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Jimmy Carter thinks Citizens United is one of the stupidest rulings ever, the return of James Bopp and more!

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • $17.4 million: The amount that Mike Toomey made from his lobbying practice over the past decade. Toomey is also former chief of staff to Texas Gov. Rick Perry
  • $5.5 million: The amount Toomey’s clients have given to Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns over the past decade
  • $55 million: The amount that Toomey intends to raise to support Perry’s presidential campaign through a new Super PAC

Pay-to-play thrives with budget debate

Just hours after the final members of the congressional “super committee” tasked with cutting the deficit were appointed, a Wall Street firm announced the first of what will be many fundraising events hosted for members of the committee. Public Citizen’s Craig Holman explains the problem with the pay-to-play environment and what needs to be done about it.

New database tracks pollution money

A new database created by Save Our Environment, a coalition of environmental groups, tracks lawmakers who support environmentally damaging bills, how many lives the legislation would put at risk and how much campaign money the lawmakers have accepted from polluting industries. Check it out at www.DirtySecrets.org.

Speaking of pollution … coal industry loves Boehner 24 times more than last year

The coal industry has given House Speaker John Boehner 24 times more money this year than in 2009-2010, according to The Wall Street Journal. Coal industry donations represent 10 percent of the $12.5 million Boehner collected in the first six months of this year.

Well, ain’t that a coincidence!

Of 100 House Republicans who signed a letter calling for a resolution to the government’s lawsuit challenging the AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger, 99 have received political donations from AT&T employees.

Add two more Super PACs to the list

Two new Super PACs have been formed: Texans for America’s Future has been formed to oppose Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid. Meanwhile, Strong Utah PAC will support U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Constitutional amendment introduced in Congress to overturn Citizens United

U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Donna Edwards (D-Md.) have introduced a measure to amend the U.S. Constitution to enable Congress and the states to limit corporate political spending. This would effectively overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which gave corporations the green light to spend as much money as they want to influence election.

Montana justices wrestle over Citizens United implications

Montana’s Supreme Court heard arguments over a challenge to the state’s campaign finance laws, which are in jeopardy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The justices indicated they didn’t like it, but they might not have much choice but to ensure that Montana conforms to the new law of the land.

Meanwhile, in court in Minnesota …

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments over Minnesota’s new ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates and political parties, and its new reporting and disclosure requirements. The Minnesota law was passed in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

And in Texas …

An all-out battle has ensued in the Lone Star State over the constitutionality of its ban on corporate campaign donations. The state’s Democratic Party sued the Houston tea party group King Street Patriots last fall, accusing the group of not disclosing the donors of its political activity. This week, the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center weighed in, saying that Citizens United does not support the radical activity of the King Street Patriots. Oh, and did we forget to mention that the tea party group is represented in court by James Bopp, who had represented Citizens United, the group, in federal court?

Jimmy Carter on Citizens United: “One of stupidest rulings ever”

Speaking of Citizens United, former President Jimmy Carter told an audience at the 30th annual Carter Town Hall that the decision was “one of the stupidest rulings ever consummated or perpetrated on the American people.”

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