Stunning Statistics of the Week
$9.4 million: Amount the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) gave to nonprofit groups in 2010, including some that bought ads to influence the midterm elections
$4.5 million: Amount PhRMA gave in 2010 to American Action Network, a conservative group
$26 million: Amount American Action spent on ads in the midterms
Super PAC Tuesday coming
Voters in early primary states have already been flooded with negative ads, much of them paid for with corporate money. With Super Tuesday coming up early next week, voters in 10 more states are being exposed to the torrent of corporate-funded negativity. To promote long-term solutions, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign is joining forces with our allies and concerned citizens like you. We’re re-branding next week’s contests with the sadly accurate hashtag #SuperPACTuesday. In the long-term, we’ll be using the hash #Democracy4Sale. Learn more here. Follow @RuleByUs on Twitter and lend your creativity to the effort!
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- $27.5 million: The amount that Super PACs have spent to influence the 2012 presidential election
- $8.1 million: The amount Restore Our Future, the Super PAC backing GOP contender Mitt Romney, has spent
- $5.4 million: The amount candidates have spent on TV ads for the South Carolina primary to date
- $6.9 million: The amount Super PACs have spent on TV ads in South Carolina
Taking to the streets as Jan. 21 Citizens United anniversary approaches
What a week! Saturday, Jan. 21, marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, and activists have been engaged in – or gearing up for – hundreds of events around the country. Public Citizen and other groups held rallies and press events with state officials in Maryland, Vermont and Massachusetts to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the court’s decision. Another big rally is scheduled Saturday in Sacramento, Calif. In addition, activists are planning about 300 demonstrations around the country. It’s not too late to get involved in your area! Check out www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org. Or if you are a Facebook fan, check this out. Also worth reading is today’s Huffington Post piece by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.
CEOs, investors, others call on SEC to require disclosure of corporate political spending
The Corporate Reform Coalition, made up of institutional investors, CEOs, good government organizations and others, is calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded corporations to disclose political spending. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who joined a coalition press call Thursday, released a letter to the SEC from himself and 13 Senate colleagues. “Many shareholders remain in the dark, unaware that their money could be funding political activities, or even political attack ads. The rights of shareholders must be protected and at present, we believe that they are being compromised,” the letter said. A citizens petition to the SEC has already garnered more than 20,000 signatures. Add yours here.
Well, this is a bit awkward: Democrats get more money from Bain than Republicans
Bain Capital has been in the spotlight because of Mitt Romney’s tenure at the private equity firm. But truth be told, Democrats have taken more donations from Bain executives than Republicans over the past three election cycles ($1.2 million vs. $480,000), The Hill reports.
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- $13 million: The amount that outside groups have spent on ads and direct mail in early battleground states
- $7.9 million: The amount outside groups had spent at this point in the 2008 presidential campaign
Nationwide protests planned the week of Jan. 21
The nationwide days of protest around the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Jan. 21) are almost upon us! You can attend or host an organizing party to plan an anniversary action. These parties will occur on and around Tuesday, January 10. The night before (Monday, January 9), The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC is expected to host a representative of our coalition, and we hope to share clips of that show with party hosts for their meetings. Sign up to attend a party or host one if there is not one in your area.
Montana says its corporate spending ban survives Citizens United
The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a state law banning corporations from spending money to support or oppose candidates. The court did so despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court said in Citizens United that a similar federal law was unconstitutional. The state court held that Montana’s unique history of corporate corruption provided the compelling justification the Supreme Court said was necessary to bar corporations from spending to help candidates through such things as ads and mailings. The challengers likely will try to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
New York City, Duluth and California weigh in on corporate personhood
Momentum grows to overturn Citizens United. This week, New York City passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, and legislation calling for an amendment was introduced in the California Legislature. Duluth, Minn., also passed a resolution in late December. Check out these great discussions on Democracy Now! and the Thom Hartmann show.