Clips Round-up for 3/29/12
The Senate Rules Committee will hold a hearing today on the 2012 DISCLOSE Act. In case certain members complain about the bill, we've provided a handy fact sheet of the love they used to have for transparency.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NaJo: House Dems ask Obama to make recess FEC appointments
"About 30 House Democrats on Wednesday wrote President Obama urging him to make recess appointments to fill Federal Election Commission vacancies."
The New Republic: States vs. Plutocrats
Interesting look at state treasurers using public pensions to gain leverage over political spending: "Now, under the radar, a fledgling effort to force these donors out into the open is underway. And it’s being led by a rather unlikely group of crusaders: a handful of the nation’s state treasurers."
NYT: Where are the good-government Republicans?
Editorial from the New York Times on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and campaign finance. "Republicans once identified with good government have an opportunity right now to reach across the aisle — before that scandal breaks. Senator McCain? "
ThinkProgress: House rejects disclosure for secret campaign money
"The House of Representatives rejected an amendment last night that would have required that sponsors of independent political expenditure television and radio ads disclose the identity of donors whose contribute $10,000 or more to their efforts."
NYT: A business bet on the GOP may be backfiring
Interesting look at how the money from groups like the US Chamber to elect some...out there people...may be backfiring. "Business groups that worked hard to install a Republican majority in the House equated Republican control with a business-friendly environment. But the majority is first and foremost a conservative political force, and on key issues, its ideology is not always aligned with commercial interests that helped finance election victories."
HuffPost: Animal Lovers Against Romney super PAC set to launch
"A longtime Democratic donor is launching a million-dollar super PAC devoted to telling the story about Mitt Romney's act almost three decades ago of putting his dog in a crate atop a car for a 12-hour drive to Canada."
NPR: Buddy Roemer eyes presidency
NPR interview with Gov. Roemer.
AP: Obama outspends Republican campaigns by millions
"With Republicans locked in a contentious and expensive primary, President Barack Obama has spent a small fortune in recent months to build and maintain a campaign operation that is larger, more diverse and more focused on November's general election than any of his opponents' organizations."
WaPo: Pact on third-party ads seems to be working in Massachusetts
On the Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)/Elizabeth Warren outside spending pact: "An ambitious attempt to effectively bar attack ads by outside groups in the contentious U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is showing signs of working, at least so far."
Bloomberg: Chevron, Merck disclose funding to 2010 attack-ad groups
"Chevron Corp. (CVX), an oil and gas company; Merck & Co. (MRK), a drug maker; and the American Petroleum Institute are among the entities that have disclosed through corporate filings or Internal Revenue Service reports their donations to politically active groups that are growing in influence."
iWatch: Rick Santorum hopes to sweeten campaign pot with Jelly Belly visit
On Rick Santorum's trip to Jelly Belly: "But Jelly Belly isn’t just any candy maker. The company — best known for making jelly beans that taste like buttered popcorn and other interesting flavors — is a major supporter of conservative causes and one of the few corporations to make direct contributions to a super PAC."
The Hill: Super PACs: So easy, a college student can do it
"Three Duke University undergraduate students have started their own super-PAC, FEC filings show. And even the college youths are aware how absurd that sounds."
Forbes: As Romney donors pick up pace, meet Obama's biggest billionaire fundraisers
"Romney’s fundraisers will have to up their game to match Obama’s bundlers, a powerful network that includes billionaires and celebrities alongside career politicians."
Roll Call: Lawmakers want FDA to regulate cosmetics
"For months, the cosmetics industry has been fighting a bill introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that would ban the use of ingredients linked to cancer and reproductive disorders and require companies to include complete ingredient labels on fragrances and salon products."
LA Times: Sheldon Adelson: Newt "at the end of his line"
"Et tu, Sheldon?" - Newt Gingrich, probably.
AP: NJ Congressman using campaign money for California trips
"A New Jersey congressman has spent at least $97,000 in campaign money on at least 18 trips over the past five years to California, where his daughter has been pursuing a singing and acting career, The Associated Press found."
Columbia Journalism Review: News organizations that lobby against their own reporters' interests
On the FCC rule around public files of TV ads: "Amazingly, the same news organizations that routinely demand transparency from government—and rely on the prompt disclosure of public information for their stories—are opposing the rule."
Republic Report: At conference with bank lobbyists, Mark Warner wants to cut Social Security but won't endorse bank tax
They have very descriptive headlines at Republic Report!
The Hill: Prosecutors compromised Stevens case
"A desire to 'win the case' caused Department of Justice prosecutors to hide evidence from former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), according to a court-appointed investigator."
Portland Press Herald: Speaker way off base in Clean Elections column
Alison Smith writes in Maine, "House Speaker Robert Nutting is completely off base in his recent column about Clean Elections."
Cronkite News: Senator backing off plan to have voters decide future of Clean Elections
Arizona: "A senator pressing for a public vote on whether to keep Arizona’s system of public campaign financing said he plans instead to seek legislation that would, among other provisions, remove the option of making $5 voluntary contributions to Clean Elections on tax returns."
Times Union: Campaign system is due for an overhaul
NYPIRG's Bill Mahoney on public financing for New York and other changes to the campaign finance system.
Mother Jones: The money trail behind Florida's notorius gun law
Andy Kroll follows the NRA money to "Kill At Will" laws: "The money trail leading to the watershed law in Florida—the first of the 24 across the nation—traces primarily to one source: the National Rifle Association. "
Anchorage Daily News: Memo details oil, gas industry lobbying expenditures
"A new legislative memo suggests that about $2.2 million was spent on lobbying last year by the oil and gas industry and three affiliated organizations."
Las Vegas Sun: Lawmakers fined for keeping campaign-fund expenditures secret
"Seven Assembly Democrats who did not report all of their campaign expenses have been fined $150 for violating state campaign finance laws, Secretary of State Ross Miller said Wednesday."
Houston Chronicle: Judge rules tea party group a PAC, not a nonprofit
"A Travis County district court judge ruled this week that a Houston-based tea party group is not a nonprofit corporation as it claims, but an unregistered political action committee that illegally aided the Republican Party through its poll-watching efforts during the 2010 elections."