Weekly News Roundup #8 - 11/9



From our blog:

Why You Should Vote, Even if you Believe it to be Pointless


See Cenk Uygur, Lawrence Lessig and others at UCLA Nov. 17th


Join Bernie Sanders: Kill Big Oil’s Welfare Check 


2012 Voting Machines Caught Altering Votes



Amend 2012 Ballot Measure Victories


News from around the web:

Karl Rove's election debacle: Super PAC's spending was nearly for naught

Karl Rove was the political genius of the George W. Bush era -- the architect of the last Republican president's two electoral victories. But this week, he may have had the worst election night of anybody in American politics.

America for sale

By one estimate, this year's federal elections could cost as much as $6 billion. That's a projection from the Center for Responsive Politics, the organization that runs the campaign finance tracking websiteOpensecrets.org.

The number may be shocking, but it's not spontaneous or arbitrary; it's been decades in the making.

One CEO's Case Against Corporate Financing Of Elections

The United States was created by the Founding Fathers to be a self-governing system. As Abraham Lincoln later said, “of the people, by the people, for the people.” This concept included a very simple and critical component: everybody gets a vote; everybody gets a say in who leads. Your freedom as an American to choose is based on this very concept of self-governance. Self-governance, however, is being replaced by corporate-governance, and your freedom is being sapped in the process.

Big Oil bet big…and lost

Remember how scared everyone was of Big Oil in this election?  Who’s scared now?

The top candidate backed by the fossil fuel industry – big oil, gas and coal – just lost the election.

Election Day's Biggest Loser

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gambled more than $54 million on Tuesday's elections. And he lost. 

New Study Spotlights Dark Money in Senate Races

new study out by Public Citizen today shows the true effect the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commissionruling is having on congressional races: floods of unlimited money, little to nothing in the way of accountability.

Super PACs, Outside Money Influenced, But Didn't Buy The 2012 Election

Independent conservative groups are going to have to come to terms with the fact that they spent more than $700 million -- 70 percent of all of the reported independent spending in the 2012 election -- and walked away with little to show for it.

Obama Campaign Outspent Romney, And Won Election Because Of It

In the 2012 election, one candidate took advantage of the loosening of campaign finance to rack up over a billion dollars in donations, spend nearly three times as much as his opponent on mostly negative ads, and break records for total amount of spending. His name was Barack Obama.

Post-'Citizens United' Senate Snapshot: Money Doesn't Guarantee Victory

The battle to control the Senate was a proving ground for the new Citizens United politics. Outside groups unleashed heavily funded barrages of attack ads meant to help elect candidates while letting them keep their distance from the nastiness.

In Ohio and Virginia, the tactic failed in rather dramatic ways, as Republicans backed by secretly financed ads failed to beat seemingly vulnerable Democrats.


With decisive statewide vote, Colorado calls for constitutional amendment

In a general election marked by explosive campaign spending by candidates and outside groups, Colorado voters sent a strong call for reform with the approval of Amendment 65. Amendment 65 allowed Colorado voters to instruct their elected leaders to advance a federal constitutional amendment that would let Congress and the states set campaign contribution and spending limits to level the playing field in elections. And Colorado voters took that opportunity by passing Amendment 65 with 72% of the vote.


Money Can't Buy Me Gov

The biggest loser of this election isn't Mitt Romney. It isn't Paul Ryan, or Todd Aiken, or evangelical Christians. It's Karl Rove. Sheldon Adelson. The Koch Brothers. The people who tried and failed to use money to deliver themselves the election. American Crossroads and Americans For Prosperity attempted a coup in 2012 -- a uniquely American coup made legal by the Supreme Court and made possible by the low information voter.

These super PACs with unlimited money made the most cynical play you can make in electoral politics -- getting hard-up Americans to vote for deregulation and fiscal blood-letting that would only benefit the donors writing those huge checks. It almost happened. Let's not forget how close we came.

Why Obama Will Disappoint Progressives and I Voted for Him Anyway

Anyone who thinks President Obama will magically turn around in his second term and be a real progressive is high on a 2008 supply. Soon after President Obama is re-elected he will do the Grand Bargain deal with Republicans, which will cut Medicare, Medicaid, discretionary spending and maybe even Social Security. On top of that, they will pretend to get extra revenue from closing loopholes but in reality they will definitely do a corporate tax cut and perhaps even a top rate tax cut for the rich.

Individual super donors dominate analysis of political contributions by industry--what do they gain?

Despite his vast wealth, Sheldon Adelson was not exactly a household name when the Republican presidential primary campaign got under way. But the casino magnate’s multimillion-dollar contributions to a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC ended that.

Adelson’s support was linked to a shared stance with Gingrich as staunch supporters of Israel. Not quite so well publicized was Adelson’s financial stake in who wins the presidency.

Obama Slams Romney For Letting ‘Oil Companies Write The Energy Policies’

Climate change was a no-show at the second presidential debate. But the candidates did get into a heated exchange over oil policies, prompted by a question on how to lower gas prices. Mitt Romney never answered how he would help with high gas prices because his solution to expand oil and gas drilling enriches oil but does virtually nothing to lower gas prices or protect consumers from price shocks.

Supreme Court's Theory of 'Independent' Outside Money Is No Longer Operative

The final numbers are not in yet, but we already have more than enough information to make one call in the 2012 elections: The U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision can be deemed a failure based on the very rationale that the court used to justify it.

Brown Nosing the Banks

I can't believe that the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren race is still uncomfortably close. Do the people of Massachusetts realize that Scott Brown took $20 billion of taxpayer money and handed it straight to the banks? How could anybody vote for the guy who basically asks the big banks, "What can Brown do for you?"

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