Clips Round-up for 3/20/12
Must-read from Justin Elliott at ProPublica: "Could corporations take tax breaks for political "dark money?"
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
WaPo: Behind the brewing voter ID war
Washington Post does a round-up of the voter suppression efforts across the country.
BNA: Court to hear two major challenges to FEC rules left after Citizens United (PDF)
"Federal courts will hear arguments March 21 and March 22 in two key legal cases that could help determine which campaign finance regulations will remain in place following a series of recent rulings that have struck down some long-standing restrictions."
The states get a poor report card
The New York Times on the yesterday's release of "corruption report cards" in the states. Important stuff, to be sure, but it's also important to remember that open records laws and transparency aren't enough, on their own, to counter corruption.
Americans United to Rebuild Democracy: Debates and free media as part of a Clean Elections solution
Stephen Erickson writes, "Mandatory debates and first-person political statements could be an essential part of a clean elections solution for the United States."
NYT: Candidates disclose February fund-raising
"President Obama raised $45 million in February, his campaign announced on Monday, a significant increase over the $29.1 million he raised in January. Mitt Romney raised $11.5 million for the same month, according to his campaign. And Rick Santorum’s campaign said on Monday that he had raised more than $9 million, almost as much as Mr. Romney."
First Street: K Street lines up for Romney
First Street Research looks at the lobbyists and firms that would benefit the most from a Romney presidency.
WaPo: Romney bundlers are key to his presidential campaign
"Romney has assembled a broad roster of Illinois donors who have helped him bring in millions in President Obama’s back yard, part of a network of hundreds of major fundraisers nationwide that has allowed him to easily outpace the rest of the Republican field." His campaign has still not provided a full list of bundlers, to be clear.
Politico: Plouffe appears at event for pro-Obama super PAC, which hires new fundraiser
"President Obama's adviser David Plouffe appeared at a prospecting meeting for Priorities USA Action held at the Yale Club in Manhattan earlier today, speaking before a group of about two dozen major Democratic donors about the influence of outside groups on the GOP side, multiple sources said."
CSM: Is Ron Paul running into money problems?
"Is Ron Paul running into money problems? You might think so if you look at his latest Federal Election Commission report."
The Hill: Some Obama donors see need to pick up fundraising pace
"For some Obama supporters, the presidential campaign’s fundraising totals, released Monday, might have left something to be desired."
Roll Call: Bad news for nation's nonprofits
As always, an interesting read from Eliza Newlin-Carney at Roll Call: "In an election that until lately has been dominated by super PACs, politically active nonprofits are the new bad guys, drawing ethics complaints, letters to the IRS and legislative action. That is bad news for the nation’s 1.6 million nonprofits, which have much to lose as their sector gets dragged into political money controversies."
Politico: Jim DeMint gives $500k to Club for Growth
"Sen. Jim DeMint donated $500,000 in February to the conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action through his campaign committee, according to federal filings released Monday."
Politico: Campaign for Primary Accountability: Texas super PAC makes incumbents shake in their boots
Another profile on this group: "A super PAC funded by a handful of Texas conservatives and a shadowy corporation is wreaking havoc in primaries across the country."
Politico: Democrats file bill to repeal oil tax incentives
"Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Monday eliminating incentives for the big companies and using revenue to help renewable energy sources."
The Cap Times: GAB fined 110 people for campaign finance and ethics violations in last 3 years
"Goyke is one of 110 people or groups that paid fines for violating Wisconsin's campaign finance and ethics laws in the past three years."
Politico: Recalled Arizona lawmaker to run again
After being the first Arizona Senator in history--and first Senate president ever--to be recalled, Russell Pearce will run again. In a different district.
Grand Forks Herald: Sunlight needed on lobbying, campaigns in ND
"But reform campaign finance and lobbying laws? Yes. It’s a new day in North Dakota, and the time for those changes has come."
Birmingham News: Alabama corruption trials focus on bribes vs. donations
"Campaign contributions are the lifeblood of politics. But when exactly does a campaign contribution become a bribe? That's been a central question in the state's last two major public corruption trials as prosecutors accused public officials of swapping donations for official actions."