La Dolce Vita

A few thoughts from Steven Rockford
NOVEMBER 4, 2010 3:42PM

Citizens United wins – Big Time!

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Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation wrote an interesting report today on the effect of the Citizens United ruling on Tuesday’s midterm elections.  According to Blumenthal: 

“The impact of Citizens United can be judged by simply following the money. The $126 million in undisclosed money represents more than a quarter of the total $450 million spent by outside groups. Add the $60 million spent by groups that were allowed to raise unlimited money, but still had to disclose, to the undisclosed money and the total amount of outside money made possible by the Citizens United ruling reaches $186 million or 40 percent of the total spent by outside groups.” 

This 40% spend-rate is an important figure heading into the 2012 presidential election; mainly because it appears that the “unknown donors” behind this spending were successful in obtaining most of their objectives.  Their confidence in “buying” our next president is pretty well confirmed. 

Blumenthal’s report is especially disheartening when looking at shadow groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads (AC) which spent heavily, and won most of their congressional races.  Without the AC funding behind the extensive negative ads in these districts, it is unlikely that many (or any) of these races would have been won.    

Rove is most certainly dialing-for-dollars as we speak, knowing that his midterm successes will bring in $millions from his stable of anonymous corporate and special interest groups as we head toward twenty-twelve. 

The unfortunate aspect of the Citizens United fiasco is that its full negative impact on our democracy has yet to be felt.  There is no way that anything can be done before 2012 that will reverse, or mitigate, the adverse effects of anonymous special interest campaign financing.  If Congress were to pass a comprehensive campaign finance law (which is unlikely in their new partisan configuration) it would most certainly be challenged in court.  And, we all know where the Supreme Court stands on this issue. 

Even if a disclosure bill were to be brought up in committee conference, it would never make it to the House floor for a vote.  We can only hope that our mainstream media will be vigilant in their investigative reporting to expose the many unscrupulous back-room deals that lie ahead. 

Otherwise, we can all look to this man to tell us who the next president of the United States will be:

karl rove 1   


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Read Thom Hartmann's "UnEqual Protection" for an explication of how we got here (with Citizens United) and what we can do about it. The book was an eye-opener for me, so much so that I started writing about the CU case in August of last year.
But as to Karl Rove, the man who the least qualified of all presidents named "Turd-blossom" he needs to be forced into the open. And Obama could do this right now, this afternoon, by applying a little IRS code enforcement. After all, there is one last hole in the CU case that has to be exploited before we shut off the lights on republican democracy. The disclosure of the givers of the largess can be forced according to the majority opinion, which on this point was only dissented to by the deepest of scholars (NOT!) Justice Thomas.
I hope someone with an ear gets the Obama justice dept on this immediately. No one is gonna play nice over the next few years, regards of the tears of John of Orange.
Steven, you are right. And I think now is the time for a Senate investigation of political 501 (c) organizations that engage in prohibited political activities.