Today's top new stories about money in politics and democracy.
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February 06, 2020

Top Money in Politics News

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Cross-partisan public support spurs congressional hearing to overturn Citizens United (The Hill) “On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties is holding a hearing on Citizens United and its “Consequences for Democracy & Potential Responses by Congress.” 

Already 141 million Americans, 46 percent of the U.S. population, in 20 states and 806 localities have supported amending the Constitution in order to restore the democratic promise of America. In Congress, 47 of the needed 67 senators and 210 of the 290 representatives have signed on in support of the 28th Amendment with 20 of 38 states having passed measures that will make it ready to ratify.”

Acronym, the dark money group behind the Iowa caucuses app meltdown, explained (Vox) “This isn’t how Acronym wanted to rocket onto the national stage. The Iowa caucuses debacle drew a lot of attention to a new app made by a company called Shadow that was at the center of many technical failures of the evening. And it’s also putting scrutiny on Acronym — the Democratic group that backed Shadow — which has sought the spotlight in recent months, though probably didn’t hope for this situation.

Acronym is a relatively new Democratic group that launched in 2017 and got active around the 2018 midterms in digital organizing. Its structure is, in a word, complex. Acronym is a nonprofit, but it also has a political action committee — under its nonprofit are for-profit entities that its nonprofit sometimes pays into. It is brazen and ambitious, which is not unique for a political strategy group, but it’s also somewhat shadowy and secretive. And it’s been trying to distance itself from the Iowa debacle, even though it’s really at the center of the storm.”

Pete Buttigieg Adviser’s Tweet Sure Looks Like A Coordinating Message To Outside Groups (HuffPost) “A Pete Buttigieg adviser tweeted Wednesday the importance of getting the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s record in the military out to the people of Nevada, and the message looked an awful lot like he was trying to get around federal anti-coordination rules that prevent campaigns from sharing strategy and messaging with outside groups.”

Why Bloomberg’s Extravagant Spending Goes Too Far (POLITICO) “The rich are different from you and me—they can buy themselves instant presidential campaigns. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has elbowed himself into the Democratic nomination race solely on the basis of his personal fortune. 

His campaign is high-handed as only a billionaire many times over could even contemplate. He entered late, is skipping the early contests and hasn’t participated in any of the debates to date (although that will change soon thanks to the Democratic National Committee adjusting its rules to retrofit them for Bloomberg).”

Also see: As NH Primary Nears, TV Ad Spending Tops $430 Million Nationally (Wesleyan Media Project)

Free speech or dark money disclosure: Political operatives seek to gut SF campaign ad measure (San Francisco Chronicle) “A handful of prominent San Francisco political operatives are seeking to gut a ballot measure voters overwhelmingly passed last year that pulls back the curtain on who’s paying for campaign advertisements. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, a group sued the city to neuter the key provisions of Proposition F, which its supporters named the “Sunlight on Dark Money Initiative.””


10 years after #SCOTUS paved the way for unlimited spending to influence elections, it’s time to put the power back in the hands of the people. Join us to support the Democracy for All Amendment on Feb. 6>> #EndCitizensUnited

Acronym, the dark money group behind the Iowa caucuses app meltdown, explained

Many on the debate stage have sworn off taking corporate PAC money. That is one approach to getting money out of our political system. We need to know how else the candidates would seek to limit the influence of big money in our elections. #AskAboutDemocracy

The DNC has changed the qualifier rules for the debate later this month, drowning out the voices of small donors. Moderators should use this change as a way to ask candidates about a big-money vs. small-donors at Friday’s debate. #AskAboutDemocracy 

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