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(01-20) 11:08 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Several protesters have been arrested this morning for blocking an entrance to the Wells Fargo building in downtown San Francisco, as demonstrators begin what they hope will be a day-long disruption of the city's Financial District.
Organizers of the protest, called Occupy Wall Street West, said they hope to shut down some of the city's largest downtown corporations with marches, demonstrations and flash mobs.
The protest was timed to coincide with Saturday's two-year anniversary of the Citizen's United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which removed limits on how much money corporations could donate to political causes. Protesters, many of whom supported the Occupy movement in the fall, said the decision exacerbated the divide between the rich and poor by handing too much power to big business.
Super-PACs and candidate committees already have spent more on television in South Carolina than during the entire campaign in New Hampshire, where candidates outspent super-PACs by $1.6 million to $1.4 million before the Jan. 10 primary. In Iowa, which held the kickoff contest on Jan. 3, candidates spent $4.5 million and super-PACs spent $2.7 million on broadcast TV. The South Carolina total is still rising because the CMAG data doesn’t include ads that will run in the final four days of the race.
Comedian Stephen Colbert, who has used his Comedy Central program to highlight the ineffectiveness of campaign finance laws aimed at reducing the influence of money in politics, poked fun at the explosion of super-PACs by forming his own. It is airing ads in South Carolina to help him explore running for “president of the United States of South Carolina.”
Hundreds of people affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement arrive at the U.S. Capitol in the early evening for a rally as part of an "Occupy Congress" event, in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)