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Citing U.S. Chamber of Commerce's election spending, small town business groups cutting ties

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • $4 million: The amount U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski raised during the 2010 election cycle
  • $1.26 million: The amount spent by a super political action committee (PAC) sponsored by Alaskans Standing Together to re-elect Murkowski. Much of that came from corporations.
  • $250,000: What Murkowski’s own PAC raised
  • Nearly $2 million: What Murkowski’s opponent, Joe Miller, raisedNote: Murkowski won a long-shot write-in campaign.

Although clamoring for change, these new lawmakers go straight for the cash

They came in as renegades, determined to upset the system and do things differently. Washington – Congress in particular – won’t do business as usual any more, they vowed. So what are the tea partiers and others who were swept into office on anti-incumbency fervor during the midterm elections doing now? Holding big-money fundraisers, of course. And many of those who newcomers are beefing up their staffs with well-entrenched K Street lobbyists. “Lobbyists for the most part are hired guns that represent corporations and other special interests that pay for them,” Craig Holman, money and politics expert at Public Citizen, told The Washington Post. “Those lobbyists now have direct access to the political agenda of these lawmakers.”

U.S. Chamber’s aggressive tactics prompt consternation by local chambers

The U.S. Chamber was unabashedly aggressive in its attempt to sway the midterms and in particular help conservatives get elected. But its tactics made many of its local affiliates uncomfortable. More than 40 local chambers distanced themselves during the elections from the U.S. Chamber, including every major local chamber in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Doesn’t he have enough to do?

James Bopp Jr., the conservative attorney who was an architect of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case and who has challenged state campaign finance laws throughout the country, has embarked on yet another quest. He has filed a lawsuit in Iowa claiming that the way the state selects certain judges is skewed too heavily toward lawyers. Since 1962, a judicial nominating commission consisting of attorneys and some appointed members of the public has selected nominees for the state Supreme Court and the state appellate court. That, says Bopp, means attorneys have “a stranglehold on the judiciary.” Note that conservatives have made a concerted effort in recent years to get corporate-friendly judges elected at the state level.

Them’s fighting words

Alabama is so serious about curbing corruption … how serious are they? They are so serious that the Legislature is considering forbidding lawmakers from accepting free football tickets to games at Auburn University and the University of Alabama. Under a bill to be considered in the upcoming session, state lawmakers would not be able to accept gifts worth more than $25, with a $100 per year cap. Now that’s a crackdown.

Visit www.DontGetRolled.org to learn more!

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