future Fund, the Chamber of Commerce and others are violating tax law, campaign finance law and criminal law by creating tax exempt organizations to engage in partisan political activity without restriction or accountability.
The letter can be found at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Holder_Special_Prosecutor_Letter.pdf

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