Clips Round-up for 4/16/12
On Sunday, the New York Times editorial page urged Gov. Cuomo and the New York legislature to move forward with Fair Elections: "While New York waits for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to keep his promise to reform its election system, some powerful New Yorkers are stepping into the vacuum. A coalition that includes Barry Diller; Chris Hughes, a founding member of Facebook; the banker David Rockefeller Sr.; and the restaurateur Danny Meyer plans to push Albany into fixing the lax rules for financing political campaigns."
And Business leader Leo Hindery and Common Cause New York's Susan Lerner had this op-ed in Crain's.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Marketplace: Presidential candidates likely to pass on public money
Marketplace Radio looks at the broken presidential public financing system.
WaPo: Five myths about super PACs
Trevor Potters writes up five myths about super PACs.
Election Law Blog: FEC considers Van Hollen case appeal while it wrestles with advisory opinions
"The Federal Election Commission is considering but has not yet decided whether to appeal a federal judge’s recent ruling on disclosure of donors to independent organizations sponsoring political advertising."
Politico: Courting the White House: Don't call it lobbying
"President Barack Obama promised early in 2009 that he would usher in new limits on special-interest influence peddling on his watch, enacting tough disclosure rules that created an anti-lobbyist climate in town. But some Washington insiders have figured out how to work the new system."
NYT: White House opens door to big donors, and lobbyists slip in
"Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits." It's great we can learn this info because we know who Obama's bundlers are. Mitt Romney has still not released his.
WaPo: Mystery donor gives $10 million to Crossroads GPS group to run anti-Obama ads
"An anonymous donor gave $10 million late last year to run ads attacking President Obama and Democratic policies, escalating the money race that is defining the 2012 presidential campaign." HuffPost.
Exclusive: Romney sells inauguration access, nine months early
"Former Governor Mitt Romney is already offering top donors access to a special 'Presidential Inaugural retreat,' planned on the assumption that he will be elected president this November."
CNN: Fundraising tops on candidates' agendas ahead of primaries
"Fresh into second quarter fundraising, both President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney will make the rounds this week in hopes of puffing up their coffers."
PCAF: Mitt Romney and Tax Day
PCAF has a new report out this morning looking at Mitt Romney, tax day, and the wealthy donors that will likely influence his tax policy.
Politico: Cantor super PAC fundraising stumbles
"The super PAC backed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is hurting for cash. YG Action Fund, launched last year by former Cantor aides, pulled in just $55,000 in the first three months of this year, according to filings released late Sunday."
The Hill: Obama campaign, DNC raised $53M in March
The Obama campaign and DNC raised $53 million in March. "According to the video, 190,000 of the 567,000 March donors were first-time contributors, 97 percent of the donors gave $250 or less, and the average donation was $50.78."
TNR: Has super PAC cash corrupted TV stations?
"This kind of intransigence from the super PACs is hardly a surprise. What is surprising is the intransigence from public broadcasters. The arguments against transparency offered by the networks show that, having experienced the windfall of advertising dollars that Citizens United unleashed, they have little interest in meeting their legal and ethical responsibility to serve the public interest."
WSJ: GOP House candidates have edge in finances
"Republicans running for the U.S. House have built a financial advantage over their Democratic opponents in many of the races that will determine which party holds a majority after the election."
Palm Beach Post: Allen West raises $1.8 million, spends $1.2 million in 1st quarter
Saying crazy things continues to help Allen West in the fundraising department.
The Hill: Lawmakers: Cantor's $25k controversial donation may come up this week
"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) this week may face tough questions from disgruntled rank-and-file GOP lawmakers upset with his $25,000 donation to a group dedicated to ousting incumbents in Congress."
Plain Dealer: Has Rep. Jim Renacci become a PAC man?
"Republican Rep. Jim Renacci - who criticized the Democrat he defeated in 2010 for getting the bulk of his campaign contributions from political action committees - now has political action committee donations that outstrip his contributions from individuals."
Roll Call: Poker players all-in on Joe Barton bill
"One year after the Department of Justice cut off U.S. access to the three biggest online poker sites, players are sending a message to Congress: We will not fold."
Republic Report: Corruption is why you can't do your taxes in five minutes
"Here’s a chart of Intuit’s lobbying expenditures in Congress, courtesy of Open Secrets. I suspect that some of that nine million dollars of lobbying by that company since 2008 has gone to making it more annoying for you and me to file our taxes."
Politico: Cain campaign paid groups reportedly under federal investigation
"Nearly two months after dropping his bid for the GOP nomination, Herman Cain’s presidential campaign paid about $19,000 to a pair of non-profit groups that are reportedly under federal investigation for boosting his White House bid."
News and Observer: Triangle congressional race turns on super PAC spending
A super PAC is causing some trouble in North Carolina: " Now North Carolina has its first super PAC, formed to boost Holding’s campaign for Congress in the 13th district, which encompasses parts of Wake and surrounding counties. And like other super PACs in this new world, how The American Foundations Committee is permitted to operate is somewhat controversial and sometimes unclear."
iWatch: Industries backing the American Legislative Exchange Council facing new scrutiny
"But there’s been little attention paid to one major ALEC-affiliated sector behind several state legislators pushing these measures: the beer and wine industry."
TNR: A surprisingly effective new path to neutralizing the political influence of big business
Mark Schmitt writes on the recent success in getting companies to drop out of ALEC. "There’s still a need for a non-conservative counterpart organization, not just for self-described 'progressive' legislators but also those who don’t think of themselves in strongly ideological terms. But, in the meantime, the apparent success of the ALEC boycott has revealed an untapped path toward rebalancing the power of money in American politics."
ABC: Nazi Party gets first lobbyist on Capitol Hill
"A member of the American Nazi Party has joined the ranks of lobbyists on Capitol Hill."
Politico: Jon Huntsman lends campaign $1.5M
"Jon Huntsman loaned his shuttered presidential campaign $1.5 million dollars in the first quarter to pay hundreds of thousands owed to dozens of vendors and former campaign staffers, according to federal election commission documents."
Politico: Roseanne Barr self-funds presidenital run
"Since formally launching her bid in early February, Barr raised just $31,500 through March 31, federal disclosures out today show. Of that, $25,000 came from a loan Barr made to her campaign on March 1." She even responded to me and Dave Levinthal on Twitter about it!
AP: WVa court race tests public financing experiment
"Plenty of money is entering West Virginia's Supreme Court election this year, despite a public financing pilot program meant to blunt the perceived influence of campaign cash."