Weekly News Roundup #7 - 11/2

From our blog:

Happy Halloween - Wolf PAC style!

Corporate Personhood Cannot Withstand Organized Persons

Events:

Petition to put pressure on Congress to abolish corporate personhood, thus diminishing the influence of corporations on politics

Overturn Citizens United in Chicago (Oct 22 - Nov 6)

Call Reps on election day - Nov. 6 - Everywhere

Videos:

An Indecent Proposal from Sarah Silverman to Sheldon Adelson

The Alternative Vote Explained

Whedon On Romney

Resources:

How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare

MONEY UNLIMITED: How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision

Outside spending in 2012 election exceeded 2010, 2008, 2006 & 2004 combined

On PBS - Big Sky, Big Money: How has Citizens United changed campaigns in the US?

How A Small Donor System Would Empower Everyday New Yorkers

Citizens Actually United: BiPartisan Opposition to Corporate Political Spending & Support for CommonSense Reform

Chevron donated $2.5mln to a GOP Super PAC-- the largest direct corp donation since Citizens United

News from around the web:

The New Price of American Politics

"Not since the Gilded Age has our politics been opened so wide to corporate contributions and donations from secret sources. And the new era of big money has just begun. Jim Bopp, its intellectual architect, believes this is a good thing—the more money, the better, he says. Reformers (and most voters) disagree. Their battle is over the most-basic ideas of our democracy; at stake—according to both sides—is either the revitalization of politics, or its final capture by the powerful."

Rules of the Game: Lessons Learned From First Post-Citizens United Presidential Race

"The full picture won’t be clear until all the numbers are tallied, weeks or even months after Election Day. But some trends are already clear. Outside spending by super PACs and politically active nonprofits is surging, sometimes drowning out the political parties. Secret campaign spending has spiked. A small handful of millionaires and billionaires have largely bankrolled these outside groups. And voters are more disgusted than ever. Here’s what sets the first post-Citizens United presidential race apart."

Western Tradition Partnership, Key Dark Money Group, May Have Misled IRS, Evidence Finds

"New signs emerged Monday that a controversial nonprofit may have misled the Internal Revenue Service not only about its political activities but also about support from a purported donor.

Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP, sent the IRS a letter in 2008 asking the agency to expedite the group's request for recognition of its tax-exempt status. The letter said that without it, the group's principle donor, Jacob Jabs, would pull a planned grant of $300,000.

But Jabs, who runs Colorado's largest furniture retailer, said on Monday he had never pledged money to the group, and never even been in contact with them until press stories appeared naming him."

Sheldon Adelson Leads Super PAC Mega-Donors To Dominance In 2012

"Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, among those whose contributions are disclosed, is far and away the largest donor to independent political efforts in both the 2012 election and in any single election in modern history. The casino billionaire, along with members of his family, has given $54.44 million to super PACs to help elect a variety of Republican candidates, from Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down to a House of Representatives race in New Jersey."

$2B fundraising for U.S. presidential race raises concern

"When all is said and done, and all the money contributed to the presidential campaigns is tallied up, more than $2 billion will have been raised and spent on the bid for the White House.

That total, which is roughly the equivalent of Greenland's GDP, will represent the highest amount of money gathered during a presidential campaign."

Wisconsin Election Official Confirms Romney Poll Watcher Materials Are Inaccurate

“Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported on how the Romney campaign is training poll watchers to mislead voters in Wisconsin. Now, an election official in the Badger State has weighed in to criticize the Romney campaign’s practice of hiding their poll watchers’ affiliations and confirm that the materials they used in trainings are misleading.”

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Chemical Industry Uses Wallet To Block Tighter Regulations, Environmental Advocates Say

“In an effort to block a ballot measure in California that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods, shape a Senate race in Ohio with potential repercussions for fracking, and influence a host of House contests key to toxic chemical reform -- the chemical industry has been busy wielding its wallet, say environmental advocates.”

