Clips Round-up for 5/7/12
Tomorrow, the Center for Community Change and more than a dozen seniors will confront billionaire Sam Zell at the Equity LifeStyle Partners shareholder meeting as the company continues to raise costs and fees on them at the same time Zell is giving money to elect politicians who'll pass policies that'll gouge them even more. Read more on the Public Campaign Action Fund blog.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: An idea worth saving
New York Times editorial on presidential public financing: "Public financing of presidential elections, the greatest reform to come out of the post-Watergate era, died this year after a long illness. It was 36 years old, and was drowned by big money and starved by the disdain of politicians who should have known better."
Democrat and Chronicle: Urgency needed on campaign finance reform
Oh snap, Rochester editorial board: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attitude toward campaign finance reform appears to be 'do as I say, not as I do.'"
Daily Beast: Shareholders united
On the Bank of America and 3M shareholder actions: "It’s worrying to think that shareholder democracy is needed to rectify shortcomings in the real thing, yet this week two of the nation’s biggest corporations will give their investors precisely that opportunity. " HuffPost, Reuters.
Politico: Progressives must take back the courts
CAP's Andrew Blotky writes, "The third branch of government has for too long been neglected in politics — particularly by liberals. Yet it plays a defining role in the American story. And progressives have a huge stake in making sure our courtrooms have a full complement of judges familiar with our issues to make the tough calls."
Detroit Free Press: Acrane rules let Senate stall release of finance reports
"Under arcane Senate rules, candidates don't have to file their campaign finance reports electronically and can, instead, go through a tedious process that holds up reports for weeks, even months."
WaPo: George Clooney fundraiser could be a $12 million blockbuster for Obama
That George Clooney fundraiser? They are expected to raise $6 million at the event and will have raised about $6 million online beforehand for it. "A haul of $12 million would arguably make the soiree the biggest single presidential fundraising event in U.S. history."
Washington Times: Romney needs to get small donors hooked
"But if he hopes to go toe-to-toe this fall with President Obama, the former Massachusetts governor needs to show he can fish for small-dollar donors, too."
Public Campaign: Will US Chamber spending impact student loan vote?
The Senate will soon begin debate on student loan legislation that is opposed by the U.S. Chamber due to its payfor. How will the nine Senators that got help from the Chamber's spending in 2010 vote?
Politico: Checkout lines can fill campaign coffers
Good news for small donors: "Americans may soon find it easier than ever to participate in pocketbook politics thanks to a series of new and pending federal campaign finance decisions that loosen restrictions on Internet and mobile technology."
Roll Call: Fallout from health care verdict expected to keep K Street busy
"Lobbyists of all stripes are gaming out action plans for their clients in anticipation of a court decision, expected in late June, and the possibility that Congress may reprise parts of the grinding health care debate that consumed 2009 and 2010."
TPM: Super PACs have already spent $12M on Congressional races
"Six months ahead of the election, super PACs have already spend more than $12 million in congressional races, according to data compiled for TPM by the Center for Responsive Politics."
HuffPost: Crossroads GPS argues ads attacking candidates aren't political
"Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, the political ad-buying organization cofounded by Republican strategist Karl Rove in 2010, has officially submitted its first tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service, and as expected, the group is formally requesting that the IRS treat it as a nonprofit operating under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code."
Politico: Bloomberg: Obama, Romney "very different"
Mike Bloomberg's cure for Congress's problems is to let Congress go on more trips with lobbyists, basically.
Businessweek: Buffett shuns super PAC contributions while backing Obama
"Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest man and a supporter of President Barack Obama, faulted campaign-finance rules that allow unlimited contributions and said he won’t donate to a super political action committee."
The Hill: AFL-CIO's super PAC to begin running ads targeting Mitt Romney
"Workers’ Voice will run online ads taking issue with Romney, saying he will be 'president for the 1 percent,' that he thinks 'corporations are people' and that the candidate is a 'corporate outsourcer' and 'vulture capitalist.'"
NYT: Target practice
"What Obama lacks right now, however, is a bludgeon — a super PAC loaded with cash to hammer home negative advertising. Super PACs, as you may have heard, have emerged as the hit men of 2012."
WaPo: Hillary Clinton hopes to see female US president in her lifetime, but says she won't run
Would love to see the transcript of this line: "Clinton, who sought the Democratic nomination four years ago and barely lost to Barack Obama, noted that the American political process is difficult and heavily dependent on fund raising, which makes it hard for any candidate to succeed."
PCAF: "Yes, it's the swift boating of the president."
They guy finding Navy SEALs to bash Obama told Mother Jones, "Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president."
USA Today: Crop of college super PACs answer call of Stephen Colbert
Inspired by Stephen Colbert, this is something to watch: "A new sport is emerging on America's college campuses: Make Your Own Super PAC." Politico.
The Daily Sun: Drug companies back Mary Bono Mack
"Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a leading congressional voice against prescription pain medicine abuse, is among many lawmakers who are outspoken on the issue, but accept campaign dollars from makers of some of the most-abused legal pain drugs."
WaPo: Voter registration down among Hispanics, blacks
"The number of black and Hispanic registered voters has fallen sharply since 2008, posing a serious challenge to the Obama campaign in an election that could turn on the participation of minority voters."
Washington Times: Romney super PAC donors put at credit card risk
"The political fund that has raised more than $50 million to support Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency has been collecting money online with a system so insecure that it exposes donors’ credit card information to even casual snoopers."
Philly Inquirer: Voter ID law will penalize seniors
"The longtime Pennsylvania voters who have joined a rights group’s lawsuit against Gov. Corbett’s new voter-ID mandate put a face on the fight against a law whose only apparent purpose is to serve as a weapon in a Republican-inspired assault on open and fair elections."
The Hill: Facebook's PAC donations tilt towards GOP, Judiciary committee members
"FB PAC, Facebook's new political action committee, spent its first-ever quarter of activity hewing to a more or less bipartisan donation strategy with emphasis on the House and Senate Judiciary committees, the PAC's first quarter disclosure form shows."
NY Post: Congress members are getting free flier miles from charities linked to lobbyists
"Private groups — especially the pro-Israel lobby — spent $165,500 jetting New York City-area Congress members around the world last year to such destinations as Tel Aviv, Turkey and Italy, government travel records show."
Nashua Telegraph: State attorney general asked to investigate American Legislative Exchange Council
"The national debate over the American Legislative Exchange Council continued in New Hampshire this week when a national advocacy group called on the state attorney general to look into the controversial organization."
CT Mirror: Rank-and-file Democrats balk at campaign finance bill
"House and Senate Democratic leaders have agreed on the terms of what would be one of the nation's strongest campaign-finance disclosure bills, but rank-and-file members in the House objected to a provision that would raise the public-financing grant for a gubernatorial general election to $9 million."