Energy Interests Spending Big in 2010

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Energy interests are spending big this year, with a chunk of that money focused on tipping the scales toward candidates who might be more sympathetic to them next Congress. Energy companies have spent $68.5 million in 2010, mostly via the trade and interest groups that represent them, according to a new report from the left-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund. Of that total, $17.3 million was for television ads between August and October 2010.

The biggest spender was the American Petroleum Institute, which accounted for more than half of the total at over $39 million. Another deep pocket is the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the coal front group, which spent more than $16 million. ACCCE, which was in the headlines last year for hiring a contractor that forged letters to Congress in 2009, has been running ads in Washington, D.C., Montana, and Texas touting the virtues of coal.

Other groups, like the National Association of Manufacturers, have targeted specific Democratic lawmakers—Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, John Rockefeller and Carte Goodwin of West Virginia, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl in Wisconsin.

CAPAF has a neat interactive map that lets you see where these groups are spending. It’s worth checking out.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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