Yesterday, in honor of the fourth anniversary of the Citizens United ruling, liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall asked his Facebook followers to sign a petition to overturn the ruling. In case you haven’t seen the whining from the left on this one, which only leveled the playing field for Republicans, the Supreme Court ruled that companies, nonprofits, and unions could give unlimited funds to election-related politicking as long as the activity was not coordinated with a candidate or political party.
Given Udall’s clear displeasure with the ruling and overhaul in election finance, we assume that he hasn’t taken outside money in his past elections. Oh. Wait. He has. In 2008, his candidacy was “supported” (no, not really because that would be illegal, but in reality….) by over $2 million in outside money. Specifically, the following groups, chipped in, according to OpenSecrets.org:
- League of Conservation Voters (nearly $1 million)
- National Education Association ($500,000)
- California School Employees Association ($76,904) – funny running into you here?
And there’s more unions and nonprofits and who knows what else. Maybe Sen. Udall has had a change of heart? Nope. He’s already off to a decent start this election year. The League of Conservation Voters is already spending money on his behalf – so far less than $1,000, but the year is still young.
Perhaps Udall’s criticism means that he won’t be taking any corporate PAC money for this election? Is that what we were to divine from this petition of his? Apparently not. Last year, for example, he took $5,000 checks from the likes of DaVita (Kent, was that you?), Dish, Genentech, and about 550 other committees. It’s just so darn unclear which legs Sen. Udall is standing on here when he’s grandstanding about Citizens United.
Just another example of watch what he does (ahem, NSA), not what he says.