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Money and Democracy Update: Nationwide protests, more cities take action, poor Newt

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • $13 million: The amount that outside groups have spent on ads and direct mail in early battleground states
  • $7.9 million: The amount outside groups had spent at this point in the 2008 presidential campaign

Nationwide protests planned the week of Jan. 21

The nationwide days of protest around the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Jan. 21) are almost upon us! You can attend or host an organizing party to plan an anniversary action. These parties will occur on and around Tuesday, January 10. The night before (Monday, January 9), The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC is expected to host a representative of our coalition, and we hope to share clips of that show with party hosts for their meetings. Sign up to attend a party or host one if there is not one in your area.

Montana says its corporate spending ban survives Citizens United

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a state law banning corporations from spending money to support or oppose candidates. The court did so despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court said in Citizens United that a similar federal law was unconstitutional. The state court held that Montana’s unique history of corporate corruption provided the compelling justification the Supreme Court said was necessary to bar corporations from spending to help candidates through such things as ads and mailings. The challengers likely will try to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

New York City, Duluth and California weigh in on corporate personhood

Momentum grows to overturn Citizens United. This week, New York City passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, and legislation calling for an amendment was introduced in the California Legislature. Duluth, Minn., also passed a resolution in late December. Check out these great discussions on Democracy Now! and the Thom Hartmann show.

Santorum Super PAC does a switcheroo, avoids disclosure

What a neat trick! A Super PAC supporting the presidential candidacy of Rick Santorum is switching its donor disclosure schedule from quarterly to monthly. This means that it doesn’t have to disclose the names of its donors before primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Candidate Jon Huntsman’s Super PAC is trying to do the same thing.

Poor Newt …

Pity poor Newt Gingrich. Alright, we admit it’s hard to muster much pity for Gingrich. Still, he now stands as not the first, but the most recent, prominent victim of the U.S. Supreme Court’s abysmal decision in Citizens United.

Dollars and Cents (even more news bites):

… A pending Federal Communications Commission rule could help the public know who is behind political ads, but broadcasters are fighting it …

… A Maine legislative committee has killed a measure that would have prevented gubernatorial candidates from using public financing to pay for candidacies …

… Stephen Colbert had these words of wisdom about Super PACs: “This is 100 percent legal and at least 10 percent ethical.” …

Visit DemocracyIsForPeople.org to learn more!

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