Clips Round-up for 5/15/12
Our friends down the hall, Common Cause, have filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn the filibuster. Common Cause President Bob Edgar: "While the Senate can set its own rules, they can’t be unconstitutional. This is an unconstitutional provision. A minority of senators representing a minority of the population of the nation can in fact rule with the current system." Politico, NYT editorial, Washington Post, Roll Call, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Bob's HuffPost piece
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
CLC: Watchdogs challenge latest attempt by outside group to skirt disclosure laws
"Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed comments urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to reject an attempt by America Future Fund (AFF) to avoid filing electioneering communications reports and disclosing donors for a series of proposed ads."
CLC: Sen. Alexander's solution: Throw gas on the fire
Meredith McGehee writes, "Recently, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) proposed eliminating limits on contributions to political candidates as the solution to the current campaign finance mess. He says unlimited contributions to candidates won't further empower the wealthy; they will just create more political speech. And he said this with a straight face!"
Tulsa World: Level with stockholders on lobbying costs
Editorial in Oklahoma: "Publicly held corporations need to be up front on how much they're spending on lobbying. The stockholder proposals are not unreasonable, and the SEC should make sure this information is available."
Atlantic: How Justice Souter almost left the Supreme Court in a blaze of glory
"Before retiring from the Supreme Court in 2009, liberal Justice David Souter penned a dissent so critical of the court's conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts went to great lengths to prevent it from being published. That's one of the clams from The New Yorker's epic dissection of the 2010 Supreme Court Decision Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission."
BuzzFeed: Cell phone ban keeps Obama fundraisers secret
Seems odd: "In the latest attempt to crack down on potentially embarrassing digital leaks from presidential fundraisers, President Barack Obama's campaign has begun asking donors attending small fundraisers with the president to turn over their cell phones before entering."
Politico: Energy sector donations fuel Obama campaign
"Energy industry bigwigs have spent the past three-plus years talking trash about President Barack Obama’s policies, but that’s not stopping their executives and employees from filling his campaign war chest."
Bloomberg: Obama hits Romney on Bain as he raises Wall Street money
"President Barack Obama's campaign took aim at Republican Mitt Romney's private equity experience on the same day the president is raising money at the New York apartment of Blackstone Group LP President Tony James." Politico.
Politico: Obama super PAC launches Bain offensive
"The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action is sharply ramping up the Democratic offensive against Mitt Romney’s business record, launching a $4 million ad campaign today in a group of 2012 swing states, a strategist for the group tells POLITICO."
CNN: Romney donor pulls support, backs Obama, over same-sex marriage
"A well-known, openly gay supporter of Mitt Romney in New York has decided to withdraw his support for Romney and back President Barack Obama instead."
Roll Call: Nonprofit prods Ron Paul for repayment of flights
"A libertarian organization that paid for plane tickets and other expenses for Rep. Ron Paul says after an audit that the Texas Republican defrauded the group for about $20,000. The group is pushing Paul for repayment and exploring legal remedies."
Politico: JP Morgan faces Washington without friends
"Meanwhile, major trade groups who represent the industry aren’t rushing to its defense, declining to comment when contacted by POLITICO. No member of Congress has emerged as a vocal surrogate for the bank, while several powerful lawmakers have been publicly critical."
PC Blog: Four Facts About JPMorgan's Political Influence
Related to above, just a few facts on JPMorgan's political giving and lobbying spending.
USA Today: Tribal donations increase to President Obama's campaign
"Tribal governments have donated more than $1 million to his campaign and his joint fundraising efforts with the Democratic National Committee. They gave $264,000 to Obama in the 2008 election, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data compiled by the non-partisan Political MoneyLine."
Influence Alley: Relationship between Big Oil, White House angers Congressional GOP
This is pretty funny. A senior aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe emailed two-dozen oil and gas lobbyists to say, "Moving forward, we--your partners--would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future." LOL.
The Hill: Oil industry to offer wish list to Dems, GOP
The American Petroleum Institute "will drive its point home by releasing recommendations to the Republican and Democratic platform committees that are hammering our their parties’ official stances for this summer’s nominating conventions.
Mother Jones: Capital City
Nice Kevin Drum piece on Wall Street's influence: "But that's a story about finance and economics. This is a story about politics. It's about how Congress and the president and the Federal Reserve were persuaded to let all this happen in the first place. In other words, it's about the finance lobby—the people who, as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) put it last April, even after nearly destroying the world are 'still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.'" Katrina vanden Heuvel's latest WaPo column, Star-Ledger editorial.
The Hill: Lobbyists brace for regulations fight over $2 billion bungled trade
"Financial lobbyists are bracing for a fresh Capitol Hill battle on financial reform after a $2 billion botched trade at JPMorgan Chase put Wall Street back in the Washington spotlight."
MMFA: Fox, WSJ pass off top Romney campaign official as a "private citizen"
Media Matters takes on all the boo-hooing over Frank VanderSloot, a major Romney super PAC donor and campaign finance chair, who is complaining about being on Obama's "enemies list."
Republic Report: Meet three Congressional primary candidates running against corruption
These 3 candidates are running against corruption in their primary races.
AP: Mass Dems hit Brown after $2B JPMorgan blunder
"Massachusetts Democrats are seizing on revelations of a $2 billion trading blunder by JPMorgan to fuel their calls that U.S. Sen. Scott Brown reveal the names of a committee that hosted a New York fundraiser for the Massachusetts Republican."
Bloomberg: One-man Florida super PAC finances attack on Obama in Ohio
"A Florida-based investment firm run by a frequent Republican donor is the sole contributor to a group that is airing television ads comparing President Barack Obama’s leadership unfavorably to that of former Democratic presidents."
Miami Herald: Sen. Bill Nelson to Fla. TV stations: don't air US Chamber ads
"Lawyers for Sen. Bill Nelson have written to Florida TV stations asking them not to air an ad that includes a false claim about Medicare cuts."
Washington Examiner: Earmark recipients filled Akin campaign coffers
"People for whom U.S. Rep. Todd Akin helped secure $31 million in earmarks have paid him back handsomely: The Missouri Republican has raked in nearly $80,000 in campaign cash from people tied to those firms."
Politico: Broadcasters, FCC in spectrum turf war
"TV broadcasters look at the Federal Communications Commission’s recent drive to move them off frequencies and put their political advertising rates on the Internet and draw one conclusion: The FCC has it in for television."
AP: New GOP super PAC 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."
Americans Elect: Statement by Americans Elect CEO Kahlil Byrd
No candidate reached the required threshhold of support yesterday. Politico.
NYT: Ex-Senator Espada Embezzling from Soundview Health Network
"Pedro Espada Jr., the pugnacious former state senator who fought his way through a perennial cloud of suspicion to the top ranks of state government only to later become one of the most glaring examples of endemic corruption in Albany, was convicted on Monday of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit health care network that he founded in the Bronx."