Clips Round-up for 12/15/11
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Occupy Denver to ask Bennett, Udall to support anti-Citizens United amendment
Spurred by a proposed new amendment that would challenge the idea that “corporations are people”, members of Occupy Denver have planned a march for Thursday to the officers of Sen. Michael Bennett (D) and Sen. Mark Udall (D) to ask them to support the amendment."
Dismantling corporate power: a call to action on the anniversary of Citizens United
The executive director of Rainforest Action Network writes, "Challenging Citizens United is just a step in the direction of demanding structural change, but it is a bold one."
Campaign cash finds its way to the courtroom
Great op-ed from Adam Skaggs and Bert Brandenburg: "Outside the realm of presidential politics, however, there is a looming — and very serious — threat to our justice system. Despite all the attention focused on money in politics, few Americans know how much campaign cash is pouring into courts of law, and how it threatens to undermine equal justice for all."
Bundling money for influence still out of sight
"The Federal Election Commission rarely fails to disappoint. The agency has proved ineffective once again, this time in its neglect of reporting and disclosure of 'bundled' campaign contributions."
Occupy Mitt Romney
We were at a Romney fundraiser protest--and money and politics was clearly a theme. We should have video up at some point today, too.
Karl Rove "Issue Ads" attacking Elizabeth Warren help hide his group's donors
"What groups like Crossroads GPS have spent millions of dollars on are issue advertisements, such as the Warren spot, which link candidates to issues like job creation, the environment and government spending, while avoiding FEC disclosure requirements."
- Related story from Roll Call: http://www.rollcall.com/news/reform_groups_ask_irs_to_investigate_crossroads_gps-211051-1.html
Close Super PAC ties draw ire
On super PACs and the close ties they have to the candidates they support. Fred Wertheimer: "It is plain that these groups are being created in close association with the campaigns."
29 companies that paid millions for lobbying (and didn't pay taxes)
Forbes picks up our report on taxes and lobbying.
Report: Wealthy "elite donors" fueling U.S. politics
NPR covers Sunlight's new analysis on big donors from 2010.
Corporate money corrupts elections
Great letter to the editor: "Occupy Wall Street is the recognition that Washington is more responsive to the legalized bribery in the form of campaign contributions integral to the legislative process than to the people who elect them."
Sudan hires its first US lawyer in years, prompting protests
"The Obama administration has allowed the Republic of Sudan to hire its first U.S. lawyer in years, prompting strong objections from human rights groups and some members of Congress."
Bill banning insider trading advances in Senate over GOP opposition
Eric Cantor may be blocking insider trading legislation in the House, but "Senate committee easily cleared legislation explicitly prohibiting members from profiting by trading on inside information."
Dollar coin lobby makes rain on Hill
"Lobbyists for the dollar coin insist that little-used piece isn’t about to face its death, even as the Obama administration this week effectively ceased its production citing cost savings."
Lobbyists battle over sunken treasure
A little noticed proposal over sunken treasure has become "the focus of a quintessential Washington lobbying battle waged almost entirely behind closed doors, with the potential fate of hundreds of millions of dollars in booty hanging in the balance."
Hollywood, Israel lobby, unions seek exemptions from ban on lobbyist gifts
"Associations representing Hollywood studios and the pro-Israel lobby are among the powerful Washington groups seeking exemptions from a new ethics rule prohibiting federal workers from attending events sponsored by lobbyists."
Gas industry, lung association team up
An interesting friendship...
Former Siemens executives are charged with bribery
"Shell companies, Swiss bank accounts, double-crossing middlemen and cash being smuggled across borders were all part of a decade-long bribery scheme aimed at helping Siemens, the German industrial giant, secure a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards for Argentina, the Justice Department said Tuesday."
Republic, Lost- Campaign Finance Reform
A New York Times book review of Lessig's new book.
Walker donor arrested as part of ongoing investigation
"A person close to an ongoing investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's current and past aides said a commercial real estate broker in Milwaukee has been arrested for failing to cooperate with the probe."
Holder speaks up for voting rights
The New York Times likes Eric Holder's speech on voting rights. "His department faces a concerted opposition of political opportunists who believe making it easy to vote harms their interests. Mr. Holder’s speech was a strong first step, as long as it is backed up by the full power of the law."