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Story of Citizens United goes live March 1, Karl Rove group bankrolling ads, Wisconsin Governor ties to Koch brothers

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • $2.63 million: Amount the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee brought in last month, breaking its own fundraising record for the first

    month of an election cycle

  • $200,000: The National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in this much more than its Democratic counterpart in January
  • 23: Number of seats the Dems must defend in 2012
  • 10: Number of seats the Republicans must defend in 2012

American Petroleum Institute creates PAC to back candidates

The powerful American Petroleum Institute, which historically has relied on lobbying to throw its weight around Washington, D.C.,

is going to start backing political candidates via a new political action committee. API spent more than $6.7 million on lobbying last year.

In ever-growing arms race, Democrats are building Super PAC

High-level Democrats are creating Majority PAC designed to be a super-sized political action committee (PAC) that can raise unlimited amounts of money to support and attack candidates and thereby influence Senate races in 2010. It will go toe-to-toe with the Patriot Majority PAC, a similar Republican third-party spending vehicle.

Mark your calendars for March 1

On Tuesday, The Story of Stuff Project will release “The Story of Citizens United,” an eight-minute animated video that will explain clearly the issues around the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and why we need a constitutional amendment to overturn it. The decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts of money to sway elections. Look for our email Tuesday with a link to watch the movie!

In wake of last year’s flap, Target changes political donation policy

Target, which got into hot water last year over a political donation to a pro-business group that backed an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate, is changing the way it handles political donations. From now on, a policy committee will review proposed donations to determine if they advance issues that are important to the company’s business. The reaction of customers? Too late, said one woman who tore up her Target card in front of managers.

Crossroads GPS launches radio ads

Crossroads GPS, one of the groups co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, ran radio ads this week in nearly two dozen House districts. The idea was to influence the budget debate. The ads targeted 12 Democrats who opposed a bill that would keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year but require major spending cuts, and lauded 10 Republicans who voted for the bill.

White House’s Daley and Plouffe disclose details on corporate ties

The latest financial disclosure forms show that William Daley, the new White House chief of staff, and David Plouffe, tapped to be a senior advisor, made a good chunk of change from companies they are in a position to help. Plouffe did consulting work for Boeing and General Electric, while Daley made $8.7 million in his job at JP Morgan Chase.

Prank may get Wisconsin governor in legal trouble

What began as a prank – a journalist called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and pretended to be conservative billionaire David Koch – may get the governor in legal trouble. In the conversation, Walker discussed the need for GOP lawmakers in swing areas to get support for his budget bill. Public Campaign Action Fund said the conversation raises questions of whether coordination was going on, which is a no-no.

Speaking of the Kochs…

Koch Industries Inc. and its employees and subsidiaries spent $1.2 million in the last election cycle to elect Republican governors who are now trying to take away bargaining rights of state workers, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Washington state disclosure law

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a conservative organization’s challenge of Washington state’s law requiring campaign donors to be identified. Human Life of Washington sued over the law, claiming it violated the First Amendment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state, saying donors should be identified.

Visit www.DontGetRolled.org to learn more!