Clips Round-up for 8/22/11
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Our view: Minor changes won't fix Clean Elections ailment
The Portland Press-Herald editorializes on possible updates to Maine's Clean Elections system to deal with the McComish decision. Increasing the flat fee or allowing extra $5 donations won't do it, they write.
Why our democracy needs disclosure
Campaign Legal Center has a Q&A on the need for disclosure up on its site.
A new way around election laws
"If these Big Money-funded groups end up playing a vital role in the presidential race, it is a certainty, as Mr. Wertheimer frets, that they will surface in most congressional elections the next time. By then, all the checks and balances instituted after Watergate will have been rolled back."
Our view: Presidential race not the place for secret donors
USA Today editorial on 2012 and secret donors: "Candidates have always found creative and questionable ways to raise the money they need to get elected, but some of the schemes being used to support the current crop of presidential candidates sound as if they were invented by organized crime."
- Democratic operative (and former White House aide) Bill Burton says, "Now is not the time for Democrats to sit idly by as a conservative ideology sweeps across our airwaves." http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2011-08-21-campaign-finance-priorities-usa_n.htm
- And the lawyer for the Romney-aligned Restore our Future PAC, Charlie Spies, says: "In this context, our Restore Our Future Super PAC is an essential tool for Romney supporters to independently fight back." :http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2011-08-21-campaign-finance-restore-our-future_n.htm
Michele Bachmann super PAC has questionable past
A PAC that has announced its support for MIchele Bachmann had a Romney-esque secret donor in 2010.
"We will help you out"
It looks like the Director of Public Policy for Bank of America told Rick Perry at an event last week, "We will help you out." According to state and federal campaign finance filings, it looks like they already have!
Perry mines Texas system to raise cash for campaigns
And another in the dozen or so stories on Rick Perry's efforts to return the favor to campaign donors. "Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry’s administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses."
- And here's a good infographic to go with the story: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/08/21/us/politics/donate-rick-perry.html
- He also got 22 pair of boots from donors and appointees: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61670.html.
- And the trial lawyers are ready to take their biggest opponent head-on: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61807.html
House Republicans get an earful at town halls back home
House Republicans are facing an angry electorate back home over the August recess. "Some Republicans sought to lower the temperature by holding virtual town halls or only appearing at forums where attendees had to pay to attend."
Wall Street execs turn back on Obama, donate to Romney
A lot of Wall Street donors are switching from Obama to Romney this year. One disgruntled donor said, with the world's smallest violin playing in the background, "It's not healthy for rich people to feel maligned."
Mitt Romney visits Logan, appears at two fundraisers
Mitt Romney was raising money in Utah over the weekend
Hahn: Why don't we meet over money
Our newest member of Congress Janice Hahn is learning early: "In an email sent Thursday afternoon, the Democrat, who was sworn in a month ago, told some lobbyists and political action committee directors that she would like to meet with them — particularly if they were bearing checks."
Supercommittee may call for K St. creativity
Good read from Dave Levinthal: K Street is going to have to get creative to pressure supercommittee members (though, "fundraising" isn't really very creative).
Debt panel to test Sen. Kerry's diplomacy
The Globe looks at Sen. Kerry's new role as a supercommittee member. On the lobbying of the committee, Kerry says, "There will be enormous pressures from various quarters, and our job is to pick through that and do what’s in the best interests of the country."
Ron Paul's birthday "money bomb" nets $1.6 million
"In a 24-hour fundraising push over the weekend, GOP presidential candidate Paul scooped up more than $1.6 million in small donations. It was Paul's 76th birthday and his loyal band of dedicated campaigners came through again for the inconoclastic Texas libertarian."
Stephen Colbert's PAC is more than a gag
David Carr writes about Colbert's PAC and its impact. He writes: "If you substitute political provocateur for wisecracking television host, a fake Super PAC with real money may not seem so charming. Every year, earnest news organizations like the one I work for set out to do serious work that pulls back the blankets on how money warps and distorts the political process."
Will funny money elect the next president?
What effect will Citizens United have on the 2012 presidential race? UPI looks into it and how we got here.
Candidates tap new cash cow: Super PACs
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks at the impact of super PACs. Craig Holman: "We're going to see an explosion of this type of money in 2012."
Dozens more arrested in oil pipeline protest
Dozens have been arrested for a sit-in at the White House over the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. They held up signs like, "Obama, will you stand up to big oil?"
In Ohio and Wisconsin, GOP reaching out to angry Democrats
It seems governors are realizing that busting unions to benefit big business and campaign donors maybe isn't the best thing to do.