Clips Round-up for 4/2/12
Democrat and Chronicle: Legislature shifts focus to reforms
With the budget and redistricting done, the New York legislature will move on to something else. "But the governor did say Friday that he would push for a change in the state’s campaign-finance system, which good-government groups say allows wealthy donors to have too much influence on the electoral process."
HuffPost: Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce face possible campaign donation disclosure after ruling
Story to watch: "On Friday evening, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that could begin the process of revealing the identities of secret donors to groups connected to Karl Rove and the Koch brothers." AP report and Rick Hasen's analysis.
WaPo: In the Supreme Court, activist justices take on health care
EJ Dionne on the Affordable Care Act and the Court: "And a court that gave us Bush v. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology."
Des Moines Register: Beef product maker gave $500,000 to Republicans over decade
On all the campaign money the makers of the "pink slime" beef have handed out and legislation by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) to ban the stuff.
This American Life: Take the money and run for office
This weekend's This American Life episode was about campaign cash and the cost of running for office.
Washington Post: Obama campaign reviewing background of volunteer fundraiser accused of fraud
"New Yorker Abake Assongba has pledged to help President Obama win reelection, and as one of his 400 volunteer fundraisers, she has delivered $50,000 to the cause. But she is also trailed by some controversy, accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors." (Just a reminder, Mitt Romney has still not released his list of bundlers.)
Politico: GOP mega-donors slow to switch candidates
"Just 17 million dollar-plus donors have shelled out about half of more than $81 million that already has flooded into super PACs supporting Republican presidential hopefuls this election cycle. The vast majority of the big super PAC spenders have remained loyal to a single candidate, according to a POLITICO analysis of the most recent campaign filings."
WaPo: Obama allies launch ad campaign hitting back over gas prices
New ad from Priorities USA super PAC on Romney and gas prices, uses a $$ in politics angle: "Who’s behind this ad smearing President Obama? Big Oil, that’s who. The money they make from high gas prices — is going right into Mitt Romney’s campaign. Big oil executives have pledged two hundred million to help him. And Mitt Romney’s pledged to protect their record profits — and their billions in special tax breaks too. These guys all profit. You pay the price.”
NYT: Big Oil's bogus campaign
The New York Times on the inability of Congress to end tax breaks for oil companies: "A big reason for that failure is that some of those profits are being continuously recycled to win the support of pliable legislators, underwrite misleading advertising campaigns and advance an energy policy defined solely by more oil and gas production."
WaPo: Trade group CEOs enjoy hefty pay raises in a sluggish company
"Chief executives of Washington’s most active trade lobby groups defied the sluggish economy and enjoyed pay increases averaging 16 percent." There's a pretty big gender gap too.
NYT: Their contributors' bidding
New York Times editorial on the JOBS Act: "The real driving force behind the bill is the eagerness of politicians in both parties to please bankers and business executives who relentlessly demand deregulation and have the deep pockets to get their way, especially in an election year."
The Hill: Sen. Durbin: Amount of time Senate spends fundraising would shock Americans
Fair Elections Now Act lead sponsor Sen. Durbin: "I think most Americans would be shocked — not surprised, but shocked — if they knew how much time a United States senator spends raising money."
NYT: "Informal advisers" to campaigns re-emerge
This story is about "informal advisers" to presidential campaigns, but good to note the ones mentioned are lobbyists.
NPR: On tour with Nancy Pelosi, fundraising rock star
"In the last decade, Pelosi has raised close to $300 million for Democrats, according to her political staff. So far, in this election cycle, she's raised close to $40 million. Pelosi is the party's top fundraiser by far, outpacing President Obama in some categories."
iWatch: Finance industry makes up nearly half of pro-Romney super PAC's donations
"Of the $43.2 million raised by the attack PAC, $20.5 million, or 48 percent, came from finance industry donors, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Public Integrity."
Politico: Gas prices fuel congressional campaign rhetoric
Story on gas prices and Congress mentions Public Campaign's ad about Scott Tipton: "Public Campaign, a group with ties to MoveOn.org and labor unions, sponsored two weeks of cable TV ads against Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in his Western Colorado district, knocking him for taking more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and questioning his vote against repealing the industry's subsidies."
HuffPost: Mitt Romney's PAC funded anti-gay marriage group under the radar
Through the Alabama branch of his PAC: "In 2008, Mitt Romney's political action committee made a $10,000 donation to the National Organization of Marriage at a time when the anti-gay rights organization was seeking repeal of a California law legalizing marriage equality." WaPo.
News-Sentinel: Lugar super PAC readies $100,000 attack in primary
"A super PAC supporting Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar (R) will spend next week attacking his Republican primary opponent and a separate super PAC as outside groups begin playing a greater role in Indiana's Republican primary."
NYT: Money behind campaigns
Great letter from the head of the Public Relations Society of America: "The growth of front groups and “super PACs” perverts American politics and does the American electorate a disservice. These organizations, lacking full disclosure of donors’ identities or of the motivating factors behind specific attacks and messaging, represent an insidious attack on the public’s trust." Similar letter here.
Seattle Times: Cantwell refuses PAC money, but accepts it from special interests
Sort of an odd story on Sen. Cantwell's fundraising.
The Hill: GAO: Lobbyist disclosure complaince "similar" compared to prior years
"K Street’s newest registered lobbyist generally complied with expense and income report requirements, while accuracy among established lobbyists on these reports varied, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Friday indicated."
Houston Chronicle: Super PACs on rise, but not with women
"The meteoric rise of the big-dollar political committees in the 2012 campaign has reversed some of the gains made by women since 1992, the so-called "Year of the Woman" in U.S. elections. According to Federal Election Commission data, women make up only 14 percent of Super PAC donors - groups now outspending the presidential candidates' campaigns."
Gazette: Loebsack would like to ban former Congress members from lobbying
"Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, has proposed a federal law banning former members of Congress from lobbying — ever."
Roll Call: Durkey case jolts elections
"Victims of the California campaign treasurer who embezzled more than $7 million from dozens, if not hundreds, of clients’ accounts may have to hire private attorneys and scramble to replenish re-election funds even as the government’s case ended in a guilty plea Friday."
NYPost: Tech companies new lobbying force in DC
"In the last few months, the tech industry has won some of the biggest debates and legislative battles in Washington, from protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act to last week’s passage of the JOBS Act."
Portsmouth Herald: Disappointed in Ayotte's vote for oil subsidies
Letter in New Hampshire: "Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted against a strong America by voting for Big Oil subsidies to protect the funnel of money coming from Big Oil to campaign finance. "
AP: Malloy says he's open to ironing out campaign finance fix
"A day after a key legislative committee rejected the governor’s proposal to allow publicly financed candidates raise unlimited funds if an opponent out spends them—Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was open to finding a legislative solution."