Clips Round-up for 3/9/12
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Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
BDN: Maine Senate votes to change funding stream for clean elections candidates
The Maine Senate passed a bill yesterday that just dropped the matching funds portion of Clean Elections without putting in a proper fix. Andy Bossie with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections: “Maine people have supported clean elections and while this bill doesn’t kill it, it certainly weakens it.” Lewiston Sun Journal, Maine Public Radio.
HuffPost: IRS may make political groups pay dearly for keeping donors secret
Dan Froomkin looks at the IRS news this week: "Should any group currently calling itself a 501(c)(4) have its designation denied or revoked, tax experts said the consequences could be severe, including fines of 35 percent or more of the money they raised in secret."
ProPublica: When the GOP tried to bank dark money
"A decade ago, it was Republicans who were pushing for disclosure of donors to nonprofit social welfare groups who are now pouring millions into political attack ads and House Democrats who opposed them."
PCAF: Billionaires to fete Mitt Romney at upcoming NYC fundraiser
Mitt may say he's focused on Alabama and Mississippi, but the next day he'll be raising money from at least 5 billionaires. Check out our analysis of the co-chairs of next Wednesday's NYC event.
HuffPost: Mitt Romney has best small donor month, but still trails other candidates
Romney is doing better with small donors, which is likely welcome news inside the campaign.
Politico: Mitt Romney money machine calls in cavalry
But: "Romney has put out a rallying cry to his supporters in Congress, asking them to kick in cash and get their best donors on board, too."
Washington Examiner: Feingold: Obama should stop fundraising with the 1%
"Former Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is not happy with President Obama's high dollar fundraisers with the top one percent, suggesting that he is tainting his image as a 'man of the people.'"
HuffPo: White House launches ethics website, fulfilling Obama campaign promise
"The White House today launched a new website today devoted to government ethics practices, fulfilling the President's campaign promise to create a single website for searches related to executive branch ethics and influence data."
Politico: Corporations don't pony up for super PACs
Publicly traded companies are treading lightly with super PACs, but "Instead, corporate lobbyists and others say companies have preferred to give to politically active nonprofits that allow their donations to stay anonymous — and with good reason."
WaPo: Obama feels the sting of a naive ban on lobbyists
Ruth Marcus's column today: "But maybe the real problem of the Obama White House is not that it has too many lobbyists. Maybe the real problem is that it has had too few. Maybe if the Obama administration had had more Ricchettis from the start, it would have had fewer problems."
NaJo: Cee Lo performing at Obama fundraiser
Cee Lo is performing at an upcoming Obama fundraiser. I assume Obama WON'T be singing his famous song like he did Al Green's.
HuffPo: Super PAC ad men have long history of Republican attack politics
Paul Blumenthal looks at the ad men behind the super PACs.
NYT: Measures to speed pipeline fail
Big oil's supporters in the Senate failed in their attempt to expedite the approval of the Keystone pipeline. On the blog, we looked at the money behind it. But don't worry, Keystone supporters aren't giving up! And Bill McKibben says: "it's pretty remarkable that people power was able to keep working, even in the oil-soaked Senate."
CREW files IRS and FEC complaints against Americans for Job Security
"Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate whether Americans for Job Security (AJS) violated tax and campaign finance laws. AJS spent millions of dollars on political ads during the 2010 mid-term elections, in violation of its 501(c)(6) tax status, and failed to both register as a political committee and file any required disclosure reports with the FEC."
Politico: Super PAC's next target: Spencer Bachus
"A little-known, Houston-based super PAC is aiming to take down its second incumbent in two weeks: Spencer Bachus, the powerful House chairman who faces a primary challenge Tuesday in Alabama."
Indian Contry Today Media Network: Calling out "Abramoff the Reformer" image
On Abramoff's resurgence: "Tribal leaders and advocates are left shaking their heads, remembering full well that Abramoff privately said racist things about Indians, calling them 'troglodytes,' 'morons,' and 'monkeys,' while at the same time defrauding tribes of millions of dollars in the late-1990s and early 2000s."