People For the American Way released a TV ad in Colorado today calling out Senate candidate Ken Buck for the millions of dollars in support he's received from shadowy corporate interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been accused of funneling money from foreign corporations toward U.S. elections.
In January, the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money from their treasuries to influence elections. Since then, groups backed by corporate interests have been spending millions of dollars to support pro-corporate candidates and smear their opponents, often with misleading ads. And most of these groups are under no obligation to disclose the source of their money. One of the largest of these groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been unable to disprove accusations that it has directed money that it gets from foreign corporations toward its electoral activities.
"Americans are fed up with the corrupting power of corporate money in our political system. Poll after poll has proven this," said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way, "The Citizens United decision, followed by congressional Republicans' united effort to sink the DISCLOSE Act, has made corporate influence in our elections stronger than ever. But instead of fighting to reverse Citizens United and eliminate corporate spending in our democracy, Ken Buck is taking advantage of millions of dollars worth of ads that corporate interests are buying to spread lies about his opponent.
"Michael Bennet has been a strong voice for kicking shadowy corporate money out of elections, and has signed our pledge to work toward reversing Citizens United. Sen. Bennet has made it clear that he's working for the people of Colorado, not for the bottom lines of foreign corporations. Ken Buck, by contrast, has stayed mum about his corporate backers, while pushing their agenda of less regulation for big business and lower taxes for the wealthy. His policies show a disregard for the middle class and his embrace of secretly funded corporate ads shows his disregard for government by the people."
More information on corporate spending in the 2010 elections can be found in People For the American Way's Report, After Citizens United: A Look into the Pro-Corporate Players in American Politics.