Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- $5.7 million: The amount that Elizabeth Warren has raised in the last three months of 2011 for her race to unseat U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)
- $3.2 million: Amount that Brown raised in the same period
Activists gearing up as second anniversary of Citizens United looms
As the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s damaging Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling looms, thousands of people across the country will stage demonstrations, rallies, protests and other actions to magnify the urgent need to overturn the decision and ensure democracy is for people – not corporations. It’s not too late to get involved.
Just ahead of #J21 actions to protest the Jan, 21, 2012 anniversary of Citizens United, thousands upon thousands of occupiers will be filing into DC, where the DC Occupy Camp just passed a resolution against corporate personhood! Find out more about their planned actions here.
Disclosure order on horizon?
Could it really be? The Obama administration is considering issuing that long-awaited executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose political donations. Yes, the one that was imminent last summer. Public Citizen’s Craig Holman heard this at a recent White House meeting.
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- $350,000: The amount of money raised by Democratic bundler and lobbyist Anthony Podesta in the first six months of the year
- $320,000: The amount raised for Democratic candidates by Podesta’s wife, Heather, in the same time period
- $167,800: The amount raised by Patrick Durkin, the next-highest lobbyist bundler of the year, for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign
- $144,100: The amount raised by Republican bundler T. Martin Fiorentino Jr.
- $130,000: The amount raised so far this year by Michael Graham for the National Republican Senatorial Committee
More support for Obama’s proposed executive order
More than 60 House Democrats sent a letter this week to President Barack Obama, asking him to issue an executive order that would make companies vying for government contracts disclose their political contributions. “Political expenditures are already well-known to those that make them and to the officials who benefit,” the letter said. “With disclosure, the public will have access to this information as well, allowing them to judge whether contracts were awarded based on merit.” The executive order would help to mitigate the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which gave corporations the go-ahead to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.
Not everyone wants disclosure…
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent warnings to members of Congress letting them know that voting to shine light on government contractors’ campaign contributions will negatively affect their legislative scorecards. The Chamber, along with many House Republicans, says it believes the executive order is a way to silence political opponents.
Disclosure also feared in state elections
A conservative legal group this week asked a federal court to overturn portions of Florida’s campaign finance laws, wiping out key disclosure requirements. The Institute for Justice – financed in part by the politically active billionaires, the Koch Brothers – is representing three Sarasota-area activists who want the court to block state campaign finance laws from being applied to citizen activists looking to run ads on ballot issues.
What? You disagree? Well, that’s what came up on last night’s Colbert Report. In an interview with the Times of London, the CEO of Goldman Sachs — a colossal Wall St. firm that, along with others, took our economy to the brink last year — claimed the firm is “doing God’s work.” The CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, is also the mostly highly paid Wall St. CEO, raking in $68 million annually. Meanwhile, millions are coping with unemployment and have lost their homes. Great work, pal.
Clearly, Blankfein and the rest on Wall St. have no idea what it’s like here in the real economy. Time get in their face to show them. Come to D.C. this Monday, Nov. 16 for a protest and rally with Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weissman, in front of the Goldman Sachs Washington headquarters on Capitol Hill.
What: Protest the banksters in front of Goldman Sachs and rally at the Capitol.
Where: Goldman Sachs, 101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. (close to Union Station).
When: Monday, Nov. 16 at High Noon.
See you there! Let us know you’re coming here.
Leave it to Stephen Colbert to sum up the plight of corporations and their fight for the right to be considered fellow humans perfectly: “They do everything people do except, breath, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River.”
For those of you who have followed along in this blog about the Citizens United v FEC case before the Supreme Court, you already know how scary it is to think what might happen if the justices decide to overturn 100 years of campaign finance protections and allow corporations to pump unlimited cash into our elections. On last night’s show, Colbert broke down the absurdities of the case: “Corporations have free speech but they can’t speak like you and me. They don’t have mouths or hands. Instead, they must speak with the only way they can — through billions and billions of dollars.”
Later, he and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin discussed how a casual “off the record” comment by the chief justice in 1886 was mistakenly recorded by the court reporter and turned into the legal precedent that corporations have the rights of people.
Learn more about this case and what you can do to make your voice heard at Dontgetrolled.org.
flickr photo / dannysullivan
That’s right. Our own Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, will once again go toe to toe with Mister ‘Truthiness’ himself (click here to see his appearance on the Colbert Report on May 16, 2006). Apparently, Stephen just couldn’t resist doing a show about the sex, drugs, and oil scandal at Department of the Interior, and he asked Public Citizen to help make sense of this nonsense. See the show on Tuesday night at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.