Clips Round-up for 12/8/11
We're looking for two smart, hard-working, and ambitious campaign organizers. Know any? http://campaignmoney.org/jobs_campaigners.
Also, if you're following the Richard Cordray vote in the Senate today, we've pulled Wall Street numbers here: http://campaignmoney.org/press-room/2011/12/06/background-memo-will-wall-street-money-sway-cfpb-nomination-votes.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Measure to curb union, corporate clout qualifies
Something to watch: "California Republican interests have qualified a ballot measure that would severely curb the political influence of public and private employee unions while depriving Democratic political candidates of a major source of campaign cash."
SC Republicans met with Colbert over rights to rename presidential primary after comedian
LOL: "Comedian Stephen Colbert tried yet again to get his name on South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot — only this time he wanted to sponsor the Republican contest. GOP officials in the state said they met with Colbert several times this fall to discuss a potential sponsorship of the first-in-the-South Republican primary. Colbert offered more than $100,000 to name the contest the “The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary.”
Between 2008 and 2010, 30 big corporations spent more lobbying Washington than they paid in income taxes
ThinkProgress looks at a report we released this week based off of some data from the Center for Tax Justice on corporations that pay very little taxes but have very big lobbying bills.
- Gothamist too: http://gothamist.com/2011/12/07/countrys_largest_corporations_spend.php
- Full report is downloadable here: http://publicampaign.org/reports/forhire
Occupy K Street targets Wall Street's favorite lobbying firm
Yesterday, protestors circled the offices of Clark Lytle, the lobbying firm that tried to get the American Bankers Association to run a smear campaign against Occupy Wall Street. Public Campaign's David Donnelly: "The clients that have hired them should fire them. It would be good to make an example out of this firm."
Occupy DC protesters shut down K Street
"Occupy demonstrators shut down K Street Wednesday afternoon, blocking traffic and striking a nerve with downtown-ers."
- More from WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/thousands-protest-money-in-politics-in-washington-shutting-down-lobbyist-lined-k-street/2011/12/07/gIQA9V7mcO_story.html.
Occupy protestors target Gingrich fundraiser
Newt Gingrich saw protests too, yesterday.
- Here's a flyer we put together that they folks were handing out: http://www.scribd.com/doc/75052980/Newt-Gingrich-s-Big-Money.
- And watch this video inside the fundraiser. It's delightful (except for when the guys in suits start manhandling protesters): http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/newt-gingrich-fundraiser-occupy-president-video. Guy at the end says, "would we do this to your event? Have some common sense."
Odd couples: Gingrich casts wide net to evangelicals, Tea Party and K Street lobbyists
"As Newt Gingrich resurrects his once moribund campaign, his fundraisers and outside allies are moving aggressively to rake in millions of dollars and win backing from the evangelical and Tea Party communities."
Gingrich case raises question, "what is a lobbyist?"
"Gingrich’s meteoric rise in Republican polls has reignited the long-standing debate in Washington over the definition of lobbying, which has a specific meaning under federal lobbying statutes that often is at odds with common sense."
Where is Wall Street accountability?
Elizabeth Warren on the need for Wall St accountability: "With all the clout that Wall Street and its lobbyists have, real accountability won’t be easy. But the first steps are pretty obvious."
- And just as new polling has her up 7 points over Scott Brown: http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/1211/Herald_poll_puts_Warren_up_7.html
Big liberal money may skip moderates
"The Senate Democratic majority may hinge on the reelection of vulnerable moderates like Ben Nelson, Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester, but deep-pocketed liberal groups say they won’t go to the mat for them in 2012."
Would shifting regulatory power to Congress usher in a lobbying bonanza?
House Republicans are pushing legislation to shift regulatory power from the executive branch to Congress. Lobbyists already lobby regulators, sure, but "shifting the approval of such rules to Congress would, accordingly, shift their lobbying over to elected lawmakers who rely on campaign contributions."
Giant ethanol maker among Newt Gingrich's top campaign donors
"Former House speaker Newt Gingrich counts the world’s largest ethanol producer as a top donor to his presidential campaign, underscoring the Republican’s deep ties to an industry whose government subsidies he has steadfastly defended even while running as a fiscal conservative."
Kaine hits Allen over 6-year old "Macaca" quip
At the Virginia Senate debate yesterday, George Allen touted his opposition to McCain-Feingold and there was some debate about campaign finance generally.
Fairfax resident enters guilty plea to charges of unregistered lobbying for Pakistan
"A United States citizen pleaded guilty Wednesday to Justice Department charges that he conspired and incurred tax violations while acting as an unregistered lobbying agent for the Pakistani government."
Blagojevich is going away for 14 years, but the system remains
Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison yesterday. This editorial gets it right:
"The kind of stuff he was convicted of — with the notable exception of trying to auction off a U.S. Senate seat — goes on every day. It is called pay-for-play: If you want something from the government, you'd better ante up for the campaign or with a job for a pal."
Stopping the next Blagojevich
Bob Edgar's latest: "But it's also true that Gov. Blagojevich is the product of a political culture that has thrived in Illinois for longer than anyone can remember and is doing pretty well for itself in the rest of the country too. It's a culture built on big money, in the form of bribes disguised as campaign contributions."
GOP nonprofit backs electoral college
"An obscure but well-funded campaign to reinvent the Electoral College and elect the president via a national popular vote has alarmed GOP leaders, who have mounted a counterattack with the help of a newly revived nonprofit."