Clips Round-up for 2/10/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
AP: Senators renew push for campaign finance amendment
"Two senators say the campaign finance system is so broken that a constitutional amendment is needed to rein in runaway spending in elections."
Politico: CREW petition on FEC passes signature threshhold
Nice! "A petition calling on President Barack Obama to reform the Federal Election Commission has surpassed the 25,000 signature threshold needed to bring the issue to the attention of the White House." Congrats to CREW who led us in this effort! More at The Hill and The Nation.
HuffPost: Recovering democracy after Citizens United
Rep. Chellie Pingree writes: "It's crazy that the Constitution has to be amended to clarify what for the majority of Americans is a clear and true statement: corporations are not people. But that's where we find ourselves today." She goes on to talk about Fair Elections and the importance of small donors.
The Hill: Pelosi, Dems aim to unmask super PACs
"Arguing that money in politics subverts democracy, Democrats introduced legislation requiring super-PACs and other groups to reveal their donors." And here's a video Leader Pelosi put out on this yesterday: "Stephen Colbert used to be my friend." More at WaPo and Roll Call.
AP: House OKs weakened insider trading ban for lawmakers
On the House passage of a weakened version of the STOCK Act, Craig Holman says: " "What a sorry — but telling — display. The Republican leadership's weakening of legislation banning congressional insider trading reflects its commitment to the hedge funds and Wall Street interests." More at Politico.
Bloomberg: Stop super-PACs with a Fair Elections amendment
Jonathan Alter writes, "The majority in Citizens United ruled that unlimited independent campaign expenditures do not “corrupt” our system. This is so wrong on the facts and so antithetical to our democratic traditions that it demands a national movement for a Fair Elections Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." He's not talking about the Fair Elections Now Act, but he does mention public financing.
WaPo: Rep. Bachus faces insider-trading accusations
Spencer Bachus is not having a good morning: "The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case."
National Journal: Study: Boehner, Cantor get most frtom securities and investment industry
"Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are the top two House recipients of campaign contributions from securities and investment interest groups, according to a MapLight analysis."
The Hill: DNC chairwoman on taking super-PAC money: "We cannot unilateraly disarm"
"The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) defended President Obama on Thursday for his decision to support contributions to a top Democratic super-PAC."
NYT: Some saner voices on "super PACs"
The NYT editorial board is pleased that the Warren-Brown agreement could move to other states, as Sen. Tester is urging his opponent to sign one.
Post and Courier: Super PAC man Obama
Editorial on the super PAC decision: "And it's hard to fault President Obama for simply playing by the current rules. It's getting easier, though, to see through his holier-than-thou act. " More opinions in New Jersey, Arkansas, NC, the Republic Report, LA Times, and some letters in the NYT.
Politico: Super PAC vs. social media
Maria Teresa Kumar writes that maybe there is a way to overcome super PACs and top-down communications: "Social media like Facebook and Twitter are signaling an end to the era of top-down communications strategies foisted on passive consumers. "
The Hill: Watchdog files ethics complaint against Grimm
Fom CREW: "A watchdog group filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday against Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) over allegations that he accepted illegal campaign contributions."
WSJ: Romney matches Obama in stance on outside groups
"Mitt Romney has decided to allow senior aides to headline fund-raising events held by a pro-Romney organization, a move that blurs the line between his official campaign and supporting groups that are supposed to be independent."
NYT: State dept. cleared of impropriety in pipeline case
"The State Department’s inspector general has found no conflict of interest or improper political influence in the agency’s review of the disputed Keystone XL pipeline project."
Army Times: Ron Paul gets the most military donations
"Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is getting by far the most campaign contributions from military-affiliated donors than anyone else in the 2012 field."
AP: Foreign donations at risk in super PAC landscape
"Money pouring into the presidential election from super political action committees and nonprofit campaign groups appears so far to be strictly American in origin, donated by U.S. companies, unions and millionaires. But it's easier than ever to conceal the source of money and the identities of contributors, making conditions ripe for illegal donations from foreigners, overseas companies or governments attempting to help a favored candidate for the White House."
NYT: Romney holds a policy round table, but attendees must raise $10,000
The NYT looks at the special guests at Mitt Romney's fundraiser in DC last night. It looks like it raised $1.4 million. More at Chicago Sun-Times.
National Journal: Chamber dropping $10 million on 20 races
"In total, the Chamber is targeting eight Senate races and 12 House races."
WaPo: States line up to challenge stringent Section 5 voting rights provision
"Conservative activists and Republican attorneys general have launched a series of lawsuits meant to challenge the most muscular provision of the Voting Rights Act 0f 1965 before a Supreme Court that has signaled it is suspicious of its constitutionality."