NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t


In January, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling lifted restrictions on how much money corporations, unions and individuals could spend on political ads. On today’s Fresh Air, host Terry Gross talked with three journalists about the fundraising groups that have taken advantage of the Supreme Court ruling — and how their spending could affect the upcoming midterm elections. […] In the second half of the show, Terry spoke with Kenneth Vogel of Politico and Lee Fang of the liberal-leaning ThinkProgress about some of the specific groups that have formed since the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United — and about the anonymous donations that have been pouring in ever since. Vogel has been tracking the donations coming in to American Crossroads, which was created by Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. He said that 75 percent of the $4.2 million ad buy announced this week by American Crossroads was paid for by undisclosed donors and detailed how this massive fundraising has changed Karl Rove’s place within the Republican Party. “If we are to think of these groups as a shadow RNC or a shadow party infrastructure, Karl Rove would be the chairmen of this infrastructure,” said  Vogel. “There’s no doubt that he’s very much involved — even as he and Ed Gillespie protest to the contrary — in really shaping the strategy of these new groups, coordinating between these new groups and raising money for these new groups. And if Republicans are successful in the 2010 midterms — if they capture the House (or) the Senate —  a lot of credit will go to Karl Rove and some of these groups that he helped form and orchestrate.” MORE

RELATED: Watchdog groups rallied outside the Chamber of Commerce Thursday in the wake of a report by a liberal blog that the business lobby could be funding political ads with foreign money, which would violate federal election laws. Dozens of demonstrators — from organizations including including Public Citizen, Common Cause, Public Campaign and, appropriately, U.S. Chamber Watch — gathered outside the Chamber’s H Street offices waving signs that read “U.S. Democracy Belongs To U.S. Voters” and chanting “Hey hey, ho ho! Chamber money is foreign dough!” The rally took place days after Lee Fang of ThinkProgress reported that foreign corporations have paid annual Chamber dues to the tune of $300,000. The money goes to the business group’s general fund, much of which is used to run political attack ads against Democrats. MORE

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