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Money and Democracy Update: Super Tuesday meant Super Momentum

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

$36,380: The amount that GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and the Super PAC supporting him spent on advertising per delegate won on Super Tuesday

In Vermont, Super Tuesday meant Super Momentum

In Vermont, Super Tuesday showed that momentum is growing rapidly for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates of corporate cash in elections. More than 60 towns and cities supported a resolution for an amendment.


Speaking of resolutions …

Expect support for a constitutional amendment to grow throughout the spring. Public Citizen, joined by other good government groups, this week launched Resolutions Week. The campaign is designed to get cities throughout the country to pass resolutions early in June. Already, 2,500 activists have signed up to help get resolutions passed in their towns. To get involved, visit ResolutionsWeek.org.

Maybe the IRS can do something about undisclosed spending

Six U.S. senators are asking the IRS to make sure that tax-exempt organizations aren’t abusing the tax code. Less than half an exempt organization’s activities should be devoted to politics, the lawmakers said. Watchdog groups also are calling on the IRS to make sure that overtly political groups aren’t violating tax laws, which already require that spending can’t be substantial, which the watchdogs say means much less than half. The IRS is, in fact, looking into some groups.

Nothing like a federal raid to make elected officials think about reform

In response to a federal government raid on a major campaign contributor, two District of Columbia councilmembers have introduced legislation to ban corporate contributions to candidates. In the meantime, some D.C. residents are forging ahead with their attempt to get a similar measure on November’s ballot.

New Super PAC: If you’re an incumbent, we don’t want you

Just when you thought we’ve had all the kinds of Super PACs possible, here comes another. This one isn’t designed to support a single candidate or even a single party. Its overall aim is to unseat congressional incumbents, whoever those might be. Called Campaign for Primary Accountability, it’s all about governance, according to founder Leo Linbeck III. “We’re not interested in shifting power between Republicans and Democrats,” he told The Washington Post. “We’re interested in shifting power between Congress and the people.”


Runner-up for stunning statistics

GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and his backers have spent an eye-popping $200 million on his two attempts to become president. Of that, $44.6 million was his own money. Wow.

Dollars and Cents …

… Utah’s Supreme Court heard arguments from a former lieutenant governor candidate that the current governor broke the state’s campaign finance laws and should be stripped of his position

… The Federal Election Commission (FEC) held a hearing this week on what regulations should look like post-Citizens United

… Notorious superlobbyist Jack Abramoff was speaking out again this week, this time at the National Press Club, as part of a panel. His appearance with good government groups is stirring up a bit of controversy

… A move is afoot in Michigan to change the state constitution to require corporations to reveal their political spending …

… Protesters demonstrated against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia when he appeared at Wesleyan this week. One told a reporter she was distressed about the Citizens United decision …

… Are the Koch brothers trying to take over the Cato Institute? …

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