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DeFazio Target of First Citizens United Independent Expenditure Campaign In Oregon

Washington, D.C. based group intends to raise “unlimited amounts of money” to influence outcome of 4th CD race

EUGENE (OR) -- Yesterday, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4) became the first federal candidate in Oregon to be targeted by an independent expenditure group, "Concerned Taxpayers of America" in the wake of the Supreme Court's highly controversial and unprecedented decision earlier this year in the Citizens United case.

CTA is a Washington, D.C. based group that was formed to "raise funds in unlimited amounts." The amounts raised and the sources of funding for the ads are totally undisclosed. No disclosure of sources or amounts is required under Citizens United. This is the first time one of these new national organization has attempted to dump special interest money into an Oregon congressional race in an attempt to influence the outcome of the race. The ad is running in high rotation throughout Southwest Oregon on television.

BACKGROUND ON SUPREME COURT RULING
On January 21, 2010, in a highly controversial 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 100 years of standing election law that banned corporate spending in congressional campaigns. This new ruling allows corporations to give unlimited contributions to a campaign as long as they are not coordinated with a candidate's campaign.

Many of the Supreme Court Justices voting in the affirmative were roundly criticized for this ruling. Many of the newer justices had stated in confirmation hearings they would follow the precedent set by previous courts. Chief Justice Roberts said at his confirmation hearing in 2005 that “I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” Justice Alito had also said at his confirmation hearing in 2006 that “courts should respect the judgments and the wisdom that are embodied in prior judicial decisions.” He went on to say, “It's important because it limits the power of the judiciary.”

"The Citizens United decision was the worst in a series of Supreme Court rulings that have tilted influence of our elections toward wealthy special interests rather than average citizens," DeFazio said. "The fact that a DC based group intends to "raise funds in unlimited amounts" and from entirely anonymous sources in an attempt to influence the outcome of my race is very disturbing and I don't think Oregonians are going to buy into it."

ATTEMPTS IN AD
The ad attempts to link DeFazio to key policies supported by leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, DeFazio has voted against his leaders' on key policies including the Wall Street bailout, the Stimulus bill, and cap and trade legislation.

DeFazio was even famously chided by President Obama in a House Caucus meeting telling DeFazio, “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” in reference to his no vote on stimulus legislation.

And last March Politico, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that DeFazio was number six on Speaker Pelosi's "enemies list," due to his opposition to the "stimulus" bill and cap and trade energy legislation.

And DeFazio was the first Democrat to call on President Obama to fire his economic team, led by Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, both of whom have ties to Wall Street and supported many of the policies that led to the economic collapse. Last November, he said on the Ed Schultz show, "We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for hard working Americans."

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See the Register-Guard editorial about the ads "EDITORIAL: Political sniper fire"

Posted on September 22, 2010 in Press Releases.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter