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Money and Democracy Update: Activists gear up to overturn Citizens United, Colbert pledges not to coordinate

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.

Occupy Congress

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.

Another state law falls in the wake of Citizens United

New Mexico’s $5,000 limit on contributions to federal campaigns and $5,000 limit on contributions for independent expenditures are on hold for the moment. A federal judge has said they likely don’t square with the Citizens United decision.

RNC seeks end to ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates

Why stop with Citizens United? Indeed, the Republican National Committee has not. It filed a brief with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking an end to the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations to candidates. (Citizens United said corporations could independently spend unlimited sums on such things as broadcast ads, fliers and so forth that support candidates, but did not allow direct contributions to canmdidates.)

More employees witnessing illegal contributions

The number of employees at major companies who say they have seen illegal campaign contributions being made is four times higher than two years ago, a new study from the Ethics Resource Center says. The silver lining is that the percentages are relatively low; the number jumped from one percent in 2009 to 4 percent in 2011.

That’s rich

Public Citizen and other groups are working to overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment. Most are organizing rallies, protests and the like. But television host Cenk Uygur is using a different approach. He is using a Super PAC – the new entity that sprang into existence thanks to Citizens United – to overturn the ruling.

Dollars and Cents (even more news bites):

… Good government groups are calling on President Barack Obama to fill vacancies on the Federal Election Commission and fix its dysfunction …

… K Street lobbyists are trying to figure out ways around the restrictions on corporate and lobbyist donations at the Democratic National Convention …

… One Wisconsin Now claims that Gov. Scott Walker violated the state campaign finance laws more than 1,000 times since 2009 …

… Texas Gov. Rick Perry is attacking Mitt Romney for his work at Bain Capital, a private equity firm. But over the past 11 years, Perry has received more than $7 million from private equity and other similar firms and their employees, Texans for Public Justice finds …

… the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed the ban on political contributions by foreign nationals

… Portland, Ore., has passed a resolution designed to oppose Citizens United and saying that corporations should not have the same rights as people  …

… Comedian Stephen Colbert continues to highlight the weakness in the campaign finance system by turning his Super PAC over to Jon Stewart, claiming the two hosts of back-to-back comedy shows will not coordinate …

… Want to know who coined the term “Super PAC”? We have the answer. …

Visit DemocracyIsForPeople.org to learn more!

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