Citizens United, the conservative group that successfully sued to enable wealthy corporations to buy elections, also has it in for same-sex couples. Yet an amicus brief they recently filed in the Supreme Court backing the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act would not simply deny marriage equality to gay people, it calls upon the Supreme Court to toss out a landmark decision ending public school segregation in the District of Columbia and declare that the federal government is free to discriminate against minorities and women:
This is why he doesn’t mention Citizens United anymore:
When President Obama told supporters that he would morph his campaign into a new nonprofit that would accept unlimited corporate donations, the announcement set off a familiar round of griping from campaign finance reformers.
The creation this month of Organizing for Action, which will promote the president’s second-term agenda, appears to be the fourth reversal by Obama on major money-in-politics issues since 2008.
“No big bank or corporation will donate million-dollar checks to OFA without the expectation that it will impact which issues they engage on, and that’s very troubling,” said Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
The Washington Post noted that in reorganizing his campaign as a tax-exempt social welfare group, the president is embracing a structure that has been criticized for allowing anonymous money into politics.
Conservatives who’ve been attacked by the Obama camp for their reliance on such “dark money” groups called out the president’s “brazen hypocrisy.” Neither the White House nor Organizing for America responded to requests for comment.
Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign was the most technologically advanced political operation in American history, a techie’s wet dream. The campaign, led by Jim Messina, amassed and distilled vast quantities of voter data, built apps and networks to mobilize voters and enlist volunteers, and practically perfected the science of email fundraising. Post-election, Messina and his lieutenants weren’t about to let their data files, email lists, algorithms, and grassroots machine simply gather dust. Instead, they will soon launch Organizing for Action, a standalone advocacy group created to bolster Obama as he pursues his second-term agenda. Messina wrote in an email to donors and staffers that the new group “will be a supporter-driven organization, as we’ve always been, staying true to our core principles: ‘respect, empower, include.’”
But there’s a rub: Organizing for Action will be formed under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, and will not be required to disclose its donors. (The Los Angeles Times first reported this.) For context, Karl Rove’s dark-money juggernaut, Crossroads GPS, is a 501(c)(4), as is the Koch-backed national conservative group Americans for Prosperity. The decision to make Organizing for Action a dark-money nonprofit makes sense strategy-wise: as a nonprofit the new group can meet and coordinate with members of the Obama White House, which it couldn’t do as a super-PAC. But the decision flies in the face of Obama and the Democrats’ supposed commitment to transparency.
He won the office in 2008 with banker money. Now Obama will do the same thing in 2012. As a consequence he was a tool of big business in his first 4 years. And he will do the same in the next four:
In the race for cash, Mr. Obama often praises his millions of grass-roots donors, those die-hards whose $3 or $10 or $75 contributions are as much a symbol of the president’s political identity as they are a source of ready cash. But his campaign’s big-dollar fund-raising has become more dependent than it was four years ago on a smaller number of large-dollar donors and fund-raisers.
All told, Mr. Obama’s top “bundlers” — people who gather checks from friends and business associates — raised or gave at least $200 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee through the end of May, close to half of the total up to that point, according to internal campaign documents obtained by The New York Times.
Why hasn’t spoken on this issue until now? For the same reason he doesn’t talk about raising the minimum wage or restricting the sale of assault rifles:
In answering a question posed to him by a member of the Internet community Reddit, President Barack Obama stated his support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, the first time that the president has voiced this position himself.
Why are we tolerating this again?
Matt Brooks describes the mission of the Republican Jewish Coalition as educating the Jewish community about critical domestic and foreign policy issues.
But the well-dressed crowd that gathered in May for a
luncheon on the 24th floor of a New York law firm easily could have figured that the group had a different purpose: Helping Mitt Romney win the presidency.
Brooks, the group’s executive director, showed the 100 or so attendees two coalition-funded ads taking aim at President Barack Obama. Then Brooks made a pitch for a $6.5 million plan to help Romney in battleground states, reminding guests that their donations would not be publicly disclosed by the tax-exempt group.
“Contributions to the RJC are not reported,” Brooks told the people sitting around a horseshoe-shaped table. “We don’t make our donors’ names available. We can take corporate money, personal money, cash, shekels, whatever you got.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition and similar organizations enjoy tax-exempt status in exchange for promoting social welfare. In this election, the most expensive in U.S. history, they also have emerged as the primary conduit for anonymous big-money contributions.
This is not democracy. We are losing our republic before our very eyes:
Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.
These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.
The two nonprofits had outspent each of the other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.
It will take a constitutional amendment to reverse the flood of independent money inundating American elections in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee was told on Tuesday.
Roughly 80 percent of all ad spending by Republicans on the general election has come from these super PACs, as Romney has expended a relatively meager $35 million to date on ads in swing states, according to ad buy figures provided to the Fix by a GOP media buyer.
By contrast, the $20 million that Democratic super PACs have spent on ads so far in the general election accounts for just 19 percent of total ad spending on the Democratic side.
Of the 10 biggest spenders on TV ads among outside groups, eight of them are Republican affiliated.
…no one on Wall Street has been held accountable four years after perpetrating the greatest financial crime on the American people since the events leading up to the Great Depression, a heist that has cost millions of people their homes and their jobs. The same reason no one has been held accountable for pouring 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP oil spill. (In April, I spent a week with my family on a beautiful stretch of beach we’d visited many times during the kids’ spring break, except this time I watched as preschoolers made sand castles with sludge-colored sand and wondered about the unknown health effects on their young bodies.)
Democrats blame Washington’s inability to get anything done on Republican obstructionism, and in large part they are right. But there’s another part. In March, Senate Democrats couldn’t get the votes they needed in their own caucus to pass a bill that would end billions in subsidies to oil companies. They were lucky the Republicans are so corrupt that all but two of them voted to preserve the subsidies.
[...]What is perhaps most striking and unusual in this kind of message testing is the absence of virtually any differences in the reactions of Republicans, Democrats and independents. “It’s time we return to government of, by and for the people, not government of, bought and paid for by special interests,” the message began, and proceeded to develop that theme. It pointed out that “the job of a Wall Street banker is to get a good return on their investment, and unfortunately, they’ve taken those skills to Washington,” before landing on the idea that “politicians should work for us, not their corporate sponsors.”
That message beat a strong opposition message, 61 percent to 19 percent. And it was only one of several messages that won by extremely large margins.
[...]Most members of Congress I’ve spoken with hate the current system, which relegates them to spending half their time like telemarketers begging donors for money. And those who aren’t completely corrupted by a system designed to corrupt even the most decent person often find themselves aware, at some level of consciousness, that what is for sale is their souls, as they compromise the interests of their constituents for the special interests of the few.