Huffington Post: Unprecedented Outside Spending Boosted Candidates To Victory

November 3, 2010: Tuesday's election will be remembered not only for the historic losses by the Democratic Party in the House, but also the unprecedented amount of outside spending that poured into races, thanks to the Supreme Court's landmark Citizen United decision. Indeed, Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen attributed the GOP wave in part to the "record amount of secret money spent by right-wing outside groups turned this political storm into a category 3 political hurricane."

A new report from watchdog group Public Citizen largely bears out this observation that powerful independent expenditures may have played a significant role. Out of 74 contests in which power changed hands on Tuesday, outside spending benefited the winner in 58 races. Just 14 of the losing candidates received more help than their opponents from these groups.

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RAW Story: Exclusive: Business groups poised to turn judges into ‘politicians in robes’

Exclusive: Business groups poised to turn judges into ‘politicians in robes’

November 2, 2010: Campaign donations to members of Congress from secret donors and foreign investors are grabbing headlines this election season.

But in a new twist in judicial elections this year, business groups are targeting judges over single-issue rulings – from overturning medical malpractice limits to upholding gay marriage – in retention races that were originally designed to limit the influence of special interest money.

If this exploitation of retention elections is successful, it could lead to a whole new tsunami of special interest spending in judicial races across the nation, according to a nonpartisan partnership that works to protect courts from special-interest influence.

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NYT: Conservative Donor Groups Lay a Base for 2012 Elections

October 31, 2010- The midterm election campaign will end Tuesday, but one of its most marked developments — the emergence of outside groups, often backed by anonymous donations, that can direct waves of advertising into political battles — is just getting started.

Buoyed by the impact their blistering, anti-Democratic campaigns have had this year, two of the largest new conservative groups helping Republicans are planning to keep pushing their agenda in the lame-duck session of Congress that will begin in two weeks and are already laying the groundwork for a more aggressive campaign in the 2012 presidential race.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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