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Some Early Returns From First Post-Citizens United Election

Political observers are still working through the rubble of the unprecedented $6 billion presidential campaign, but we're getting a steady stream of reaction and analysis.

The liberal advocacy groups U.S. PIRG and Demos have one of the most striking numerical comparisons: 1.4 million to 61.

That is, it took more than 1.4 million donors for President Obama and Mitt Romney to raise $285.2 million through one traditional fundraising avenue — the campaign's small, unitemized contributions of $200 or less.

It took 61 wealthy donors to give the same amount of money through a new player — the unregulated superPAC.

Specifically, the $285.2 million came from a minimum of 1,425,500 donors, most of them giving to the Obama campaign. But it would be matched by merely 61 of the 132 donors who gave at least $1 million to superPACs involved in the presidential race, like the pro-Romney Restore Our Future and the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action.

The U.S. PIRG-Demos report says those 132 largest donors gave an average $4.7 million each to superPACs.

On Friday, George Washington University Law School assembles some of the mavens of the political money world for a post-election assessment of the hot-button issues of political money and voting rights.

And a few groups already are using the numbers from the just ended election to launch efforts to change campaign finance law: The watchdog group Common Cause wants a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that, more than anything else, uncorked the big money; and the liberal United Republic, which says it is "dedicated to ending the corrupting influence of money in politics," unveiled a proposal on Tuesday seeking online "citizen co-sponsors" of a plan to overhaul political finance and lobbying laws.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

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