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The election's winner? Big money Baltimore Sun

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  • Mike Hersh
    *The election s winner? Big money Letter to the Editor published in /the/**/Baltimore Sun/*
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2010
      *The election's winner? Big money Letter to the Editor published in
      /the/**/Baltimore Sun/*

      Now that the election is over, the tallies are in, and the numbers are
      shocking --- and no, I'm not talking about the votes. I'm talking about
      the record-breaking amounts of anonymous money poured into campaign
      coffers by shadowy front groups like American Action Network and
      American Future Fund. American Action Network spent over $16 million on
      electioneering in 2010 but did not disclose where a single penny came
      from. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent over $31 million, but they also
      did not disclose their donors. They are not alone. The percentage of
      organizations disclosing their electioneering communications donors has
      fallen from 97 percent in 2004, to 34 percent in 2010, according to the
      Federal Election Commission.

      Thank the Supreme Court. In case after case, including the landmark
      /Citizens United v. FEC/, they have chipped away at barriers between
      corporate influence and democratic elections. While some may applaud the
      court's ruling for bestowing every American, from BP to your
      grandmother, with the right to anonymously spend millions of dollars on
      elections, the ability of foreign and domestic corporations and unions
      to launder large independent expenditures through front groups is just
      another way the voices of individuals are being drowned out.

      Action is being taken to mitigate this. Congress has a second chance to
      pass the Disclose Act, which would require groups to identify their
      donors. And in Maryland we are lucky enough to have a similar package
      going to the General Assembly, introduced by Sens. Jamie Raskin and
      Brian Frosh, which would guard our local officials from anonymous smear
      campaigns and pay-to-play politics. I hope Senate President Thomas V.
      Mike Miller
      will understand the need for these protections and use his extensive
      experience in the General Assembly to advocate for passage of these
      important bills.

      Jessica Sharp, Laurel

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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