Pro Publica has created an interactive chart which shows the share of all contributions given by the top ten donors to each of the 12 largest super PACs, through Jan. 31. Some corporations are affiliated with individual donors, such as the Contran Corporation, which is owned by Harold Simmons. Some donors, such as Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Yasmin and Oren Lukatz, and Sivan Ochshorn gave individually but are all members of a single family. Hover over each super PAC's name to see the total raised by its top ten donors, and hover over each donor to see how much they gave.
-by Brendan Fischer
May 2, 2013- The right-wing network funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers is being revamped after the 2012 elections, starting with a new nonprofit called the "Association for American Innovation" that will act as a hub for funnelling undisclosed spending towards the Kochs' political projects. With ambiguous IRS rules and a deadlocked Congress, they might get away with it.
-By Ruth Conniff
April 30, 2013- It's "the most powerful organization in America that no one seems to know about."
Unlike David Koch of the Koch Brothers, whose cover was blown when a gonzo blogger named Ian Murphy (editor of the Buffalo Beast and a frequent contributor to The Progressive), impersonated him in a prank call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation operates off the mainstream media radar. Yet the group has made more than $530 million in grants and awards since 1985, making it a much, much bigger giver to rightwing causes than the Koch brothers. With more than $290 million in assets, Bradley is one of the biggest foundations in the United States.
-By Ian Millhiser
April 5, 2013- Attorney General Eric Holder has a solid record on voting rights, and he’s criticized Republican state lawmaker’s efforts to restrict the franchise in the past — at one point comparing voter ID laws to an unconstitutional poll tax. At a speech in New York yesterday, Holder added a new line to his previous attacks on voter suppression, suggesting that DOJ will respond with legal action if any Republican state lawmakers move forward with their proposals to rig the Electoral College:
Huffington Post: West Virginia House Of Delegates Calls For Citizens United Constitutional Amendment
-By John Celock
March 28, 2013- The Democratic-controlled West Virginia House of Delegates voted Thursday to call on Congress to enact a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
The resolution, which passed 60-39, asks for Congress to draft a constitutional amendment which would allow for corporations to be regulated in terms of how much money they could donate and spend on behalf of political candidates, The State-Journal reported. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could not be regulated on campaign spending, deeming that they were covered under the First Amendment to freedom of speech when it came to campaign donations. A number of Democratic lawmakers and others have been seeking to overturn the decision.
-By Peter H Stone
March 24, 2013- California officials have widened an investigation into the source of $11 million that was mysteriously funneled by a few nonprofit groups in 2012 to sway two ballot measures in the state, The Huffington Post has learned.
The state’s election watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, which launched the inquiry last November, is working closely with the California attorney general’s office, according to a person familiar with the matter. They have issued about a dozen new subpoenas to individuals and organizations for financial records, according to the person, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.
-By Gil Aegerter
March 18, 2013- An attempt to illegally obtain absentee ballots in Florida last year is the first known case in the U.S. of a cyberattack against an online election system, according to computer scientists and lawyers working to safeguard voting security.
Washington University St. Louis: Voter ID laws posed big hurdle for minority youth in 2012 elections, study confirms
March 14, 2013- At polling places across America in November 2012, Latinos and African Americans under age 30 were disproportionately asked for identification, even in states that do not have voter ID laws, according to a post-election analysis by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.
“Our study shows that voter ID laws have disproportionately severe consequences for youth of color,” says co-author Jon C. Rogowski, PhD, assistant professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.
“Whether the biases are conscious or unconscious, the result of these laws is that people of color are effectively being disenfranchised. Our nation has an obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to the voting booth.”
The study, released this week by the Black Youth Project, is co-authored by Cathy Cohen, PhD, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
-By Erin Fuchs
March 7, 2013- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was torn to shreds in the media for calling the Voting Rights Act a "racial entitlement" during heated arguments last week.
Section 5 requires part or all of 16 states (mostly in the South) to get permission from the U.S. before changing their election laws, as a way to make sure minorities aren't disenfranchised.