Clips Round-up for 11/4/11
Fair Elections/Campaign Finance Reform
Unlimited Contributions is Not the Answer to Unlimited Contributions
Public Campaign President Nick Nyhart:
“Instead of spending time with everyday voters, under an unlimited regime elected officials would spend more time with the wealthy elite. A system in which elected officials who are bought off by just one wealthy donor instead of partially bought by 20 wouldn't make the situation any better. And increasing disclosure doesn't mean a candidate is any less influenced -- it just means we all know it, just a little earlier than we already would find out.”
FEC Can’t Explain Secrecy
“The Federal Election Committee isn’t living up to its own standards of transparency, members of the Committee on House Administration told the six FEC commissioners today in a rare oversight hearing.”
- More from The Hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/campaign-ads/191635-lawmakers-demand-internal-fec-documents-threaten-subpoena
Campaign Finance Scandal’ at FEC: Reform Groups Call For Obama To Step Up
“Six organizations that support campaign finance regulation -- Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center, Public Citizen, Common Cause, League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG -- held a Capitol Hill press conference to urge the president to appoint new commissioners to fill the seats of five Federal Election Commission members whose terms have expired.”
- More at the Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/Boston/politicalintelligence/2011/11/transparency-groups-lash-out-fec-obama/HBu7tJFlARHozLKtd0kDjK/index.html
Cleaning Up Our Campaign Finance System
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on the need for a constitutional amendment.
More Americans Supporting Occupy Wall Street
“Thirty-six percent say they agree with the overall positions of Occupy Wall Street, while 19% say they disagree.”
The Senate Puts Millionaires Before Jobs
The New York Times editorializes on the Senate’s priorities – and clearly jobs fall second to their potential wealthy donors’ taxes.
Grover Norquist’s a ‘Random’ Guy, Says John Boehner
Hmmm... “Grover Norquist, influential? To House Speaker John Boehner, he’s just another “random” guy. At least that’s what the Ohio congressman told reporters Thursday, declining to weigh in on whether the anti-tax crusader was a positive - or negative - force within the House Republican Conference.”
Report: House Ethics OK’s Richardson Probe
“The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into whether Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) improperly pressured her congressional staff to work on her 2010 reelection campaign.”
Congressional Democrats Seek to Curb Tough State Voter-Screening Laws
"Election legislation and administration appear to be increasingly the product of partisan plays," says a letter to election officials in all 50 states signed by 196 Democrats in the House of Representatives. "Election officials are seen as partisan combatants, rather than stewards of democracy. ... We are asking you, as front line participants, to put partisan considerations aside and serve as advocates for enfranchisement."
Oligarchy, American Style
Paul Krugman has this op-ed in The New York Times on inequality.
“We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.”
Jack Abramoff: I Had 100 Lawmaker In My Pocket
“Now, the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to them, that was it. We owned them [the members of Congress],” Abramoff said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday, excerpts of which were first reported in POLITICO Playbook on Thursday.
- Here’s a preview of Abramoff’s interview from CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57317459/lobbyists-can-skirt-ethics-reform-says-abramoff/