3/28/11 Daily Clips
Today’s the day for Supreme Court arguments in McComish v. Bennett, a case looking at the constitutionality of the "trigger funds" provision in Arizona Clean Elections. Lots of news about it over the weekend and this morning.
McComish/Other Campaign Finance
Arizona’s Boon to free speech
Positive NYT editorial on the case. USA Today editorial, Washington Post editorial
Arizona campaign-finance case brings out sharp division
Great lead: “A prominent bipartisan group of former governors, U.S. senators and other officials have joined a campaign-finance case at the Supreme Court on Monday, contending a disputed Arizona public-financing system ‘adds voices to the political forum.’” LA Times, Washington Post, Impact on CT, Christian Science Monitor, NPR, and in Arizona here and here.
Free speech worth paying for, by Charles Fried and Cliff Sloan
Fried and Sloan have this op-ed about the McComish case. “While fearing the corrupting effects of unrestrained campaign spending, the people of Arizona abridged no speech, forbade nothing, restricted nothing. Instead, they followed the principle...that the remedy for speech that is threatening or inconvenient is ‘more speech.’” Another op-ed from Costas Panagopoulos.
Watchdog: Supreme Court should uphold Arizona Clean Elections
Here’s our statement that went out this morning.
And a dissenting view from Brad Smith, chairman of the “First Amendment group”, Center for Competitive Politics:
FEC still hasn’t issued new campaign spending rules
And the FEC continues to be useless.
How much does it cost to run for president?
Influx of corporate political cash followed pivotal federal court decision
“One year ago Saturday, a federal court granted a new breed of political committee the ability to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations and unions to fund independent expenditures...and corporate treasury money accounted for about $15.5 million of the cash donated to so-called Super PACs...in the ruling's wake.”
Haley Barbour, the fat cats’ candidate
Milbank on Haley Barbour’s candidacy: “For me, and for other Washington insiders all along the K Street corridor, this was good news indeed: Finally, one of our own has a chance to become president.”
Obama stands by GE’s Immelt
Even though GE doesn’t pay taxes, and Obama is opposed to some of the things his company it does, he stands firm on having its CEO lead the White House jobs council.
AT&T lobbyist faces beltway test in T-Mobile deal
More on AT&T’s influence in Washington—will it be enough to get the T-Mobile purchase approved? Also, AT&T sent cupcakes to the FCC last year.
Durbin’s role a third rail among Democrats
Interesting story about lead Fair Elections sponsor Dick Durbin and his leadership role—and the sensitivities surrounding it.
Pawlenty’s money men (and women)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn) will announce his 2012 fundraising team today. Related; "The 2012 money chase begins."
Who will rescue financial reform?
This op-ed in the Times talks about Republican efforts to repeal or weaken financial reform. “It is also a campaign fund-raising ploy, because Wall Street will reward the opponents of reform.”
Losing our way, by Bob Herbert
Bob Herbert had a great final column this weekend. “Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed.”
When illegal doesn’t matter—US Uncut’s national day of protest
US Uncut held protests in cities across the country this weekend to protest corporate tax dodging. One organizer’s statement: “The reason it’s not illegal is because they have bought and paid for the people who make the laws.”
Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers
A good post by Glenn Greenwald on the pity parties billionaires like the Koch brothers and the like have when they are criticized. “For billionaires to see themselves as the True Victims, to complain that the President and the Government are waging some sort of war against them in the name of radical egalitarianism, is so removed from reality -- universes away -- that's it's hard to put into words.” Related, from Politico, “The battle to define the Koch Brothers."