For Immediate Release
Drew Courtney or Miranda Blue
at 202-467-4999 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Report Profiles Pro-Corporate Players in Post-Citizens United Politics
WASHINGTON - A new
report by People For the American Way profiles the work of nine
organizations that are funneling money, in many cases from undisclosed donors,
to help elect pro-corporate candidates in the 2010 elections. Many of the
groups originated in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed
corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Others
were already established, but have been thriving in a system that allows them
to take unlimited corporate money without disclosing their donors.
“Citizens United gave
corporations the opportunity to spend millions of dollars to elect candidates
who will prioritize corporate interests over the needs of ordinary
citizens,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American
Way. “And because of Congress’ failure to pass the DISCLOSE Act,
they can spend this money without telling voters where it’s coming from.
We don’t know who’s funding these groups, but we can expose the
candidates and issues they’re spending millions of dollars to advance.
The activities of these groups illustrate the urgent need for a constitutional
amendment to undo Citizens United
and return the power to influence elections to where it belongs—in the
hands of voters.”
The groups profiled in the report
60 Plus Association: A
group with longstanding ties to PhRMA, 60 Plus is spending millions of dollars
this election cycle to run ads against Democratic House candidates featuring
erroneous claims about Medicare “cuts.”
American Action Network &
American Action Forum: Norm Coleman explicitly pointed to the
Citizens United decision as a
reason for the American Action Network’s ability to emerge this election
year, saying that it “greatly enhanced” the group’s
fundraising. The group is launching attack ads in key U.S. Senate races.
American Crossroads & Crossroads
GPS: The Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads plans on
raising $52 million before election day to defeat vulnerable Democrats. Many of
its attack ads feature false claims about health care reform.
American Future Fund: The
group behind the infamous ad smearing Iowa Rep. Bill Braley for his refusal to oppose the Park51 Islamic Community
Center near Ground Zero, American Future Fund is running ads in 14 house
districts, knocking candidates’ support for Nancy Pelosi, and hurling
debunked and misleading attacks against the Stimulus Plan, the American
Clean Energy and Security Act, and Health Care Reform’s impact on
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For Job Security: Utilizing hefty and anonymous corporate
donations to run a misleading and deceptive ad campaign, Americans for Job
Security is almost the epitome of pro-corporate astroturfing. Founded in
1997, it initially received two $1 million contributions from the American
Insurance Association and the American
Forest and Paper
Association. Proud of its support from corporate backers, the group
hailed the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens
United as an “unequivocal victory.”
for New Leadership & Liberty.com: The Tea Party group
that had worked for Christine O’Donnell’s successful Senate
campaign is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads against Harry Reid
with misleading representations about the Stimulus Plan, the American Clean
Energy and Security Act, and Health Care Reform’s impact on Medicare.
This was also the organization that sponsored an infamous online video which
said that O’Donnell’s primary opponent Mike Castle had a male
for Prosperity & Americans for Prosperity Foundation: Chaired
by David Koch, well-known funder of the Tea Party movement, Americans for
Prosperity also has ties to Religious Right leader Ralph Reed and disgraced
lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The group has been a driving force behind the Tea Party
movement, and most recently was caught conspiring to set up a voter caging
operation in Wisconsin.
The group intends to spend $45 million on fifty House races and half a dozen
Club for Growth & Club for Grown
Action: Club for Growth has has frequently engaged in
competitive Republican primaries by attacking the candidates it deems depart
from conservative economic orthodoxy. It recently launched a $1.5 million ad
campaign to benefit right-wing Tea Party candidates and aims to spend $24
million on this year’s election. Following the Citizens United ruling, Club for Growth
set up Club for Growth Action, an independent expenditure committee which
accepts “unlimited individual and corporate contributions.”
US Chamber of Commerce: Long
before Citizens United, the Chamber was already established as the principal
agent in raising and disseminating corporate money. It plans to spend $75
million in this year’s elections, and has already spent money to plug
pro-corporate candidates in ten states.
Read the full report online at: http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/after-citizens-united-look-into-the-pro-corporate-players-american-politic
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