Obama Is Even in TV Ad Race Despite PACs

“Despite repeated warnings from President Obama and his party that a flood of unrestricted donations from conservatives to outside groups would swamp them, the White House and its allies are at least holding their own. Over the last month, the pro-Obama forces have run more ads and, more critically, have reached audiences in roughly the same numbers as Mitt Romney and the group of well-financed conservative super PACs working to elect him.”

Lawmaker in Ohio Accused of Lobbying for ALEC Corporations

Fox19 news in Ohio aired an investigative piece examining the influence of ALEC in that state. I was interviewed as part of the segment, which was based in part on Common Cause’s investigation of ALEC over the past 18 months. This story, parts of which were included in a front page New York Times story in April, demonstrates the lengths some legislators will go to please ALEC and its corporate financiers.”

Support for California GMO Labeling Proposal Drops Following Industry-Funded Ad Blitz

“Support for California's Proposition 37 ballot initiative that would require special labels for groceries containing genetically engineered ingredients has dropped dramatically since the industry-funded opponents of the proposal unleashed a statewide deluge of TV ads.”

Unlimited Political Contributions Let Missouri Investor Spend Big

When the Supreme Court issued its disastrous ruling in Citizens United, Common Cause and other good government advocates warned that the decision would let wealthy individuals exercise disproportionate influence on elections.

Now, a Missouri investor, Rex Sinquefield, is among many proving us right, using his deep pockets to demonstrate just how much power one man can wield when nobody’s keeping an eye on campaign finance.”

 

Debunking ALEC, Broadband Edition

 

Not long ago, the United States led the world in broadband connectivity. Now we are in 16thplace, trailing most developed nations. We need broadband policies that connect our homes, schools, and business to the 21st century economy, but we’re pursuing public policies that are putting us in a hole, helping private telecommunications providers and harming the public interest. As the old adage goes, when in a hole, stop digging.”

Before the Election Was Over, Wall Street Won, Part II

“A few months ago, Paul Craig Roberts and I co-wrote an article about the LIBOR scandal; the crux of which, was lost on most of the media. That is; the banks, the Fed, and the Treasury Department knew banks were manipulating rates lower to artificially support the prices of hemorrhaging assets and debt securities. But no one in  Washington complained, because they were in on it; because it made the over-arching problem of debt-manufacturing and bloating the Fed’s balance sheet to subsidize a banking industry at the expense of national economic health, evaporate in the ether of delusion.”

The Real Cost of Citizens United, Explained

“The money is the story. The money is the only story. The money was not the only story ever since this campaign began, which was 15 minutes after the past one ended, but it became the only story on January 21, 2010, when the Supreme Court reversed a lower-court decision in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, thereby demolishing almost a century of state and federal laws aimed at controlling the system by which we finance our political campaigns. The decision deformed American politics to an extent almost unrecognizable to anyone who hadn't grown up in our previous Gilded Age, in which plutocratic influence and entrenched oligarchical corporate power rendered self-government a sad farce.

And the real problem is that everybody knows it.”

Do you like this post?

Showing 4 reactions

commented 2012-11-13 11:28:52 -0500 · Flag
I commently agree with Robert. Even if it was just your personal view Natalia, it is on the Wolf PAC website so it represents Wolf PAC. It should be taken down. It would be a shame to lose eager volunteers for a quote that is totally unrelated to our mission.
commented 2012-11-13 10:09:52 -0500 · Flag
What’s underneath is that I, Natalia, came across that image and found the quote inspiring. I was not aware of the CFR. Thanks for your feedback and, I can assure you, we have nothing to do with them or any politicians. The inclusion of that quote is purely innocent on my part and the rest of WP had nothing to do with it.
followed this page 2012-11-11 01:03:27 -0500
commented 2012-11-11 01:02:00 -0500 · Flag
Found your website for the first time, signed the petition to end corporate personhood and was just about to make a monthly donation commitment to the Wolfpac agenda until I saw the opener for the Weekly News Round-up #7: A quote from Hillary Clinton about what’s best for society. The CFR is consumately counterpoised to the advertised political agenda of Wolfpac. It is a veritable who’s who of government-bought big business CEOs. Such an association is counterintuitive and begins to smell fishy. The Wolfpac plan is inspiring but now I must inquire, “what’s underneath?”

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