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Election Season Round-Up: Corporate Politicking

Last week marked the second anniversary of the landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee decision in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to fund political campaigns. Opposition to Citizens United has been building, but the anniversary is a pertinent one as the country is currently bearing witness to the impact of this decision on the outcome of the Republican presidential race. Opposition groups, outraged public citizens, and even companies are taking action to oppose the superPACS that are having more influence on the election than the candidates themselves, and to build support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United case. Here’s a look at what’s been going on around the country.

SuperPACs Heavily Influencing the Republican Primary

In the Republican presidential primary, each of the major candidates has a superPAC that is aligned with their campaigns. According to NPR, the superPACs that are linked to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million in a race that has only covered three states so far. These groups can collect unlimited contributions which they are not required to disclose and use them to penetrate the field with negative ads criticizing the other candidates. Lawyer Ken Gross says, “The superPACs are metastasizing. I think it’s very disturbing that the groups are bigger than the candidates and almost bigger than the party committees themselves.”

Protests at Courthouses and Multinational Corporations

Last week, activists and watchdog groups organized more than 300 rallies and other events around the country. On Friday, more than 100 demonstrations took place outside federal courthouses. For Saturday, a smaller wave of protests was organized, including Occupy the Corporation events at the corporate headquarters of several multinational companies and in some state capitols. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a watchdog group that was involved in organizing the events told the Washington Post, “We’re already at a point where the public overwhelmingly opposes the decision. The goal is to build a grass-roots movement that will eventually be able

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RobertButler Posted by on Jan 24 2012. Filed under 2012 Presidential Campaign. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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