Clips Round-up for 4/27/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: Opening the broadcasters' books
New York Times editorial on today's FCC vote on whether broadcasters should place ad info online. "By voting to require broadcasters to report their political ad sales on a national database — rejecting the stations’ claim that this is too burdensome or expensive — the commission can help the public get a far broader sense of the powerful financial forces driving today’s politics." Sunlight Foundation, NPR.
US News: Republicans Support Disclose Act...Next Year
House Republican Tom Price says he thinks there's support for DISCLOSE within the Republican ranks but...well, let's just wait until after the election. "Translation: Why would we do anything to inhibit super PACs while they’re a net advantage for us? We’ll worry about it in the next Congress … when, super PACs willing, we’ll control all three branches of government."
HuffPost: Corporate campaign contributions show some industries giving up appearance of bipartisanship
A lot of industries have stayed pretty equal in their campaign giving, "But that pattern has begun to fray, as companies in some major industries that see a threat from federal regulations -- most notably the energy sector -- appear to have deepened bonds with the Republican Party, with which they share increasingly indistinguishable goals."
Sunlight Foundation: Presidential campaign donors moving to super PACs
You'll be shocked to hear this: maxed out campaign donors are now giving to super PACs supporting those candidates. Ok, maybe you won't be shocked.
Bloomberg: Clinton backers wait for Obama's to cut checks for super PAC
"Bill and Hillary Clinton’s network of political donors has a message for President Barack Obama’s longtime backers when it comes to multi-million dollar contributions -- you first."
CBS News: Romney's NYC "bundlers" primed to grab donations
On Mitt's Wall Street bundlers (or the ones we know about): "Rather than targeting a GOP base that's hungry for red meat, the bundler's soft sell with Romney is well-suited to the northeastern professionals who make up the deep end of the candidate's nationwide fundraising pool."
iWatch: Obama nominates elite fundraiser for top diplomatic spot
"Timothy Broas, a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama, is now the nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands."
WaPo: Americans for Prosperity launches $6.1 million attack on Obama
Koch-backed AFP launches a massive ad buy bashing Obama on clean energy initiatives. "The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is spending $6.1 million on swing state ads accusing the Obama administration of wasting billions and sending jobs overseas through green energy projects."
Politico: Obama campaign to return accused Ponzi schemer's donation
"The Obama campaign will return the donations of an accused Ponzi schemer who is facing an SEC investigation, a campaign official confirms."
MSNBC: Small donor spin
It seems the Romney campaign might be conflating donors of $200 or less and donations of $200 or less, according to MSNBC: "A Mitt Romney campaign announcement declaring its latest fundraising figures raised a few eyebrows on our team -- not because of the amount of money that was raised, but rather because of how the campaign characterized its contributors."
HuffPost: Workers' Voice, AFL-CIO super PAC, relinquishes control over $4.1 million war chest
Worth watching how this plays out and another contrast between labor spending and millionaire-funded super PACs like Restore our Future and Crossroads: "In a move described as unprecedented in the history of organized labor, the largest union-affiliated super PAC will relinquish control of its funds, giving union and non-union members the chance to have direct say over its $4.1 million campaign war chest."
Politico: Big labor's big moment
A good read on labor, if not just for the quotes from David Obey.
Roll Call: Activists pressure Walmart to drop support of ALEC
"The boycott ALEC movement has turned its sights on Walmart, finding new allies among the retailer’s longtime opponents."
The Nation: People of color less likely to vote because of super PAC influence
On the Brennan Center's new polling: "n the Brennan survey, African-Americans and Latino Americans were more likely than whites to say they feel discouraged from voting due to the outsized influence of Super PACs, and who can blame them? "
Politico: DSCC brackets Brown taxes
It's been a week of taxes in the Mass. Senate race.
HuffPost: 2012 Republican primary candidates, super PACs scrub attack ads from YouTube
Actual etch-a-sketching: "After an acrimonious primary that featured millions of dollars spent on negative ads, the candidates and their supporting super PACs are now in the process of scrubbing their YouTube pages to remove any evidence of their attacks on one another."
Jacksonville Sun: Restaurant group's lobbying, campaign contributions spiked under Craig Miller
A former head of the National Resturant Association is running for Congress as an outsider and anti-Washington. "During congressional candidate Craig Miller’s time as chairman of the National Restaurant Association, the organization’s efforts lobbying Congress spiked and it gave a record amount of campaign cash, federal records show."
The Nation: Republicans harassing Mortgage Fraud Task Force
More on the Mortgage Fraud task force: "Behind the scenes, however, Republicans are keeping a close eye on the group—and letting the members know they are watching. The Nation has exclusively obtained a letter to the working group from Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican with major Wall Street donors."
Roll Call: Indiana: Senate races sees $3.5M in outside spending
"Outside groups have made almost $3.5 million in independent expenditures so far in the competitive Indiana GOP Senate primary, according to online data from the Federal Election Commission."
The Hill: Defense firms hold off on spending
"Lobbying for the top defense contractors remained mostly flat in the first three months of 2012 compared to last year despite the threat of sequestration that could hit the Pentagon budget with an additional $500 billion in across-the-board spending cuts."
AP: PAC cash playing major role in Massachusetts congressional races
"Massachusetts congressional candidates are relying heavily on contributions from political action committees as they face campaigns in sometimes dramatically redrawn House districts."
Tennessean: TN freshmen donate to colleagues
"Tennessee’s first-term House members are donating thousands of dollars to other freshmen lawmakers, a move political experts say may help them advance up the rungs of party leadership."
WNYC: Cuomo not pumped about keeping campaign finance reform vow
Hmm: "While the governor has indicated his support and the Democratically controlled Assembly has put forward a bill, conversations with people with knowledge of what’s happening in Senate Republican circles say there is little to no appetite to take up the issue of campaign finance."
Arizona Republic: Chamber of Commerce ends its fight vs. Clean Elections
This is actually kind of a big deal: "A major business group has given up on its perennial, and largely unsuccessful to date, effort to kill public financing of elections. Compromise legislation worked out earlier this month would curb some of the activities of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in promoting the organization. The new measure also would end the ability of taxpayers to get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to help candidates run for office. In exchange, foes of public financing have agreed to scrap plans to ask voters to kill the system outright, a ballot fight that likely would be expensive."
Reprimand recommended for lobbyist who cursed at House member
I think this is really funny for some reason: "The joint legislative Rules Committee on Wednesday recommended a reprimand for a lobbyist who cursed at a House member after he voted against a bill that would have allowed small wineries to market their products."
HuffPost: ALEC has special exemption in South Carolina's lobbying law
Seriously? "The state's lobbying law has a section governing how lobbyists can interact with public officials. They cannot, for example, pay for an official's lodging or transportation. However, there are exceptions, one of which is for functions held by ALEC (emphasis added)."