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Let's End the Secret Money Arms Race

They say actions speak louder than words. But in the world of money in politics, this mantra seems to have fallen on deaf ears. While President Obama and many members of Congress have called for changes to our campaign finance system, thus far rhetoric seems to have prevailed over concrete results.

As The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel notes in her recent column, it's time that members of leadership demonstrate their commitment to Fair Elections:

EDITORIAL: A Return on the Big Oil Campaign Cash Investment

"If only taxpayers had that kind of sway in Washington." The Mercury News hits the nail on the head in their editorial on the debate on tax subsidies for Big Oil. 

Big Oil + Big Campaign Cash = Big Payday

On top of paying nearly $4 a gallon for gas, we're also padding Big Oil companies' huge profits through tax subsidies. And just yesterday, despite huge public outcry to stop them, the House of Representatives voted to end debate on putting a stop to the corporate welfare. It's pretty easy to see why. As The Hill reports today, Big Oil poured huge amounts of campaign cash into lawmakers' campaign coffers and, SHOCK, they got exactly what they wanted.

"Prince of Pork" Funnels Staggering Sum of Federal Dollars Into His Fiefdom

Who better to lead the committee responsible for doling out federal dollars than the man known as the "Prince of Pork?" Talking Points Memo (TPM) has a story today on a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that details how new House Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep.

Class of 2010 Motto?: Dance With the Ones Who Brung Ya

It seems that when the class of 2010 lawmakers aren't busy following the advise of longtime members of Congress on the need to raise huge amounts of campaign cash, they're "hard at work" paying back campaign contributors from the last election. Politico reports today that many freshman are fine-tuning the ancient D.C. craft of passing legislation tailored specifically toward their big money campaign donors.

Fair Elections Now Act Hearing in Senate Subcommittee

This morning the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750, H.R. 1404) was heard before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. With lead Senate bill sponsor and subcommittee chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) presiding, the hearing, entitled: “The Fair Elections Now Act: A Comprehensive Response to Citizens United," included a lively discussion with panelists, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Monica Youn of the Brennan Center for Justice arguing in favor of the bill, and Cleta Mitchell, Partner, Foley and Larner, arguing against.

Round-up of the Media Coverage of Yesterday's Fair Elections Bill Introduction

Yesterday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), along with Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced the Fair Elections Now Act into the 112th Congress. They were joined at the press conference by Alec Baldwin, who supports the legislation. The bill introduction was covered in multiple media outlets.

Here's a rundown of the initial coverage: covered the press conference, quoting Baldwin:

Fair Elections Now Act Re-introduced in Congress

Today the Fair Election Now Act was re-introduced into the 112th Congress. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was joined by Reps. John B. Larson and Chellie Pingree, as well as actor Alec Baldwin, in a press conference announcing the legislation.

Rep. Paul Ryan Received More Than $100,000 From the Kochs and Their PAC

Given all the attention that Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is receiving for his budget proposal, it’s probably a good idea to remind everyone that he is the among the top recipients of campaign cash from the billionaire Koch brothers and their company’s political action committee.

According to our analysis of data coded by the Center for Responsive Politics, Ryan’s campaign and his leadership PAC have received $98,000 from Koch’s PAC and $2,500 from David Koch.

How's That "Anti-Washington, D.C. Culture" Thing Working Out For You?

A story in Politico today illustrates perfectly how Washington, D.C. works. With the need to raise huge sums of campaign cash for the next election well underway, the very large freshman class of Republican lawmakers are taking direction from old DC hats and teaming up to raise money by forming joint fundraising committees.