Senate

How Citizens United Has Changed Washington Lawmaking

 

Speaker John Boehner has close ties to the American Action Network, a dark money nonprofit, and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC. These groups raise funds from clients of lobbyists looking to increase their own influence. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Paul Blumenthal and Ryan Grim tell Huffington Post "The Inside Story Of How Citizens United Has Changed Washington Lawmaking". In this important piece, we learn the direct impact the Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling has had on the flow of money in Washington and its influence on decision making. 

Blumenthal and Grim explain, "Politically active nonprofits, known as "dark money" groups for their ability to shield the identity of donors, and super PACs, which take unlimited sums of money but must disclose donors, have become dominated by lobbyists and other political operatives with close ties to leaders in Congress. Meanwhile, businesses with issues before Congress are pumping increasingly more money into the lobbyist-connected organizations."

There's a lot more to this story. Read the full article here. 

Senate Obstruction Takes Down Bill To Promote Campaign Transparency

A few days ago, Senate Republicans united to defeat the Disclose Act, critical legislation intended to respond to the Supreme Court's invalidation in Citizens United v. FEC of the ban on the use of corporate general treasury funds to make independent political expenditures. The House passed the Act in June.

Senator Max Baucus Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Allow Regulation of Campaign Funding

By David Swanson

The DISCLOSE Act, a bill passed by the House that would regulate corporate election spending was blocked in the Senate on Thursday by a filibuster -- momentum is building to eliminate that anti-democratic tool.

The Next Senator from Target Corporation

Here's a type of story that may become so common it's no longer a story, or those pushing back and working for structural reform may prevail:

Target Corp. spending company money on candidates
By MARTIGA LOHN (AP) –

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Here's something Target Corp. isn't advertising in its Sunday circular: The discount retailer is now a major donor to a group backing the Republican candidate for Minnesota governor.

And that's not sitting well with every Target shopper.

FSFP Submits Testimony to Today's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Citizens United

Here's our testimony: PDF.

United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
March 10, 2010
We the People? Corporate Spending in America after Citizens United
Written Testimony of Jeffrey D. Clements
Free Speech for People (www.freespeechforpeople.org)   
   
Text minus footnotes:

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Wednesday on Citizens United

“We the People? Corporate Spending in American Elections after Citizens United”

Senate Judiciary Committee

Will Thousands of Corporations Be Banned from Political "Spending" Because Defined as Foreign?

While Congress may be restrained, to put it politely, in its efforts to clean up corruption for its own sake, xenophobia may come to the rescue. The LA Times reports that the Democratic party's legislation in both houses is "now considering a broad definition of foreign corporations -- companies that are more than 20% owned by non-American entities. That could end up banning thousands of corporations from contributing to political activities."

Leahy to Hold Hearing on Citizens United

Citizens United Supreme Court Case
Senate Judiciary Committee
Full Committee Hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee (Chairman Leahy, D-Vt.) will hold a hearing titled "We the People? Corporate Spending in American Elections after Citizens United."
Contact: Bruce Cohen - Democratic Chief Counsel at 202-224-7703

Wednesday, March 10, 10 a.m.
Place 226 Dirksen Bldg.
Witnesses Scheduled:
Jeffrey Rosen, professor, The George Washington University Law School
Doug Kendall, founder and president, Constitutional Accountability Center

Dodd and Udall Introduce Amendment

MCG10062 S.L.C.
111TH CONGRESS
2DSESSION
S. J. RES. 28
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. DODD introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on
JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.