Money and Democracy Update: Drug money abounds, citizens push for ethics

"Public Citizen Money and Democracy"Stunning Statistics of the Week

$9.4 million: Amount the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) gave to nonprofit groups in 2010, including some that bought ads to influence the midterm elections

$4.5 million: Amount PhRMA gave in 2010 to American Action Network, a conservative group

$26 million: Amount American Action spent on ads in the midterms

Source: http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/02/27/8271/drug-lobby-gave-94-million-nonprofits-spent-big-2010-election

 

Super PAC Tuesday coming

Voters in early primary states have already been flooded with negative ads, much of them paid for with corporate money. With Super Tuesday coming up early next week, voters in 10 more states are being exposed to the torrent of corporate-funded negativity. To promote long-term solutions, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign is joining forces with our allies and concerned citizens like you. We’re re-branding next week’s contests with the sadly accurate hashtag #SuperPACTuesday. In the long-term, we’ll be using the hash #Democracy4Sale. Learn more here. Follow @RuleByUs on Twitter and lend your creativity to the effort!

More than 46,000 urge Congress to strengthen, pass STOCK Act

More than 46,000 people this week called on Congress to reinstate the transparency requirement for political intelligence activities in the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” (STOCK) Act, and to pass it. The 46,000-plus people signed a Public Citizen petition, which the organization delivered to top congressional leaders. Rumor has it that Reid may cave and take up the weaker House version. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

 

Shareholder resolutions on political spending on the rise

Shareholder resolutions about corporate money in politics are on the rise, a new report shows. Political spending proposals now make up nearly a third of the 349 social and environmental proposals, up from a quarter of the 360 proposals filed this this time last year, according to the Proxy Preview 2012 report, issued by As You Sow.

If it walks like a duck and coordinates like a duck …

Campaign finance law says that candidates cannot coordinate with independent groups working on their behalf. But candidates and Super PACs share consultants in what The New York Times discovered is a tangle web of interconnections that raise questions about how separate the candidates’ operations really are.

Chambers war over ads

Local chambers of commerce in Montana and Virginia are distancing themselves from ads being run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The national group is pouring millions of dollars into ads to sway results of 20 congressional races. But not everyone thinks that’s a good idea. The Missoula, Mont., chamber says one ad is counterproductive, while the Virginia chamber issued a statement emphasizing that it is a nonpartisan group.

 

Constitutional amendment advances in Massachusetts, Vermont

Massachusetts state lawmakers, advocates and activists gathered this week before a state legislative committee to show support for a state resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Meanwhile, next week, people in approximately 50 towns in Vermont will vote on resolutions supporting an amendment.

Friday Super PAC humor

Brian Williams and Jimmy Fallon “slow-jam” the news of Obama changing his stance on Super PACs. It’s worth a look.

Dollars and Cents …

… Arizona lawmakers are trying to eliminate that state’s clean elections program

…ProPublica has put together a list of the 10 super donors to Super PACs …

… GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum claims to be a Washington, D.C., outsider. But the work he did after he left Congress would indicate otherwise

… More Montana news: Montana Common Cause is proposing a ballot initiative that would establish that corporations are not people with constitutional rights …

… The Campaign Legal Center is asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate an ad run by a Mitt Romney-supporting super PAC – an ad originally aired in 2008 by Romney’s campaign. An illegal contribution? …

Visit DemocracyIsForPeople.org to learn more!

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