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Posts Tagged ‘Citizens United’

Huff Post  By
Posted: 03/13/2012  3:31 pm Updated: 03/13/2012  7:24 pm

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that super PACs, the political organizations that allow donors to contribute unlimited amounts of money in support of candidates, are extremely unpopular among American voters.

The poll, conducted among registered voters from March 7-10, found that 69 percent of voters want super PACs to be made illegal, while 25 percent want them to remain legal. Independent voters felt more strongly than Democrats or Republicans — 78 percent said they favored banning super PACs.

Super PACs have emerged as a crucial part of the 2012 campaign, the first presidential cycle for which they’ve been in existence. The groups have raised millions of dollars for all the major GOP primary candidates, with Mitt Romney’s Restore Our Future PAC out front with $34 million spent.

In another measure of the new playing field, Newt Gingrich has been able to stay afloat in the Republican primary largely because of the financial backing of one man, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — an arrangement that would have been impossible four years ago. Super PACs’ tentacles are spreading slowly but surely at the state level, too.

Super PACs developed as a byproduct of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which swept aside decades of election-law precedent in a controversial 5-4 decision.

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Gawker-  By Mobutu Sese Seko

Feb 23, 2012  2:05 PM

The after effects of the Citizens United ruling shouldn’t shock anyone. Corporations were granted the ability to spend ungodly sums on campaigns, and guess what they’re doing?

They’re spending ungodly sums on campaigns.

There is one byproduct of this mess, though, that is unintentionally fun to observe: Americans get to watch billionaires hijack the election process like a bunch of shit-hammered uncles blindly destroying a pious family gathering we wanted to skip in the first place.

Currently, just five donors are controlling 25 percent of funds pouring into GOP super PACs. In the last week alone, faux cowboy Foster Friess made Rick Santorum’s “aaaiiiigh! intercourse!” campaign about aspirin and women’s knees, island builder Peter Thiel came to Ron Paul’s aid by upping his investment to $2.6 million, Sheldon Adelson gave Newt Gingrich another $10 million, and we learned that Mitt “I Like to Fire People” Romney has a huge backer in Frank “I Like to Sue Blogs out of Existence” VanderSloot.

(We won’t talk about VanderSloot here—because he likes to sue blogs out of existence—except to say that he looks like Alternate Universe Dick Cheney‘s opening-credits photo from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He’s the one who knows about wine and shaving brushes.)

In years past, we would never have met these guys. Even as far back as 2000, if you wanted to be a billionaire who ran a campaign, you actually had to be the one campaigning. Ross Perot set the standard in 1992, opening the door for men like Steve Forbes.

Forbes, unfortunately, demonstrated how troublesome rich-guy candidacy could be: Namely, he proved that being rich is proof of nothing other than being rich (his major life accomplishment was emerging from Malcolm Forbes’ wife), and wanting to keep being rich is a shitty platform for the 270 million-plus Americans who are not. In later years, we came to think of Forbes as “the creepy version of Rory Gilmore’s grandpa from The Gilmore Girls,” but in 1996 and 2000, it was obvious why he steered any question back to the need for a flat tax. That stuck out. Herman Cain perfected this failing greedheaded tax formula by replying, “Nine, nine, nine…” endlessly on the stump, like he was going through some celestial voicemail, begging for an operator to come on the line and tell him what Libya is.

What Citizens United has done, however, is create a formula for actual campaign surrogacy. Billionaires with two ideas (“I want to keep being a billionaire!” and “Something else!”) can remit funds to the person whose job it is to have all the other ideas. It’s great fun. We’re lucky to get the chance to meet these guys.

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Truthout
Saturday 21 January 2012
by: Isaiah J. Poole , Campaign for America’s Future | News Analysis

Today is the two-year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.

Since then, our democracy has been drowning in a tsunami of corporate special interest money. Our government is under the thumb of the Koch brothers and other corporate moguls instead of the hands of the people.

And citizens are uniting in their disgust. A poll released Thursday by Democracy Corps and the Public Campaign Action Fund, an organization that is rallying to counter the Citizens United ruling, said, “Americans across all parties oppose the ruling; among all voters, 62 percent oppose the decision and nearly half (46 percent) strongly oppose it.

More than half of all voters say they would support a constitutional amendment to reverse the opinion.”

