Clips Round-up for 2/16/12
New York Leadership for Accountable Government (NY LEAD), a new organization of New York civic, business, and philanthropic leaders, launched yesterday. Check out all the press on our blog and on Citizen Action's. And, read this NYT editorial: "New York Waits for Campaign Finance Reform." Make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
And speaking of great editorials, read what the Kansas City Star has to say about the Missouri legislature and big money. "Missouri is picking up some unsavory distinctions. Weak laws make it a magnet for payday loan shops, dog-breeding operations and cigarette vendors. At the same time the state spends too little on education, and its public health outcomes are abysmal. It is no coincidence that Missouri also has the nation’s weakest ethics and campaign finance laws. Good government can’t thrive when special interests are sucking up all the oxygen."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Common Cause: US Supreme Court must carefully consider Montana's corporate campaign spending ban
Common Cause and Free Speech for People release: "The US Supreme Court should reject pleas that it toss aside Montana’s law banning corporate campaign spending, two reform organizations said today."
LA Times: Return of the DISCLOSE Act
The LA Times supports the DISCLOSE Act: "In an election year, it might seem naive to expect Congress to approve more transparency in political spending. But would-be opponents of the DISCLOSE Act need to be reminded that even the Supreme Court that gave us Citizens United emphasized the importance of disclosure — and that resistance to reform invites an obvious question: What do you have to hide?"
PCAF Blog: Mike Enzi and Conflicts of Interests
Sen. Mike Enzi sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to reconsider his decision to allow cabinet secretaries to attend super PAC events. It's probably not a bad idea--but he's no innocent bystander.
USA Today: On individual donors, Obama outraises GOP in most states
With a great chart! "President Obama has outraised the top Republican presidential fundraiser in two-thirds of the country, including battleground states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina considered crucial to his re-election prospects, a USA TODAY analysis shows."
Politico: RIck Santorum's 2012 TV strategy: Winning on the cheap
"Rick Santorum’s relatively meager war chest might be big enough to put up a serious fight in upcoming TV ad wars against Mitt Romney and his money machine."
Politico: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich come out for their super PACs
"Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are planning to speak at fundraising events for super PACs supporting their presidential bids, POLITICO has learned."
WaPo: Mitt Romney, Donald Trump raise campaign cash at New York bankruptcy law firm
"Romney and some of his biggest fundraisers spent part of the day in the executive lunchroom of a New York law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, making phone calls to recruit other financial rainmakers."
Politico: Super PACs: derivatives of politics
Robert Borosage writes about super PACs as the derivatives and credit default swaps of politics: "A similar wilding now threatens our democracy as out-of-control big money floods our elections. These exotic derivatives are the super PACs and related operations, fueled by cartloads of secret money."
SF Chronicle: Obama here to raise funds; press not always welcome
"President Obama vowed to have the "most transparent" administration in history, but open government advocates say he's depriving voters of knowing which wealthy donors are getting prime access to top officials."
CNN: Super PACs a disaster for democracy
Fred Wertheimer: "Thus was born the super PAC. And thus was born the national campaign finance scandals that are unfolding daily in the 2012 elections." On his call for DOJ investigations of super PACs.
Santorum has 60k unique campaign donors this month
Santorum's fundraising is picking up: "The campaign had a record 12,000 unique individual contributions online on Tuesday, he said. The total for February so far: 60,000 unique contributors, most of them small in amounts."
Buzzfeed: Is Romney going to run out of money?
Related to the article above: "But Romney has proved unable to tap into the emotion-driven small-dollar contributions that helped power Barack Obama in 2008...The result: Republican fundraisers say that despite his success so far, they think Romney is fast approaching a wall, and that he will likely be forced to pay for the campaign out of his own deep pockets." WaPo looks at this too.
Reuters: Romney would get help from rivals' wealthy donors
"If Mitt Romney wins the Republican presidential nomination, he will have the backing of several wealthy donors who together have contributed millions of dollars to his rivals in the race."
WaPo: Obama rallies Hollywood supporters on fundraising trip
"When President Obama arrived Wednesday evening in Hollywood for a pair of fundraisers, 1,000 supporters greeted him at the home of a soap opera producer. Foo Fighters jammed a live set. Actor George Clooney was among the 80 guests who joined the president for a $35,800-a-plate dinner."
Real Clear Politics: Super PACs play growing role in Congressional races
Super PACs "are on course to rival the fundraising of national party committees for congressional races -- or even exceed it." More at The Hill.
Politico: Campaign hits corporation donation
"California utility PG&E’s decision to give money to a super PAC may be a cautionary tale for corporations thinking about ponying up — and to super PACs willing to take the money."
Politico: Heartland burned by "DenialGate" memos
Ha: "Documents leaked online purport to reveal the inner workings of the Heartland Institute, showing the libertarian group trying to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors like the Charles G. Koch Foundation while planning to sow doubts in classrooms and the news media about global warming science."
The Hill: Chairman Priebus leads RNC revival: From $23M in the red to $7M in the black
"When GOP kingmakers elected Reince Priebus chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), they had one thing on their mind. One year later, Priebus has shown them what they wanted to see: money. And lots of it."
Boston Globe: Donors from afar buoying Warren
"Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to reclaim a US Senate seat for the Democrats is drawing on deep out-of-state support, with 61.3 percent of her itemized donations coming from beyond Massachusetts’ borders during the last quarter of 2011."
WaPo: Venture capitalists play key role in Obama's energy department
"Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers."
Roll Call: No GOP rush to support Spencer Bachus amid ethics questions
"Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) might be wondering what it says about his current situation when the only person publicly vouching for him is his longtime nemesis on the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)."
Connecticut Mirror: Elections watchdogs fear they lack resources to monitor public campaign grants
"The state's clean elections watchdog agency warned Wednesday that while it has enough funding to provide public grants for this fall's state elections, it lacks the resources to monitor how candidates qualify for and spend the money."
Public Campaign blog: People power beat back private prison's big bucks in Florida
Advocates opposing the Florida effort to privatize prisons highlighted the influence of the industry's campaign cash. United Republic's Nick Penniman also addressed prison privatization and campaign cash in a Huffington Post piece yesterday.
Illinois Statehouse News
"Personal PAC, a political action committee that lobbies for pro-choice candidates, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago against the Illinois State Board of Elections that says the limits on giving to political action committees, or PACs, violate the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment."