This is the last warning before you vote Tuesday.KAS
Issue #36 • October 29, 2010
We hope you enjoy this issue of Public Citizen’s e-newsletter about the intersection of money and politics. This is part of the campaign we developed following the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts supporting or attacking political candidates. We’ll update you regularly with select news stories and blog posts, legislative developments and ways to get involved.
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- 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 a very small fraction of the record-breaking campaign spending by outside groups this year, but they confirm a widely suspected trend: Corporate money is heavily favoring Republican candidates by 11-to-1.
BP, other firms called out for trying to elect climate change deniers
BP is on the offense. The company is one of more than half a dozen polluters named by Climate Action Network Europe as pouring money into campaigns for candidates who oppose climate change legislation. In a new report, CAN Europe says the support “is all the more galling because the same companies argue that additional emissions reductions in Europe cannot be pursued until the United States takes action.”
Total estimated bill for midterms: $4 billion
The latest guesstimate from the Center for Responsive Politics of how much everybody – candidates, political parties and outside groups – will spend on the midterms is $4 billion.
Citing negative ads, New Hampshire Chamber cuts ties with U.S. Chamber
Saying that it was offended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political attack ads, a New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has cut its ties to the national group. The Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce is not renewing its membership to the U.S. Chamber. The U.S. Chamber plans to spend $75 million to influence midterm races. The U.S. Chamber has spent more than $1.3 million targeting Paul Hodes, the Democratic candidate running for U.S. Senate in the Granite State.
Gold’s Gym franchises leave after owner donates to anti-gay conservative group
Remember the Target controversy? Seems as though political donations have landed another company in hot water. Four Gold’s Gyms franchises in the San Francisco area are leaving the brand because Gold’s owner gave $2 million to American Crossroads, the conservative group created this year by Republican strategist Karl Rove. American Crossroads is helping anti-gay candidates; the San Francisco gyms get a lot of business from the LGBT community.
TARP aided companies make big donations to PACs
Companies that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, some of which still owe the government money, have made large donations to political action committees (PACs), The Washington Post reports. General Motors gave $190,000 to campaigns in the past month, some of which went to support candidates who opposed TARP support for the company.
Business execs say much corporate money being spent on elections
Business executives are concerned about the pressure exerted on them to cough up money to support political campaigns, a new poll shows. What’s more, two-fifths of them say the amount of corporate money being solicited for politics is too high.
National parties open lines of credit only weeks before elections
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has taken out a $10 million line of credit and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took out a $17 million line of credit less than two weeks before the midterm elections.