Clips Round-up for 4/13/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Reuters: US ban on political ads on public TV struck down
Karl Rove on my Downton Abbey? "A divided U.S. appeals court struck down a federal ban on political advertising on public TV and radio stations, a decision that could open the public airwaves to a heavy dose of campaign ads leading up to the November elections." The Hill.
Democrat and Chronicle: Groups call for campaign finance reform
"Advocates for campaign finance reform gathered in Rochester on Thursday, saying that public financing of campaigns would encourage more women and racial minorities to run for office while encouraging smaller donations." Press release.
FDL: Group pushes for public campaign financing in New York
FireDogLake on yesterday's NYT story: "A large coalition of very large donors, businesses and activists are pushing for New York to adopt a system of publicly financed elections."
AP: Vt. Senate: corporations aren't people
"The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a resolution to the U.S. Constitution aimed at reversing the U.S Supreme Court's Citizens United decision of 2010."
The Hill: Firms ask FEC to approve anonymous political giving via text message
"Two political consulting groups and an 'aggregator' have asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to approve anonymous political contributions through text messages." Public Campaign supports efforts to allow text message contributions as a way to increase small donor giving.
NYT: Campaigns plan maximum push to raise money
"Aides and leading donors to Mitt Romney are preparing a major expansion of the campaign’s fund-raising efforts to prepare for a general election contest against President Obama, with the goal of raising up to $600 million, according to several people involved in the discussions. "
WaPo: Trayvon Martin spurs protests against companies with ties to legislative group
Run-down from the Washington Post on the renewed effort to get companies to drop ALEC. NPR.
HuffPost: Workers' Voice, AFL-CIO super PAC, has $4.1 million to spend, won't target anti-labor Dems
"Officials involved in the newly formed Workers' Voice -- the super PAC outfit of the AFL-CIO -- said on Thursday that they would not be making any direct donations to candidates running for office. Instead, the money will go into supporting an extensive network of 14,000 "work-sites" designed to facilitate the largest grassroots operation the labor community has ever undertaken." LA Times, Roll Call, Politico.
NYT: Money corrupts. Unlimited money corrupts absolutely
On super PACs, their "independence," and corruption.
Oklahoman: Mitt Romney coming to Oklahoma fundraiser May 9 at Harold Hamm's Nichols Hill home
Mitt Romney is hosting a Big Oil fundraiser: "Mitt Romney will visit the Nichols Hills home of Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm on May 9 to raise funds for his presidential race."
Boston Globe: Quietly, "Swift Boat" donor throws big money behind Romney
"The leading donor to Mitt Romney’s super PAC is not a hedge-fund manager or Bain Capital executive. It is Bob Perry, a Houston home-building magnate who was also the top donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against John F. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, in 2004."
LA Times: Foster Friess wonders if Obama's "teleprompters are bullet-proof"
"Foster Friess, a wealthy Republican who helped fund Rick Santorum’s presidential run but is now supporting Mitt Romney, used gun imagery Wednesday to describe the campaign against President Obama."
ProPublica: The return of CREEP
On the new super PAC, Committee to Re-Elect the President: "The committee is based out of a post office box at the Watergate Complex—an homage, of course, to the other Committee for the Re-Election of the President, the fundraising committee for President Richard Nixon that became embroiled in the Watergate scandal."
Roll Call: FreedomWorks condemns Koch's attempted takeover of Cato Institute
"Leaders of the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks sided today with the Cato Institute in its feud with Charles Koch, the billionaire conservative who helped found the libertarian think tank."
The Hill: Fundraising wrap-up: House challengers slow but steady
"First-quarter fundraising numbers continued to roll out on Wednesday, and while there were few eye-popping figures, a number of Democratic House candidates showed steady progress towards having the money needed to win open seats or take out GOP incumbents. A few House Republican challengers also posted strong numbers."
WSJ: Pataki forms NY elections super PAC
"Former Gov. George Pataki is launching a super PAC to help Republicans in New York congressional races, a move designed to protect the GOP's most vulnerable members and boost its chances of retaining control of the House of Representatives."
Roll Call: Dianne Feinstein campaign asks FEC to resolicit donors
"Lawyers for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s campaign committee asked the Federal Election Commission today to allow the California Democrat to resolicit donors after as much as $4.5 million was siphoned from committee accounts in an embezzlement scheme."
Politico: Donors split with Mitt Romney on gay marriage
"Mitt Romney’s opposition to gay marriage, which helped endear him to conservative activists during the dog days of the presidential primary, puts him at odds with three of his most prominent donors, all of whom helped fund a successful effort to legalize same-sex nuptials in New York last year."
Online Athens: Broun accused of breaking campaign finance laws
"A nonprofit ethics watchdog filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that U.S. Rep. Paul Broun illegally concealed the source of loans to his campaign."
HuffPost: Irving Moskowitz, controversial backer of Israeli settlements, gives $1 million to anti-Obama super PAC
"Even in the era of unbridled campaign contributions, Irving Moskowitz's $1 million donation in February to American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-linked super PAC, is eye-catching."
The Hill: Fundraising wrap-up: GOP Senate hopefuls post big totals
"Republican candidates for Senate posted impressive fundraising hauls on Thursday as reports for campaign cash raised between January and March continued to trickle in. Reports for the first quarter of 2012 are due to the Federal Election Commission by April 15."
Salon: The super PAC small donors
So who are the handful of small donors giving to Romney's super PAC?
Politico: Georgian billionaire storms K Street
"Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to become an official candidate in the country’s first prime minister race and he hopes that U.S. pressure for free and fair elections will help, since that could be a step toward Georgia’s long-held goal of being recognized by NATO."
Roll Call: House Majority PAC adds three to staff
"House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, continues to expand its operation, announcing today the hiring of three Democratic operatives."
NYT: Campaign spending is at heart of Edwards trial
Jury selection began yesterday in the John Edwards trial.
Follow The money: Skyrocketing highs: $2.5 billion spent on state campaigns: 2009-2010
"Financing a political campaign reached a new high when candidates running for state offices in 2009–2010 raised $2.5 billion, surpassing the $2.2 billion record set during the comparable 2005–2006 elections."