Clips Round-up for 3/6/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: Senate to choose an insider trading bill
STOCK Act update: "Senate leaders, eager to avoid a freewheeling, unpredictable debate on Congressional ethics, are considering simply accepting a House-passed bill to ban insider trading by lawmakers."
Bloomberg: Bill Clinton said to agree to join Obama at campaign fundraisers
"Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to make joint appearances with President Barack Obama at a series of campaign fundraisers, according to three people familiar with the matter."
PCAF: Mitt Romney: Coal will "not be a four-letter-word" in my administration
Mitt Romney says coal will not be a bad word in his administration. Alliance Coal CEO Joseph Craft donated $500,000 to Romney's super PAC and $5,000 to his campaign committee. And that's not all!
USA Today: Outside spending nears $11.5M in super Tuesday states
"Outside groups, including super PACs, have spent nearly $11.5 million through midday Monday on television ads, automated calls and other campaign activity in the 10 states that vote Tuesday, a USA TODAY analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows."
USA Today: Romney prospects for GOP donors for the long haul
"As he courts voters ahead of today's contests in 10 states, presidential candidate Mitt Romney must aggressively chase another group of Republicans: donors to finance the protracted fight for the nomination."
News and Observer: Coble makes super PAC an issue in 13th Congressional district
A debate about the influence of super PACs is breaking out in the NC 13 congressional district. Interesting story!
Roll Call: Amid controversy, Grimm nets Boehner boost
Boehner is standing by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who may be facing an FBI investigation for extorting donations.
Politics Q&A: Lawrence Lessig on the 2012 primaries
An interview with Lawrence Lessig in the Atlantic.
POGO: How many House staffers went on to lobby for top government contractors?
"Not highlighted in the report, however, is that of the 80 former House staffers who left to lobby on behalf of corporations, at least 19 went to top 100 government contractors "
Americans United to Rebuild Democracy: George Will wrong again?
On George Will's column last week about super PACs.
CRP: Revolving door: former members of the 111th Congress
The Center for Responsive Politics pulls together what the losers or retirees from the 11th Congress are doing now (hint: many are lobbying).
Roll Call: Heritage Foundation illustrates travel restriction loopholes
From Amanda Becker: "Just five years ago, Congress amended its ethics rules to prohibit private groups that retain lobbyists from arranging, organizing and financing most Congressional trips that last longer than one day. But, as Roll Call has reported, Members of Congress and their staffers continue to take trips sponsored by groups that don’t lobby themselves but maintain formal affiliations with lobbyists and advocacy organizations and do so with the blessing of the House Ethics Committee."
TNR: Team Romney rallies around carried interest
On Mitt Romney's defense of the "Carried interest" loophole that benefits his Wall Street donors.
The Hill: Abramoff says his corrupting influence reached into the media
"Jack Abramoff's influence extended beyond politicians and special-interest groups. It reached into the press as well, according to Abramoff, the convicted felon and ex-lobbyist, speaking Monday night to a packed crowd at the National Press Club, including a front row filled with Native American tribal leaders."
Politico: Green donors bet on Mitt Romney flip-flop
Ha, well I guess they have evidence to think this might happen: "Will Mitt Romney flip-flop on climate change if he’s elected president? Some big donors are betting on it."
Politico: Super PACs are ruining Republicans
Third Way's Bill Schneider writes for Politico, "Today is not Super Tuesday. It’s super PAC Tuesday. Super PACs are the real contenders in the 2012 Republican race. And they’re destroying the Republican Party."
NaJo: WH says new Biden aide's past lobbying no problem
Vice President Biden has hired the owner of a lobbying firm. He passes the "no lobbyist" test because he hasn't himself lobbied since 2008. More at The Hill.
The Hill: Senate GOP and conservative gorups clash on healthcare reform repeal votes
"Senate Republicans are clashing with conservative groups over whether to hold votes this year to repeal all of President Obama’s healthcare reform law."
NaJo: Democrats exploit Buchanan investigations
"Democrats are taking full advantage of the investigations into alleged campaign finance violations by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who helps lead fundraising efforts for the National Republican Congressional Committee."
Koch-connected group shows holes in disclosure requirements
More great reporting from CRP on money flowing in and out of Americans for Prosperity.
Politico: 2012 fundraising: Congressional races get more attention from GOP
"Republican fundraisers and strategists alarmed at the course of the 2012 presidential campaign are increasingly focusing their attention on congressional races, as the party’s chances of unseating President Barack Obama appear to grow more remote."
WSJ: Wisconsin recall realigns campaign spending
"Unions and conservative groups have turned Wisconsin's battle over labor rights into a national, multimillion-dollar war that will reverberate through the presidential and congressional races this fall."
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: A Deal's a Deal...until donations pour in
"Fifteen wealthy contributors who support expanding the state’s school choice program gave $443,550 to Republican Governor Scott Walker and legislative Republicans between mid-October and mid-January when legislative action to curb the program’s expansion stalled, a Democracy Campaign review found."