Clips Round-up for 4/11/11
First, check out Larry Lessig's keynote at the National Conference on Media Reform over the weekend: http://blip.tv/file/5000937
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Three men in a room
The New York Times editorial page once again calls for big changes in Albany, including public financing.
Demonizing political equality
Good piece from Campaign Legal Center’s Tara Malloy on the Court's derision of efforts to create "political equality." She writes, "It is strange, to say the least, that the Court, whose building bears the scroll 'Equal Justice Under Law,' would apparently come to the conclusion that equality has become the ultimate political evil"
Affecting change through campaign finance reform
Public Citizen’s Craig Holman and I talk about why we need to fix our political system.
Campaign lawyers reject idea FEC is broken
Some campaign lawyers disagree with reformers that the FEC is broken.
How donor disclosure hurts democracy
James Huffman makes the case that donor disclosure benefits incumbents--donors don't want to cross incumbents by giving to challengers--but really just makes the case for why our pay-to-play system is a problem.
Citizen-owned campaigns may be only remedy
Common Cause Texas' Paul Silver has this letter to the editor on the Fair Elections Now Act.
Obama's $25 loyalists will be chump change in 2012
A column on Obama's potential $1 billion election campaign. "If you give $200, you are making up 0.00002 of the planned total. If money speaks, that is a barely audible whisper in a world where corporate, union and special interests will be screaming."
Business readies final lobbying blitz for three pending trade deals
Business lobbyists are doing what they can to push for three trade agreements, with the help of the White House.
Fundraising never stops for incumbents
This article focuses on Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R) to show that the fundraising for Congress never stops. A good read.
Another Haley Barbour hunkers down on K Street
Gov. Haley Barbour may not be a lobbyist anymore, but his son, Haley Barbour, Jr. was just named a vice president at BGR Group, the lobby shop his dad founded.
Conservative group puts out anti-Obama TV ad
We're rolling! The "Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama" is up with a TV ad.
Boehner discusses shutdown at CT fundraiser
And Speaker Boehner made it to his high-dollar CT fundraiser after all, joined by some protestors outside.
NRCC veteran Walsh to lead GOP outside group
Former Sen. Norm Coleman's "American Action Network" has hired a veteran of the Republican Congressional Committee as its leader going into 2012.
No prison time for Abramoff figure Albaugh
A judge, on deciding not to send an Abramoff ally to prison: “There are three or four Congressmen out there that will never see the light of day for actions, and we’re blaming the staffers. The people that really benefited from this scheme, with one exception, aren’t the people in front of me.”
GOP trying to annihilate opposition, Dems say
Democrats in Ohio are saying what we all already knew--efforts to kill unions are efforts to consolidate political power.
84% vote against Citizens United
In the special election in Madison, WI last Tuesday, 84% of people approved a citywide referendum calling for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood. In the bigger Dane County, WI, 78% approved a similar measure.
Publicly financed races imperiled
The McComish U.S. Supreme Court decision could imperil New Mexico's public financing system.
Executive pay soars in 2010
In just 9 months last year, the CEO of Viacom made $84.5 million in salary. Good discussion about shareholder activism too.
Critics fault retired Justice O'Connor over ethics
"Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor continues to hear cases in U.S. appeals courts, while also playing a role in public policy issues. Her critics say she should do one or the other, but not both."