Money and Democracy Update: People take to the streets, Citizens United anniversary is upon us, Bain likes Dems

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.

Small business leaders: Citizens United hurts us

Two-thirds of small business leaders say the Citizens United decision has hurt them, and 88 percent say money has a negative role in politics, a new Lake Research poll shows. The poll was commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority.

Dollars and Cents (even more news bites):

… Members of Congress are taking more privately funded junkets than ever, Roll Call reports, indicating that travel restrictions instituted in 2007 are no longer working …

… a resolution is moving through the California Legislature that would require political ads to identify who paid for them

… Arizona lawmakers are considering a measure to toughen the state’s campaign finance law by being more explicit about when corporations have to register as political committees and disclose where their money comes from …

… the Portland, Maine, City Council has voted 6-2 in support of a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United

Visit DemocracyIsForPeople.org to learn more!

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