Further, “Eight in ten voters say there is too much big money spent on political campaigns and elections today and that campaign contributions and spending should be limited.” And the candidates who stand on the side of reining in corporate efforts to buy our political system will get more favor from voters than those who stand with the status quo.

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Think Progress-  By Scott Keyes and Travis Waldron  on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down longstanding restrictions on corporate money in American elections, paving the way for super PACs and major third party spending.

Since January 21, 2009, the Citizens United case has had a major effect on money in politics. Already in this year’s Republican presidential primary, we’ve seen a number of freespending super PACs play a major role in the race, including the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, financed in large part by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, and the pro-Newt Gingrich Winning Our Future, for whom casino mogul Sheldon Adelson recently cut a $5 million check. In fact, the total amount of money spent by outside groups thus far has outpaced spending by the campaigns themselves.

Despite the proliferation of super PACs and massive uptick in outside spending, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty still sees our campaign finance laws as too restrictive.

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Russ Feingold Launches ‘Progressives United’ To Combat Corporate Influences In Politics

HuffPost- Amanda Terkel

First Posted: 02/16/11 03:23 AM Updated: 02/16/11 08:48 AM

WASHINGTON — When some senators retire, they decide to take lucrative lobbying jobs. Others go straight to Wall Street. But Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid in November, is continuing on his principled — and often lonely — path by starting an organization to combat corporate influence in politics, an effort he hopes will spark “a new progressive movement” that will truly hold elected officials accountable.

Launching on Wednesday, Progressives United is an attempt to to build a grassroots effort aimed at mitigating the effects of, and eventually overturning, the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates to corporate spending in the U.S. electoral system. In addition to online mobilization, the political action committee (PAC) will support progressive candidates at the local, state and national levels, as well as holding the media and elected officials accountable on the group’s key priorities.

“In my view — and the view of many people — it’s one of the most lawless decisions in the history of our country,” said Feingold of Citizens United in an interview with The Huffington Post. “The idea of allowing corporations to have unlimited influence on our democracy is very dangerous, obviously. That’s exactly what it does … Things were like this 100 years ago in the United States, with the huge corporate and business power of the oil companies and others. But this time it’s like the Gilded Age on steroids.”

Feingold, who is now also teaching law school at Marquette University and writing a book on foreign policy, has first-hand experience with the effects of big money in politics. While he shunned outside spending on his behalf in his campaigns, his 2010 opponent, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, was the beneficiary of millions of dollars from conservative interest groups. After his win, Johnson even went to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s national headquarters to personally thank CEO Tom Donohue for the lobbying group’s unsolicited support of his candidacy.

Feingold said that Progressives United will follow the example of his own campaigns and not take any soft money or unlimited contributions. “We’re going to be reporting every dime that we get, whether required by law or not,” he insisted. “Every penny of every contribution — a practice I used as a U.S. senator. So it will be very different from the 527s and other groups that have been spawned by Citizens United. It will be 100 percent accountable, and that is an important principle that I believe in that we’ll follow to the T with Progressives United, as a way of contrasting it to what’s going on with the corporate money power that’s been unleashed by Citizens United.”

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Glenn Beck says Obama might find a ‘gay handicapped black woman who’s an immigrant’ as well as a ‘radical’ for the Supreme Court

Crooks and Liars- By John Amato Monday Apr 12, 2010 7:00am

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Glenn Beck starts the smearathon of President’s possible Supreme Court nominees with his usual racist-homophobic-Bircher philosophy. Righties try to preempt their smears by saying that if they comment on race, gender or the ethnicity of a candidate—they will be the ones who are smeared.

Riiiight.

Replacing a liberal judge with a liberal judge is too much for right-wing ideologues, who constantly bitch and complain about “activist” judges and insist that Obama must pick a centrist (whatever a centrist is) or he hates America.

Beck really should be outraged at the Citizens United activist ruling by the Roberts court, if he was being honest about the “activist judges” thing, because that overturned decades of settled law on how big business was regulated in what they can spend in politics, or so I’ve been told. Though the California Chamber of Commerce pulled their smear attack ad of Jerry Brown because some of their members objected to it (and didn’t even know they had made it), nonetheless, this ad is one of the previews of what will happen as we move forward with elections because of that ruling.

Not good.

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