News Release

Release of New Report: Auctioning Democracy

The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election
For Immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 6, 2012

CONTACT:

Blair Bowie, Democracy Advocate, bbowie@pirg.org, 202-546-0173 (U.S. PIRG)
Lauren Strayer, lstrayer@demos.org, (212) 389-1413 (Demos)

Press Call for Release of New Report, Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election

D.C. – This Wednesday, February 8th, Demos and U.S. PIRG are holding a press call to release a new and comprehensive analysis of Federal Election Commission data on Super PACs, from their advent in 2010 through the end of 2011. This new report, “Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election,” details FEC data findings, lays out actionable recommendations for all levels of government, and provides vivid new infographics (for use with attribution) that illustrate the damage dealt by Super PACs.

The report reveals trends in money from business, untraceable sources, and major donors since the inception of super PACs in 2010. Some of the striking findings in Auctioning Democracy include:

--% of the itemized funds raised by Super PACs cannot be feasibly traced back to an original source.
--% of the itemized funds raised by Super PACs from individuals in 2011 came in contributions of at least $10,000.

Super PACs represent much of what is wrong with American democracy rolled neatly into one package. They are tools that a tiny privileged minority can use to work its will by drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans in a sea of (sometimes secret) cash. They are tools used by for-profit business and big donors to translate economic success into political gain—sometimes in secret. This undermines basic principles of citizen sovereignty and political equality, and can rob voters of the chance to evaluate political messages in light of the messenger.

In Auctioning Democracy, Demos and U.S. PIRG offer recommendations for undoing the damage dealt by these Super PACs, specifically tailored to The Federal Election Commission, The Securities and Exchange Commission, The White House, The United States Congress, State Legislatures and even Municipal Governments. These actionable recommendations provide a badly needed pathway to unraveling this system of Super PACs and restoring a voice to the vast majority of Americans.

WHAT: Press Call to Release New Report, Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election by Demos and U.S. PIRG

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Call (888) 491-8283, PIN 49397922 to join. Will include a Q&A portion at the end for participants.

RSVP: Please email Anna Pycior at apycior@demos.org to RSVP for the call.

Adam Lioz, Counsel for Demos’ Democracy Program and Blair Bowie, Democracy Advocate for U.S. PIRG, co-authored the report and data. They are available for comment, please see the contact information above.

Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election will be available at 11am Wednesday, just prior on the morning of the press call at www.uspirg.org

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