Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: The backlash against big-money politics

Percent of U.S. voters who say super PACs -- independent committees that can raise unlimited funds from individuals, corporations and other groups  -- should be illegal: 69

Percent of political independents who say super PACs, which were made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision prohibiting restrictions on political expenditures by corporations, should be illegal: 78

Percent of U.S. voters who say super PACs should remain legal: 25

Total amount such outside groups spent to influence the 2010 election: $300 million

Portion of that money for which the source will never be revealed: 1/2

Amount that super PACs have raised so far this election cycle: $130 million

Total amount that some political observers believe super PACs could raise by the November election: $1 billion

Date on which the city council in South Miami, Fla. unanimously passed a resolution in reaction to Citizens United calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to ban corporate personhood: 10/4/2011

Number of towns in Vermont that have done likewise: more than 24

Date on which a federal appeals court unanimously upheld New York City's campaign finance laws, with renowned Judge Guido Calabresi writing a concurring opinion lamenting the Citizens United decision: 12/21/2011

Date on which the Montana Supreme Court also challenged the reasoning behind Citizens United by upholding a state law banning the use of corporate treasury funds for electioneering, with a ruling saying the state remained "vulnerable to continued efforts of corporate control to the detriment of democracy": 12/30/2011

Date on which the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania's FlackCheck.org project launched "Stand by Your Ad" to fight deceptive super PAC advertising: 2/21/2012

Date on which FlackCheck.org issued an alert to Mississippi broadcast stations warning them that they were airing misleading attacks by a pro-Romney super PAC: 3/9/2012

Number of Mississippi broadcast stations that aired at least one of the misleading ads: 14

Date on which FlackCheck.org issued an alert to Alabama broadcast stations warning them that they were airing similarly misleading ads: 3/9/2012

Number of Alabama broadcast stations that aired at least one of the misleading ads: 19

Amount that broadcast stations are expected to rake in this year from political ads: $3 billion

(Click on figure to go to source. Photo via Public Citizen/Flickr.)

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Facing South
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