Clips Round-up for 5/14/12
A handful of national good government organizations, including Public Campaign, have been calling on Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy to sign HB 5565, a "disclosure on steroids" bill that would bring much needed transparency to the political process. It'd be a big win. And in the post-Citizens United political world, would help to maintain the integrity of the state's popular public financing program.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
PFAW: Good government advocates call on governor to sign CT disclosure bill
"A coalition of good government groups including Common Cause, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, Demos, Credo Action and others are calling on Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy to sign H.B. 5556."
Campaign Finance Institute: Study: public financing contributes to greater diversity of participation in NYC elections
"A new report jointly released today by the Campaign Finance Institute of Washington DC and the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law offers powerful evidence that New York City's public financing system has contributed to a fundamental change in the relationship between candidates and their donors. With the program in place, there has been a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of the city’s residents who participate in the process."
The Hill: FEC to Congress: Expand ban on personal use of political committee funds
"The Federal Election Commission (FEC) renewed its charge to Congress Thursday to extend a ban prohibiting personal use of campaign funds to all political committees."
Columbus Dispatch: Politicians of all stripes hate the Citizens United decision
"A visit to members of Ohio’s congressional delegation in Washington last week revealed that almost none of those interviewed is happy with what the decision has wrought, not even Republicans, who typically have benefitted more from the torrent of money it let loose on the political system."
New Yorker: How John Roberts orchestrated Citizens United
Jeffrey Toobin writes, "Even without writing the opinion, Roberts, more than anyone, shaped what the Court did. As American politics assumes its new form in the post-Citizens United era, the credit or the blame goes mostly to him."
Oil Change International: Dirty energy money pouring into Congress faster than ever before
"Members of Congress have taken almost $16 million from the oil, gas and coal industries so far in this 112th Congress. That puts this Congress on track to be the dirtiest ever."
PCAF: Mitt Romney: Bank of America protesters don't "understand" how the economy works
Last week, Romney said the "young people" protesting at Bank of America don't understand how the economy works. On Saturday, I heard one of those protesters--someone who is my dad's age--talk about why he went to Charlotte. Sure, they aren't big Bank of America donors giving you money, but they deserve to be heard too.
NYT: JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss
New York Times editorial on JPM's $2 billion loss and the need for common sense regulation on Wall Street. "Mitt Romney has called for repealing Dodd-Frank. That may win him Wall Street cash, but it is profoundly dangerous."
Reuters: JPMorgan is big donor to presidential campaigns
"JPMorgan Chase & Co made big donations to U.S. presidential campaigns, particularly Mitt Romney's, as it lobbied against financial regulations, according to a Reuters analysis of campaign financial reports on Friday."
The Hill: Warren calls for Dimon to step down as New York Fed bank director
Elizabeth Warren has called on JPMorgan's Dimon to step down from the New York Fed: "Wall Street banks already have plenty of voices in Congress, and they are working with an army of lobbyists to water-down the rules."
Politico: Portman to join Romney fundraising "leadership call"
"Sen. Rob Portman will be joining a Mitt Romney New York area fundraising call as a "special guest" out of Jets owner Woody Johnson's office on Monday morning, according to an invitation that went out to people to sit in."
Salon: Congress's small-money champ
Good piece on Rep. John Sarbanes' (D-Md.) grassroots donor program: "Could a congressional candidate in 2012 fund his campaign largely with contributions from small donors? And could he build a network of donors that could be mobilized at a moment’s notice, to pony up cash and fend off attacks by a super PAC?"
Politico: Obama's Wall Street problem
Even though it's been House and Senate Republicans blocking Dodd-Frank implementation, "The giant $2 billion trading loss at JPMorgan Chase highlights a central problem in President Barack Obama’s case for a second term: Four years after the financial crisis nearly brought the nation to its knees, very little appears to have changed."
Capital New York: "Barack on Broadway" gets a return engagement
"Barack Obama will be joined by Bill Clinton for a fund-raiser at the New Amsterdam Theater on June 4."
The Atlantic: Buddy Roemer, the anti-spoiler
Professor Lawrence Lessig writes, "But on Friday, Buddy Roemer removed this risk from the reformer's equation. In a press release and email to his supporters, Roemer embraced an 'Anti-Spoiler Principle.'"
