TruthDig: Bernie Sanders Explains Why Congress Fears Citizens United

-By Bill Boyarsky

December 16, 2011- It took just 12 minutes and 29 seconds on the Senate floor for Sen. Bernie Sanders to expose the real power of corporate America over our elections. It should be a rallying cry for the embattled minority trying to clean up the system.

Sanders, one of two Independents in the Senate (along with Joe Lieberman), was speaking Dec. 8 on behalf of his proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating Citizens United decision, which permits corporations, unions and issue advocacy organizations to spend unlimited amounts of money from their own funds to support or oppose candidates.

As the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog The Center for Responsive Politics said of Citizens United, it “has profoundly affected the nation’s political landscape” and resulted in “unprecedented political spending. Secret donors. New ways for unions and corporations to spend money on politics.”

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Cap Times: Walker and Kochs vs. voting

-By John Nichols

December 11, 2011- Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch finally got their way in 2011. For decades they funded the American Legislative Exchange Council, the collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative state legislators, and the project finally began to yield the intended result.

For the first time in decades, the United States saw a steady dismantling of the laws, regulations, programs and practices put in place to make real the promise of American democracy.

That is why, on Saturday, civil rights groups and their allies rallied outside the New York headquarters of the Koch brothers to begin a march to the United Nations, where they called for the renewal of voting rights in America.

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Huffington Post: Karl Rove’s ‘Fully Coordinated’ Super PAC Ads Drive The FEC To Deadlock

-By Paul Blumenthal

December 1, 2011- In a Thursday session featuring a lengthy and testy exchange between two commissioners and the repeated invocation of comedian Stephen Colbert, the Federal Election Commission deadlocked on a 3-3 vote on yet another controversial campaign finance issue raising the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

American Crossroads, the multimillion-dollar conservative super PAC linked to Karl Rove, had sought to run a variety of ads featuring members of Congress. The question before the FEC was whether super PAC ads featuring a member of Congress would violate the coordination ban, which blocks certain interactions between independent groups like American Crossroads and candidate committees.

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Think Progress: Just Three Corporate Front Groups Spent 13 Times As Much As The Entire Labor Movement To Buy Judicial Elections

-By Ian Millhiser

October 27, 2011- After the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate money in American elections, the decision’s defenders claimed this wasn’t such a big deal because unions could also take advantage of the decision. A new report by three leading voting rights and judicial independence groups gives the lie to this claim. According to the report, just three corporate interest groups — The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of Alabama, and the Illinois Civil Justice League spent more than 13 times as much trying to influence state supreme court elections as the entire labor movement:

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Buzzflash: Watch Out, Democrats: A New Silicon Valley-Funded Group Prepares to Rock the Conservative Christian Vote

-by Bill Berkowitz

September 29, 2011- "As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election," Ari Berman recently wrote in Rolling Stone magazine, "Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008." Amongst the methods being put forward in Republican-controlled state houses across the country are initiatives making registering to vote a much more difficult and laborious process.

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Huffington Post: Rick Perry Supporters Start Non-Profit That Can Accept Unlimited, Secret Donations

-by Paul Blumenthal

September 28, 2011- Supporters of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid have organized a non-profit under the 501(c)(4) section of the tax code to aid his candidacy, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News.

The group, Citizens for a Greater America, will be able to accept unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals without having to publicly disclose those donations. A fact sheet obtained by iWatch News highlights this feature to donors. The new non-profit was revealed to iWatch News by a person who raises funds for both Perry and the pro-Perry super PAC, Make Us Great Again.

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Huffington Post: Political Groups Are Flouting IRS Rules To Keep Donors Secret, Reformers Say

-by Dan Froomkin

September 28, 2011- Good-government advocates on Wednesday asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate four groups they say are blatantly flouting the law by claiming tax-exempt status as "social welfare" groups when they are in fact overtly political organizations.

The so-called c4 designation, in addition to exempting organizations from taxes, also allows groups to keep their donors secret — even while accepting unlimited funds.

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