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CNN: Senate Democrats to hold Super PAC hearings


By Ted Barrett

February 1, 2012- Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats announced Tuesday they will hold hearings beginning later this month examining what they see as the negative impact of super PACs on the election process.

They also will work to develop legislation to require the disclosure of all donors to the increasingly powerful political organizations.

At the hearings, Democrats will ask organizers and possibly donors to testify.

"The more the public learn about this, the more reviled they will be about what's happening," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. "That involves having hearings and asking people why they gave and what motivated them. Showing people the affects."

Democrats wouldn't say who they would ask to testify, but at a news conference they repeatedly complained about two organizations run by Republican Karl Rove that raised $51 million last year - $33 million of which came from undisclosed donors.

Super PACs are flooding the airwaves with advertising during the Republican presidential primaries and caucuses.

"There is a huge disjunction between the political community that sees this just as new fields to plow and the broader American public which is revolted," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, who will chair a new Democratic task force on the issue. "I don't care if you're the most diehard progressive or a staunch tea partier, I think there is agreement right across the spectrum that corporate spending, anonymous and unlimited in our political campaigns is bad for America and out of control."

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