Monthly Archives: September 2011

Huffington Post: Political Groups Are Flouting IRS Rules To Keep Donors Secret, Reformers Say

-by Dan Froomkin

September 28, 2011- Good-government advocates on Wednesday asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate four groups they say are blatantly flouting the law by claiming tax-exempt status as "social welfare" groups when they are in fact overtly political organizations.

The so-called c4 designation, in addition to exempting organizations from taxes, also allows groups to keep their donors secret — even while accepting unlimited funds.

Huffington Post: Super PACs And Secret Money: The Unregulated Shadow Campaign

-by Paul Blumenthal

September 26, 2011- WASHINGTON — In the span of a week in September, two independent political committees announced unheard-of fundraising plans for the coming campaign season. The Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads, along with its sister nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, announced a plan to raise and spend $240 million in 2012. Make Us Great Again, a group solely dedicated to electing Texas Gov. Rick Perry the 45th President of the United States, revealed a plan to spend $55 million in the Republican primary alone. Both of these multimillion dollar plans would break all reported records for spending by an independent political committee, and offer a sign of how campaign finance rules have been upended.

Michigan Messenger: Groups look to rein in corporate power after Citizens United

Focus is on maximum disclosure of political spending

-By Eartha Jane Melzer

September 19, 2011- Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission granted corporations (and unions) the right to directly and expressly back political candidates, and triggered an enormous new wave of political spending. Now watchdog groups are trying to find ways to make sure voters can see who is funding which candidates.

In a web seminar sponsored by the Business Ethics Network last week, groups concerned about the role of money in politics gathered to review strategies for increased disclosure.

Huffington Post: Jimmy Carter Talks 2012 Elections, Calls Supreme Court ‘Citizens United’ Decision One Of The ‘Stupidest’ Ever

September 16, 2011- At the 30th annual Carter Town Hall on Wednesday, former President Jimmy Carter told his audience he thought the Supreme Court decision to roll back restrictions on corporate spending in federal campaigns was "one of the stupidest rulings ever consummated or perpetrated on the American people."

The Citizens United ruling was decided 5-4 in 2010 and received criticism for allowing a flood of special interest money in politics. President Barack Obama was a major critic, saying the decision was "a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

Carter also discussed the 2012 election and the atmosphere in Washington during the talk, noting that he would not be interested in being president today, The Emory Wheel reports.

Less Money

American Crossroads attack ad against Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall:

Governor Haley Barbour to Join Crossroads Fundraising Effort; Groups Double 2012 Fundraising Goal

American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) double fundraising goal.

WASHINGTON – Today, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS announced that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will join Karl Rove in helping the groups raise funds through 2012. Governor Barbour, who previously served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governors Association, will serve in a volunteer capacity with the organization.

The two groups also announced they would more than double their previous combined fundraising goal for 2012. The two groups had previously announced a collective fundraising goal of $120 million by the end of 2012, with $20 million to come in this year. A week ago, the groups announced they had already exceeded this year’s goal, raising more than $24.5 million to date.

LA Times: Haley Barbour joins Karl Rove-backed campaign group

-By Tom Hamburger

September 9, 2011- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, perhaps the most prodigious fund-raiser the GOP has ever seen, will be joining forces with politically powerful Crossroads groups, the independent campaign organization that helped tilt several congressional races to the GOP in 2010.

In announcing his arrival, the organization also disclosed its plans to double its previously announced fund-raising goal for 2010, meaning it hopes to raise over $200 million.

The news is yet another sign that independent political groups that can raise unlimited sums from corporate, individual and union donors will play a bigger role than ever in the upcoming election, possibly overshadowing traditional campaign and party organizations in some races.

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