149: Number of independent groups that have spent money to influence this year’s elections (according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports through Oct. 25)
$176.1 million: Amount those groups have spent on the midterms
10: Number of groups responsible for the bulk of that spending
59.9 percent: The percentage of that money that comes from undisclosed sources
Public Citizen calls on electioneering groups to disclose corporate donors
Public Citizen has sent a letter to all groups that are conducting electioneering communications or independent expenditures in the 2010 elections, urging them to disclose to the public the sources and amounts of corporate contributions they use for their campaign spending.
Disclosed corporate funds are a fraction of what is hidden, heavily favor Republicans
Tapping into what few disclosure records exist of campaign spending by outside groups in the 2010 elections, Public Citizen has identified about 200 corporate contributors to a mere 29 independent groups that have reported their funding sources to the Federal Election Commission. These disclosure records account for
The American Action Network (AAN) disclosed spending an additional $2.1 million on television ads in seven congressional districts, according to its filings yesterday to the Federal Election Commission.
Almost half of the money ($950,000) was spent on one advertisement targeting Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va), while another ad running against Rep. Martin Henrich (D-N.M.) has a reported cost of $449,730.
In the last few days, AAN has had at least two television ads, targeting Reps. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) that were pulled by television stations in the members’ districts. One of those ads, targeting Murphy, appears ready to go back on the air at a reported cost of $123,150. The original ad reportedly included the claim that the health-care overhaul would force “jail time for anyone without coverage. Steve Rabb, a manager for the Connecticut affiliate’s parent company, told Congressional Quarterly that the station felt the group’s material didn’t support the claims [in the ad], and, in fact, contradicted them.
The group also is running ads in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Dakota and Minnesota, all against Democrats. With its latest filings, the group, headed by former Minnesota GOP Senator Norm Coleman, has spent about $20 million against Democratic candidates this year without disclosing any of its donors.
Let the sanity commence! Flickr photo by antisocialtory.
If you read one thing today…
Public Citizen supporters want to take on corporate power, Public Citizen’s “What Sign Should I Bring To Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity” showed, portraying the public’s frustration with the corporate-dominated status quo in Washington. Of the thousands of submissions, Public Citizen chose our fave four to print and distribute tomorrow on the National Mall. Here are the winners and their prize slogans:
“Separation of Corporation and State” (Elizabeth, North Carolina);
“We, the People NOT We, the Corporations” (Alan, Colorado);
“It’s a Democracy, Not an Auction” (Eric, Washington state); and
“Keep Your Government Hands Off My Corporate Overlords!” (Ken, Washington state).
“Sanity is no simple proposition in Washington, D.C., where narrow corporate interests routinely block commonsense policies to strengthen our nation and preserve our planet,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Our contest’s submissions highlight that restoring sanity requires taking on corporate power.”
So, look for us Saturday and sign our petitions and get one of the 5,000 signs we’ll be handing out. And, most importantly, please don’t stand on the left side of the escalator. We’ve got places to go.