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NBC: Election's biggest corporate donor an enigma that gave $5.3 million; Companies have spent $75 million this cycle

NBC News has just published a great report focusing on major examples of corporate spending on the 2012 elections. Here are some key excerpts:

The biggest corporate contributor in the 2012 election so far doesn’t appear to make anything — other than very large contributions to a conservative super PAC.

Specialty Group Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., donated nearly $5.3 million between Oct. 1 and Oct. 11 to
FreedomWorks for America, which is affiliated with former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey...

Money Out / Voters In: Free Speech For People joins with more than 50 organizations in issuing national statement

Free Speech For People today joined with more than fifty prominent, national organizations to express their concern about two critical threats to our democratic system: corporate influence in elections and laws and official actions that suppress the vote. Under the banner “Money Out, Voters In,” the organizations issued the following joint statement pledging to fight special interest money in politics and to support the rights of all voters:

Free Speech For People and CREW Call for Justice Department Investigation of Group Promoting Big Money in Politics

For Immediate Release
November 1, 2012
Contact: Ryan O'Donnell (413) 335-9824

Free Speech For People and CREW
Call for Justice Department Investigation of
Group Promoting Big Money in Politics

Frontline & Marketplace shine a light on possible lawbreaking at American Tradition Partnership

Frontline and Marketplace released an important new investigative report last night that highlights how a dark-money group called American Tradition Partnership (ATP) may have broken the law by illegally coordinating its work with the campaigns of candidates running for office.

Chevron gives $2.5 million to a super PAC, the largest corporate gift to influence our elections since Citizens United

The Chevron oil company has made a gift of $2.5 million to a super PAC.

According to the Washington Post:

Alaska Dispatch: "Foreign corporations funnel millions into US elections"

The Alaska Dispatch has a new story on foreign corporate spending on our elections. Excerpts are below.

Caveat: while the article accurately notes that it's illegal for foreign individuals to spend money to influence U.S. elections, the article is incorrect in asserting that such spending by corporations is also illegal. Unfortunately for all of us, Citizens United removed such restrictions on corporate spending, which is one of many serious reasons we must overturn it with a constitutional amendment.

"This is a faith issue. This is a values issue.": Bishop Jessica Crist of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Montana

Jessica Crist, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Montana Synod, wrote an excellent column endorsing the Montana ballot initiative, I-166, published in the Missoulian today. Here's a brief excerpt, but the whole column is well worth reading:

The Supreme Court’s definition of personhood notwithstanding, our faith tradition teaches that people, not corporations and special interests, are made in the image of God.

Quest on to quiet the roar of money

Angella Carella

Connecticut Post

October 20, 2012


"So now money legally talks. It's corporations and special-interest organizations, now each legally a person, that have megaphones. In the political system their voices are loudest, and threaten to drown out the voices of actual persons.

But across the country, actual persons are fighting back."

New poll in CT, MT, WI: 2 out of 3 voters in these states support a constitutional amendment

Our friends at the Avaaz "Elections Not Auctions" campaign have just released a new poll showing strong support for an amendment, across party lines, in these states that have high-profile Senate races.

Click here for Avaaz' press release with the details

New Jersey is now the 9th state to call for an amendment

New Jersey today became the ninth state to call for a Constitutional amendment to overturn the disastrous Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. Its resolution, AR 86, was passed in the Assembly in a bipartisan vote of 50 to 22.

John Bonifaz, executive director of Free Speech For People, made the following statement: