Daily Media Links 11/7: Politics 101, Without the Classroom, The Most Expensive Election in History by the Numbers, and more…

November 7, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News

The Hill: Election results will render verdict on influence of high-profile super-PACs 
By Niall Stanage
“Yes, super-PACs have benefited Republicans in 2010 and again here,” Smith said. “But over the long term, they will benefit the party out of power. People who are out of power get more psyched up and it is easier to raise money from them.   
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“And the three of us have a right to speak together…” 
By Sarah Lee
The newest Learn Liberty video with CCP founder Brad Smith is up at their site today and this one tackles misconceptions about the oft-maligned Citizens United decision of 2010. Smith destroys the myth that Citizens United magically turned corporations into people. Instead noting that the decision actually seeks to prevent the banning of corporate-produced material that contained even one line of political advocacy. “Corporations are not people. And nobody thinks they are,” Smith notes. “The Supreme Court doesn’t think they are. but corporations have been recognized as persons for purposes of the law for centuries…the idea of a corporation as a person, as a legal concept, is very valuable to us…[And] corporations have all the rights that we as people have when we assemble.”  
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Independent groups

Roll Call: Outside Spending Defines Elections  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
Campaign spending by unrestricted super PACs and secretive tax-exempt groups topped $1 billion in this election cycle, close to four times the amount spent by such organizations in the last presidential race. 
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The Hill: Bullying and using employees for political purposes is objectionable 
By Adam Skaggs
That corporations have a free speech right to spend millions on political TV advertising because of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is common knowledge.   Less discussed is how the decision elevated corporations’ political rights over their employees’. Numerous corporations have evidently concluded that it is now perfectly legal to impose management’s political views on the workforce, stamping on the rights of working voters to engage in free and frank political discussion without fear of retribution.  
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Associated Press: Western Tradition Partnership: Bank records show coordination with legislative candidate 
The Western Tradition Partnership bank records show Dan Kennedy’s 2010 winning campaign for a state House seat wrote the group a check for $557.50 after it had filled mailboxes with attacks against primary opponent Debra Bonogofsky of Billings.  
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Politico: To redeem democracy, get values back into politics   
By Jim Wallis
The checks are replacing all the balances in our public life, but the common good is not for sale.   
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Bloomberg: Women Donors Shun Super-PACs, Favor Democrats Fundraising 
By Julie Bykowicz
“I appreciated the strategic way that she was talking to women like me,” Mostyn said in a phone interview. “She was very focused on the fact that there were negative things said during the Republican primary about women’s issues. I also liked the fact that there was a woman in charge of the PAC. She’s running the show, and she knows what she’s doing.” 
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Mercury News: California political watchdog names secret $11 million campaign contributors, claims they were ‘money laundering’  
By Steven Harmon
But “this isn’t going to stop here,” said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s political watchdog. “They admitted to money laundering. We agreed to do this without an audit because we wanted to get information to the public before the election. But we in no way agreed this would preclude further action.” 
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CPI: Election’s enigmatic biggest corporate donor has contributed $5.3 million 
By Michael Beckel and Reity O’Brien
The biggest corporate contributor in the 2012 election so far doesn’t appear to make anything — other than very large contributions to a conservative super PAC. 

Candidates and parties

The Atlantic: The Most Expensive Election in History by the Numbers 
By John Hudson
The election is almost over, and thanks to a combination of near-constant fundraising and outside spending, the 2012 race will go down as the most expensive election in history (until we hold the next presidential race, you can assume). Here are the eye-popping money totals behind the expansive money binge.  
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NY Times: Politics 101, Without the Classroom 
By Ian Lovett
Ms. Greco is one of the 32 Occidental undergraduates who fanned out across the country this fall on “campaign semester,” a program that allows students to earn a semester of college credit for working on political campaigns.  

Joe Trotter


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