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Money and Democracy Update: Romney fundraising dissected; steak, gin and cucumber puree

"Public Citizen Money and Democracy Update"

    Stunning Statistics of the Week: 

    •    25: The percent of his money that presidential candidate Mitt Romney has raised this year from the finance, insurance and real estate sector

    •    $4.65 million: The amount in dollars that he has raised from that sector

    •    10: The percent of his money that has come from the general business sector

    •    $1 of every $20: The ratio of money that has been donated to Romney by lawyers and lobbyists

    Super PACs are fundamentally changing presidential campaigns

    Super PACs are starting to rival the fundraising operations of candidates in size and scope, The New York Times reports. This is setting off a fundraising arms race that is fundamentally shifting the way presidential campaigns are run.

    $52 steaks, gin and cucumber puree

    When AT&T was seeking U.S. approval for its merger with T-Mobile USA, it went into overdrive to fete congressional lawmakers and raise money for their campaign coffers, Bloomberg News reports. The lawmakers dined on $52 steaks and sipped $15 drinks made of gin and cucumber puree. AT&T’s political action committee has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers, and the company has hired the top lobbyists in town, including firms headed by former U.S. Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.).

    Draft executive order on disclosure is MIA

    Whatever happened to that draft executive order on disclosure that we heard so much about in the spring? This is the order that would require companies vying for federal contracts to disclose their political contributions. Good government groups are clamoring for it to be enacted. Says the White House, it is still undergoing review.

    While we’re on the topic … SEC mulling disclosure proposal

    Ten law professors are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require corporations to disclose political contributions in annual proxy statements. The SEC is mulling over a proposal that would require public companies to disclose their political contributions. Many say it’s good, but doesn’t go far enough.

    How quickly they change

    A number of members of the House of Representatives who promised voters they would change the way Washington works appear to have fallen onto the same reward-thy-funders rhythm as their colleagues, USA Today has found. These freshmen have been pushing legislation that could benefit their most generous campaign contributors.

    Visit DemocracyIsForPeople.org and DollarsOrDemocracy.org to learn more.