And here it is! The first chapter of the Moneyocracy transmedia documentary project is now online on www.moneyocracy-project.com. Combining a comic experience, a serious game and a documentary, ROOM 501C4 immerses you into a secret organisation that prepares the next election cycle. Influence, money, secret, discover what made the 2012 U.S elections so special.
ROOM 501c4 is an introduction to an upcoming documentary focusing on the place of money in politics & the U.S democracy. Super PACs, Citizens United v. FEC and donors disclosure are among the topics these two segment will try to explain.
The Colbert Report accepting the Peabody Award for their work shedding light on campaign finance, in particular Super PACs.
CTS explains: Federal Election Commission, a.k.a. the FEC
Even the pros can sometimes use a refresher, so we are continuing our explainer series to help boil down some of the terms being thrown around during this election. And for this one, we’re going WAY back. Think of it as, Campaign Finance 101.
Just over a year ago, Stephen Colbert was granted approval to form his super PAC, it later became known as “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.” Who was tasked with approving this venture? The Federal Election Commission.
With millions of dollars flying around in the post-Citizens United world, elections these days can feel a little like the wild west. The FEC is an independent government agency that seeks to keep track of all that money — and they’ve been doing it for almost 40 years.
The FEC was created as part of a 1974 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971. While the 1971 act consolidated reforms of the previous 65 years, it lacked the teeth to prevent the biggest campaign finance scandal in anyone’s memory: Watergate.
The 1974 amendment also limited contributions from individuals, political parties and political action committees (more on those later). Later Supreme Court rulings, such as Citizens United, and Congressional amendments would tighten up—or in some cases, loosen up — the provisions of FECA.
We tweet extensively. Follow the hashtag #source2012 for all kinds of breaking and investigative election-related news.
In this new series, we will attempt to explore the main characters evolving around the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. Each “card” will represent a character who symbolize one aspect of the Citizen United case.
These characters in fact are either directly linked to the case or are acting against or in favor of it. The full consequences of that decision still have to be determined as the 2012 Presidential campaign is still very much in its beginning. Yet, we can already evaluate the tremendous impact that Super PACs have on campaigns and political communication.
KARL ROVE | Political Consultant, Founder of American Crossroads
The former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bush administration is a long time conservative figure. He’s currently adviser and board member of American Crossroads, a 527 organization that has raised and spent tens of millions of dollars to defend and elect Republican candidates to federal office.
According to Opensecret.org,
American Crossroads is a conservative group spearheaded by top Republican operatives. Karl Rove, the former top strategist for President George W. Bush, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie encouraged the group’s formation and solicited donors for funds. Formed in 2010, American Crossroads initially reported its activities to the Internal Revenue Service as a so-called 527 organization. After the SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission federal court rule, which allowed outside groups that expressly advocate for or against federal candidates to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions and individuals, American Crossroads registered with the FEC as an independent expenditure-only committee, better than as a super PAC. Steven Law — who previously worked in Bush’s Labor Department, served as Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s chief of staff, was the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and served as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s general counsel — heads the group. It regularly disclosed its donors, but Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a spin-off registered with the IRS as a 501(c)4 nonprofit group, does not.
See the numbers here
American Crossroads is very active during this Presidential Campaign and since the Republican Primaries are over, the organization starts to attack Mitt Romney’s opponent, Barack Obama.
According to Politico reporter Robin Bravender,
The Karl Rove-backed super PAC American Crossroads picked up steam in fundraising last month, raking in $4.6 million and stockpiling nearly $30 million to use against President Barack Obama and other Democrats. American Crossroads raised more in May than it has in any month since January after raising less than $2 million in both March and April. But despite the slight dropoff in recent months, the super PAC has continued to grow its cash reserves by spending relatively little.
Read more on politico.com
Part of the Rove’s organization, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation that works in conjunction with American Crossroads. As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Crossroads GPS’s primary purpose is the advancement of social welfare including public policy advocacy, although it is permitted to engage in political spending as well. Crossroads GPS is required to report what it spends, but it is not required to publicly disclose any donor information.
Mid june 2012, in a letter to Crossroads — and a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission — the president’s lawyer, Robert F. Bauer, demanded that Crossroads divulge its donors because it is a political committee and not, as it calls itself, a “social welfare” organization.
The GOP-aligned group Crossroads GPS has spent $7 million to air a new ad attacking President Barack Obama for “growing our debt faster than our economy.”
The ad, called “Stopwatch,” begins airing in 10 states on Tuesday night. It is part of a $25 million effort to focus national attention on jobs, the economy, taxes and debt. (Read more on the Huffington Post)
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