LA Times: Gay political donors move from margins to mainstream
"Less than a quarter-century later, the gay and lesbian community ranks as one of the most important parts of President Obama's campaign-finance operation. The campaign has hosted a slew of events targeted at gay donors, from intimate dinners to extravagant galas."
Roll Call: Jeff Landry ads raise questions
Hmmm: "Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry’s single largest office expense during the third quarter of last year was $30,000 for radio ads promoting meetings outside his current district but within a redrawn one where he may battle a fellow House Republican should he run for a second term."
Union-Leader: Shea-Porter wants no super PAC ads in NH-01 race
"Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta's campaign is calling Democratic challenger Carol Shea-Porter hypocritical for her call Friday for both to publicly demand that Super PACS do not advertise during the campaign in their district."
Fox News: Past lobbying becomes issue in Arizona Senate race
"Since his first House campaign a dozen years ago, would-be Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake has worked diligently to cast himself as a conservative gadfly, willing to buck GOP leaders and even a Republican president."
Roll Call: U.S. Chamber launching targeted YouTube ad campaign
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on pace to spend upward of $50 million on voter mobilization this campaign cycle, has launched a YouTube advertising campaign targeting residents of seven Congressional districts. More ads in other districts are likely on the horizon."
Politico: Democratic Convention solicits lobbyists for pricey ad?
"A publisher promoting an “official” national convention magazine for Democratic National Committee, which rejects political contributions from registered lobbyists, has asked the American League of Lobbyists in an email and phone call to purchase an advertisement in its national convention magazine, the League confirms to PI."
WSJ: Businesses chip in for Democratic convention
"Democrats have trumpeted their ban on corporate donations to their national convention this summer, saying that it shows they are free from the influence of special interests. But through a special fund, convention planners are accepting millions of dollars in corporate contributions to help pay for many of the activities outside the convention hall."
LA Times: Lies, damned lies, and attack ads
Doyle McManus writes, "That's the problem with the independent committees gearing up to flood the airwaves with 'issue ads.' Because their backers get to remain largely anonymous, they don't seem to feel much duty to stick to the truth."
ProPublica: Lobbyists arranged NY Congressman's $20,000 trip to Taiwan
Great reporting from Justin Elliott last week at ProPublica on a trip by Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.): "The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan had ostensibly invited the congressman and his wife 'to promote international cultural exchange.' In fact, lobbyists for Taiwan’s government had organized the trip. Congressional ethics rules prohibit members from participating in most trips arranged by lobbyists." Over the weekend, he announced he had paid back this money.
AP: New super PC hopes to woo younger voters
"Crossroads Generation, a new super PAC formed with the help of a handful of established GOP groups, is tapping into the economic frustrations of under-30 voters facing dim job prospects, crippling student loans or the prospect of having to move back home with their parents."
PCAF: Rep. John Lewis being awesome
Watch Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) speak on the House floor about voting rights. Then watch Paul Broun pull his amendment to gut the Voting Rights Act. And this NYT editorial states, "The issue, however, is far bigger than hurt feelings. Mr. Broun owes an apology to history. "
NYT: The lobbyist in the gray flannel suit
Interesting Tom Edsall piece on the consolidation of DC lobby shops as they get bought up by WPP. "The steady take-over of this unofficial branch of government by WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic and other conglomerates has turned premier lobbyists, strategists and political operatives into a species of bureaucrat, now vested in bottom-line corporate goals. Their interest in the substance of what Congress accomplishes, in policy outcomes, and in the direction of the country, has diminished."
News and Observer: Where the trial stands after three weeks
A run-down on what's happening in the John Edwards trial.
Journal-Sentinel: In film, Walker talks of "divide and conquer" union strategy
Gov. Scott Walker's (R-Wisc.) plan all along was to just break up the unions (and had nothing to do with the budget): "A filmmaker released a video Thursday that shows Gov. Scott Walker saying he would use "divide and conquer" as a strategy against unions. Walker made the comments to Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks, who has since given $510,000 to the governor's campaign - making her Walker's single-largest donor and the largest known donor to a candidate in state history."
Las Vegas Sun: Political favors "just the way you do business here," lobbyists say
"It probably comes as no surprise that in Southern Nevada, some elected officials seek “political favors” such as air travel, hotel rooms and numerous other noncash perks from lobbyists. It might be a surprise, though, that those same lobbyists say they are put off doing favors for the “electeds.”"