Clips Round-up for 4/17/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Times-Union: United front for reform
"The good-government advocates. The wonks. The progressive groups appalled by the profusion of money in politics. All plan to unite for a six-week push for partial public financing of campaigns, a perennial reform issue for which they've beaten their heads against a wall over the better part of a decade."
NY's chance to blunt big donors
Great Newsday editorial. "Closer to home, Cuomo has made real strides in putting the public's interest first in Albany, but there's no guarantee these gains will survive him without campaign finance reform. In his own campaign, Cuomo promised to push for public financing if elected. Such talk is always music to our ears. Better still would be action to make it a reality."
Campaign Finance Institute: Public matching fund system would reverse the importance of small and large donors in New York
New report from Michael Malbin and the Campaign Finance Institute on New York and small donors.
Times-Union: Mailers headed toward McDonald
Public Campaign Action Fund launched a direct mail campaign in New York yesterday: "Coming to mailboxes around the Capital Region: a mail flyer urging Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, to support campaign finance reform." Gannett, our statement, and all four mail pieces.
MacArthur Foundation awards $4.8M in pro-democracy grants
Congrats to our friends--many on this list--who have received much-deserved grants from the MacArthur Foundation.
Election Law Blog: Fed. Court rejects challenge to ban on contractor contributions
"The court held that the ban on contractor contributions was 'closely drawn' to the government’s anticorruption interest, and that current evidence of a problem of corruption was unnecessary."
American Prospect: "Corporate personhood" is not the problem
Garrett Epps writes, "But the problem didn’t start with Citizens United and can’t be fixed by a corporate-personhood amendment. The threat to American self-government runs far deeper."
NYT: Embarrassed by bad laws
Great NYT editorial on companies dropping ALEC. "The corporations abandoning ALEC aren’t explicitly citing the Stand Your Ground statutes as the reason for their decision. But many joined the group for narrower reasons, like fighting taxes on soda or snacks, and clearly have little interest in voter ID requirements or the N.R.A.’s vision of a society where anyone can fire a concealed weapon at the slightest hint of a threat." WaPo letter.
Politico: Romney super PAC donor's firm was fined millions for commodities manipulation
"A major donor to the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC was once fined $25 million by regulators for manipulating commodities markets, records show."
HuffPost: Sheldon Adelson gives $5 million to super PAC backing House Republicans
"A super PAC launched to protect the Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives received its biggest infusion of cash to date as Sheldon Adelson and his wife contributed $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund in February." It's run by former Sen. Norm Coleman.
Politico: Billonaires fall in line
I think the most interesting part of this story about the big Republican donors falling in line behind the establishment is this, "And Adelson is hosting a fundraiser next Friday at one of his Las Vegas hotels for a Boehner umbrella group that works closely with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee."
ABC News: President Obama, Mitt Romney drop war over women for transparency fight
"President Obama is withdrawing from one war, the war over women, but he is escalating another: the war over transparency."
Daily Beast: Mitt Romney should disclose big campaign donors
Peter Schweizer writes, "If Governor Romney genuinely believes this is a problem, he can show is commitment to rooting it out by at least releasing the names of his campaign bundlers immediately."
The Hill: Mitt Romney's fixer
On one of Mitt Romney's big supporters in DC: "Maloney’s quiet, steady approach to politics and policy has led the former administrative assistant and legislative director for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) to the top of the lobbying food chain. "
NYT: $800 million target for Romney campaign and Republican committee
"A new joint fund-raising initiative between Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee will aim to raise $800 million by November, part of what Mr. Romney’s campaign estimates will be a total of $1 billion spent to defeat President Obama and elect Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor. "
Roll Call: Dissecting super PAC consulting
Eliza's latest: "As super PACs gear up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on this year’s elections, the well-paid political consultants who are cashing in on the outpouring of unrestricted money are getting some long-overdue scrutiny."
Roll Call: Fundraising numbers tip scales of power
"In the first quarter of an election year, sitting Members of Congress can use the power of incumbency to post big fundraising numbers and send a message to challengers that they have the resources to make sure they return to Capitol Hill for another term. But incumbents can also telegraph another message altogether: weakness."
ThinkProgress: Mitt Romney tells rich donors his secret plan to cut housing assistance
"During comments overheard by an NBC news reporter, Mitt Romney told a crowd at a private fundraiser last night that he might eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, scale back the Department of Education, and eliminate some specific tax provisions. "
Politico: Fred Upton donors include energy, health, tech companies
House Energy and Commerce Chair raked in 1st quarter money from industries he regulates: "The odds for House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s long-shot GOP primary opponent are looking even longer Monday after Upton reported having a titanic first-quarter fundraising effort — buoyed by money from energy, technology and health companies under his panel’s jurisdiction."
ThinkProgress: Romney bundler lobbyies for birther Dominican Republican presidential candidate
The headline sort of give you the main point.
Politico: Occupy K Street
Paul Volcker: "Citizen representation before all levels of governmental authority is a part — an absolutely necessary part — of American democracy. It’s hard to think of a legislative or regulatory process without consultation. But when 'representation' is so imbued with money, we are entitled to wonder: Are there no limits?"
Politico: Wind industry blows campaign cash toward GOP
"Wind industry campaign donations are blowing toward Republicans, including presidential front-runner Mitt Romney."
NPR: Obama raises $53 million-plus in March, nearly all from small donors
"President Obama's re-election operation raised more than $53 million dollars in March as his fundraising efforts appear to be showing significant increases month to month."
Tennessean: TN freshmen top veterans in fundraising
"First-term Republican Reps. Stephen Fincher, Diane Black and Chuck Fleischmann are outpacing the state’s veteran lawmakers in fundraising this year, according to new campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission."
The Hill: "Joe the Plumber" gaining ground in money race against Rep. Kaptur
I don't even know what to say about this story. "Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the congressional candidate known to most Americans as "Joe the Plumber," is gaining ground in the money race against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), the Democrat he will face in November."
Dayton Daily News: Incumbents winning in fundraising
"The race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat remains a fundraising dogfight, with both candidates raising more than $2 million during the first quarter of 2012."
Politico: Lesson from the Senate cash dash
"In the dozen most competitive contests across the country, Democrats once again collected more cash during the first three months of the year than Republicans, who are expected to wage an aggressive battle for the Senate majority."
Roll Call: Mobile App lobby turns to Facebook public policy pioneer to develop privacy strategy
"A 3-month-old trade association for developers of high-tech applications has snagged one of Facebook’s original public policy hires."
Star-Ledger: U.S. Congressman under fire for campaign expenses turns to high-powered law firm
"Under fire for campaign expenses ranging from a lavish wedding trip to Scotland to a daughter’s high school graduation party, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews has turned to a high-powered law firm known for representing members of Congress facing serious trouble."
National Journal: Nazi lobbyist sees no reason lawmakers wouldn't meet with him
More on the member of the American Nazi Party that has registered as a lobbyist. Money quote: "I'm not going to go in and shove a swastika in their face. I use a very careful and objective approach."