Campaign Finance

John McCain Criticizes Citizens United

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a longtime critic of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which removed corporate limits on political spending and led to the rise of super PACs. But on Tuesday, he criticized the decision at a “storm relief” event in Bowling Green, Ohio, with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who has been a huge beneficiary of the spending.
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New Support for Todd Akin

According to Talking Points Memo, Todd Akin's got a super PAC - a real one - behind him and they're ponying up $800,000 to place ads asking folks to vote for Akin because he'll help tip Senate support to a potential Romney administration. Guess they haven't seen the latest polls or else they wouldn't be counting their chickens before they're hatched. It doesn't necessarily  look like there's going to be a President Romney....
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Documents Found in Meth House Bare Inner Workings of Dark Money Group

Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled "Montana $ Bomb."
The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates' strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP.
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Dark Money and Citizens United: What Obama and Romney Would and Wouldn’t Do About It

With campaign finances limits rendered nearly meaningless, election spending is on pace to set records. Where does each presidential candidate stand on how to regulate money in politics?
Here are the details:
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$11 Million in 'Dark Money' May Be Largest Secret Donation in CA History

Last Friday, California Common Cause asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to take immediate action to protect the integrity of November’s election by investigating and exposing the secret, out-of-state interests who recently funneled $11 million to oppose Prop 30 and support Prop 32 in this November’s election.
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Did the Dark Money Group that Spurred a Landmark Ruling Mislead the IRS?

A western nonprofit that played a key role in freeing corporate spending on elections nationwide appears to have misled the IRS when it applied for the tax-exempt status that shields its donors from being publicly disclosed.
Documents obtained by ProPublica and Frontline show that Western Tradition Partnership, now known as American Tradition Partnership, said it would not attempt to sway elections when it asked the IRS to recognize it as a tax-exempt social welfare organization in late 2008.
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Outside and Outsized: The Stealthy Adelson Super PAC

Super PACs, introduced in 2010 and officially known as "independent-expenditure only committees," unlike traditional PACs, can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions and individuals. They are supposed to operate and spend their funds independently from the candidate(s) they support (or in some cases oppose).
PAC's, super PACs, corporate donors, and other committees are growing in importance bringing with them outside influence, huge sums, secretive donors, and stealthy moves.  The casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is just one individual who from far away Las Vegas is buying influence in two New Jersey political campaigns.
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Number One Problem in Politics is $$

Cenk Uygur, main host & co-founder of the Internet and talk radio show, The Young Turks (TYT), rails against the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics and calls for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution that would declare that corporations are not human beings and are thus banned from donating to politics.
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Bill Moyers' Documentary About ALEC Premiers

This weekend, Bill Moyers premiered his new documentary, The United States of ALEC, on progressive news network Democracy Now.
In the film, the veteran journalist aims to inform Americans about the overwhelming overreach that the corporate fronted American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) engages in while ghostwriting laws in dozens of states. The group, responsible for unpopular gun laws and voter ID laws to name a couple, “organically” sweeps through Republican held state legislatures but is still relatively unknown to the voting public.
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Free the Files: Help Reveal Dark Money in the Election

Outside groups are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the coming elections—money that has long been hard to track.
This summer, the Federal Communications Commission ordered TV stations to pull back the curtain a bit, requiring them to publish online detailed records of political ad buys. So far the rule only covers the top 50 markets, and it's impossible to search these files by candidate or political group—meaning it’s impossible to get a full picture of the spending.
We want to change that.
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