Money & Democracy Update: FEC in deadlock and corporations flock to help foundation run by Gov. Jindal's wife

Stunning statistic of the week:

$120 million: Amount that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS want to raise and spend by the end of 2012 to defeat President Barack Obama and help Republican candidates.

Story of Citizens United video released!

Corporations aren’t people and elections shouldn’t be for sale. If you agree, you’ll love “The Story of Citizens United v. FEC,” a new 8-minute animated short by Annie Leonard, of The Story of Stuff fame. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, we have overwhelming evidence of the damage done to our democracy. Leonard explains the ruling, its fallout and why we need to overturn it. Join the movement at www.democracyisforpeople.org .

Also worthy of noting, The Nation’s blog has great things to say about “The Story of Citizens United v. FEC.” Peter Rothberg, The Nation’s associate publisher for special projects, called the video “the best short history of the growth of corporate power I’ve ever read, heard or seen.”

Karl Rove groups pledge to spend $120 million on upcoming elections

American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, groups launched by Republican strategist Karl Rove, among others, announced this week that they want to raise and spend $120 million by the end of 2012 to defeat President Barack Obama and help Republican candidates.

Boehner badgers new members to raise money – lots of money

House Speaker John Boehner told freshmen lawmakers that he expected their March 31 fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission to be “strong” and said he would be looking at them closely. “Your campaign accounts in the first and second quarter go a long way in determining your opposition,” Boehner reportedly said.

FEC deadlock is dangerous for democracy

The Federal Election Commission is at an impasse, which means corporations and the rich will be able to spend huge sums to influence the outcome of the 2012 presidential and congressional races while remaining anonymous. “Last year was a practice run. Enforcement of the disclosure rules has collapsed. And unless the FEC is fixed, the American public will be in the dark as to who is buying the White House and Congress,” Public Citizen’s Craig Holman told the Los Angeles Times.

The revolving door also swings from K Street back to Capitol Hill

The Center for Responsive Politics and Remapping Debate are reporting that at least 130 congressional chiefs of staff and legislative directors were once lobbyists. And most of them represented corporations and trade organizations, or worked for lobbying firms representing corporations.

Corporations pledge almost $1 million to foundation run by Gov. Jindal’s wife

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would crack down on special interest influence in politics. But a New York Times review found that a foundation set up by his wife has received almost $1 million in previously unreported pledges from “major oil companies, insurers and other corporations in Louisiana with high-stakes regulatory issues.”

New Mexico disclosure laws are among weakest in country, report says

New Mexico’s disclosure laws are among the weakest in the country, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice says. The Center recommends that states tighten campaign finance disclosure laws before the 2012 election season really gets going and corporations unleash a torrent of money to influence them.

Visit www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org to learn more!

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