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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2012
2:18 PM

CONTACT: US PIRG

auren Strayer, lstrayer@demos.org, (212) 389-1413 (Demos)
Blair Bowie, Democracy Advocate, bbowie@pirg.org, 202-546-0173 (U.S. PIRG)

Press Call for Release of New Report, Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election

WASHINGTON - February 7 - This Wednesday, February 8th, Demos and U.S. PIRG are holding a press call to release a new and comprehensive analysis of Federal Election Commission data on Super PACs, from their advent in 2010 through the end of 2011. This new report, “Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election,” details FEC data findings, lays out actionable recommendations for all levels of government, and provides vivid new infographics (for use with attribution) that illustrate the damage dealt by Super PACs.

The report reveals trends in money from business, untraceable sources, and major donors since the inception of super PACs in 2010. Some of the striking findings in Auctioning Democracy include data on the percentage of itemized funds raised by Super PACs that cannot be feasibly traced back to an original source and the percentage of funds from individuals in 2011 that came in contributions of at least $10,000.

Super PACs represent much of what is wrong with American democracy rolled neatly into one package. They are tools that a tiny privileged minority can use to work its will by drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans in a sea of (sometimes secret) cash. They are tools used by for-profit business and big donors to translate economic success into political gain - sometimes in secret. This undermines basic principles of citizen sovereignty and political equality, and can rob voters of the chance to evaluate political messages in light of the messenger.

In Auctioning Democracy, Demos and U.S. PIRG offer recommendations for undoing the damage dealt by these Super PACs, specifically tailored to The Federal Election Commission, The Securities and Exchange Commission, The White House, The United States Congress, State Legislatures and even Municipal Governments. These actionable recommendations provide a badly needed pathway to unraveling this system of Super PACs and restoring a voice to the vast majority of Americans.

WHAT: Press Call to Release New Report, Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election, by Demos and U.S. PIRG

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Call (888) 491-8283, PIN 49397922 to join. Will include a Q&A portion at the end for participants.

RSVP: Please email Anna Pycior at apycior@demos.org to RSVP for the call.

Adam Lioz, Counsel for Demos’ Democracy Program, and Blair Bowie, Democracy Advocate for U.S. PIRG, co-authored the report and data. They are available for comment, please see the contact information above.

Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election will be available at 11 a.m. Wednesday, just prior on the morning of the press call at www.demos.org.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.



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