2/22/12 clips: Super donors, Shel Adelson, and running out of rich people
Russ Feingold was on the Daily Show last night. Worth a watch!
Free Speech for People, Common Cause, and the Coffee Party are holding a rally at noon tomorrow outside the Supreme Court. If you're in town, check it out!
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Politico: Are liberals starting to embrace the Constitution?
David Bossie writes, "In recent days many radical liberals have changed their tune regarding campaign finance laws. The drumbeat of the past two years has begun to shift." LOL.
Politico: Democratic Senators want super PAC crackdown
"Senate Democrats are calling on the Federal Election Commission to crack down on super PACs, arguing that voters deserve more information about who is funding independent political advertisements."
NYT: The Court and Citizens United II
SCOTUS "has an opportunity to reconsider its disastrous Citizens United decision. The justices should take it." Rick Hasen expands on his Slate article on the issue, too.
The Day: Reverse decision that sold-out democracy
On the Montana case, an editorial from CT: "The U.S. Supreme Court should seize the opportunity to reverse its misguided 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case, a ruling that has introduced unprecedented corporate and special interest spending into the presidential campaign, distorting the election process and inviting corruption."
The Hill: Navigating minefield of STOCK Act
"Eric Cantor was playing with political dynamite when he spearheaded the House’s effort to ban insider trading for members of Congress. But despite the hopes of some Democrats, it didn’t blow up in the majority leader’s face."
Watchdog to Sheldon Adelson: Stand up for reform!
I reported yesterday that Shel Adelson just HATES wealthy people influencing his elections. Well, we sent him a letter providing a list of money in politics groups he could donate to instead to fix the problem. More on Adelson at NYT.
AP: For every presidential hopeful, a $1 million donor
"For every presidential candidate, there's now at least one $1 million donor."
CRP: Double-Duty Donors, Part II
New report from Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center, and CRP: "Super PACs supporting presidential candidates continue to take in six- and seven-figure contributions from individuals who also have given the legal maximum to the candidate's campaign committee. "
Politico: Super PACs: 2012's campaign Godzillas?
I like this headline. So, if super PACs are Godzillas, is our democracy all that stuff he smashes when he walks through town?
Fox: Romney donors start tapping out as race drags on
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is drawing a disproportionately high amount of campaign funds from people who have given him the legal maximum, weakening his ability to raise money from such proven donors as the GOP nomination fight drags on." Some great charts at TPM and a story at NPR.
Alternet: Why is the ACLU helping the richest Americans buy our elections?
Steven Rosenfeld writes, "The American Civil Liberties Union has earned its reputation as the nation’s foremost legal opponent of government censorship and defender of First Amendment political speech. But increasingly, this national organization with 500,000 members and a $70 million annual budget has another legacy—helping the wealthiest Americans and institutions spend unlimited sums on elections."
iWatch: Super PACs out-raise candidates, thanks to super donors
"Thanks to a small number of wealthy individuals, the outside spending groups known as “super PACs” that are working to put the four leading GOP candidates in the White House collectively raised more than the candidates themselves in January."
25% of super PAC money coming from just 5 rich donors
"Five wealthy people, led by Dallas industrialist Harold Simmons and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, have donated nearly $1 of every $4 flowing to the super PACs raising unlimited money in this year's presidential race, a USA TODAY analysis shows."
WaPo: Super PAC donors revealed: Who are the power players in the GOP primary?
"Simmons is part of a rarefied group of millionaires and billionaires acting as kingmakers in the GOP contest, often helping to decide, with a simple transfer of money, which candidate might survive another day." Charts here. More at the NYT
USA Today: Obama pal is big donor to Democratic super PAC
So of the few donors to the Obama super PAC, "USA TODAY's Fredreka Schouten looked at the records and found that $50,000 came from John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments, who also happens to be one of Obama's closest friends."
Roll Call: Super PAC money getting more scrutiny, complaints
"Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is drawing more scrutiny as his poll numbers rise, and so is the increasingly lucrative super PAC backing the former Pennsylvania Senator."
Republic Report: Santorum seeks to out-compete Romney on fealty to for-profit college industry
"As Ricksanity intensifies, Mitt Romney’s upstart challenger, Rick Santorum, appears ready to compete on yet another plane. Call it the For-Profit College Primary, with no delegates but lots of campaign cash up for grabs."
Bradenton Herald: Santorum "super" PAC returned big foreign donations
"A super political action committee supporting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has refunded a $50,000 donation from a London-based securities firm because the contribution could have violated a U.S. law that guards against foreign money in American political campaigns, a spokesman for the group said Tuesday."
The Hill: Watchdog: Justice Department should investigate pro-Santorum super PACs
"A campaign finance watchdog is calling on the Justice Department to look into possible campaign finance law violations by presidential candidate Rick Santorum and a pro-Santorum super-PAC."
Politico: Rep. Buchanan business partner pays FEC fine
"Rep. Vern Buchanan's (R-Fla.) former business partner Sam Kazran has entered into a settlement agreement with the Federal Election Commission over illegal campaign contributions."
Sunlight Foundation: Almost 400 former House staffers registered to lobby in last two years
"The revolving door is alive and well in Washington. In less than three years, at least 378 House staffers employed in personal and committee offices have left Capitol Hill to become registered lobbyists, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of U.S. House disbursement data and federal lobbying records finds."
Roll Call: Mike Quigley urges reforms on travel reporting
"In response to reports that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was double-reimbursed for travel, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is drawing up a resolution to strengthen travel reporting requirements in the House."
The Hill: Sen. Cornyn ahead on money race to become Senate Republican whip
"Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) gave more than $100,000 to colleagues though his leadership political action committee (PAC) last year, bolstering his bid to become Senate Republican whip at year’s end."
The Hill: K Street pessimistic about highway bills
"Supporters of the two transportation bills stuck in the House and Senate are pessimistic either will win chamber approval now that they have lost any momentum they once had."
Arizona Republic: Fiesta Bowl case: Junker pleads guilty to felony charge
"Former Fiesta Bowl Chief Executive John Junker, another former bowl officer and a current high-ranking bowl employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from their roles in a fraudulent campaign-contribution scheme."
AP: Roberts says no to formal ethics rules
"Chief Justice John Roberts has told Congress again that the Supreme Court doesn’t plan to formally adopt rules that would bind it to the same code of conduct as other federal judges."