Clips Round-up for 5/22/12
On Friday, a federal judge struck down the "rescue funds" provision of North Carolina's judicial public financing system. Some comments on our blog from Public Campaign President Nick Nyhart. "Systems like North Carolina’s judicial public financing program should be held up as examples of what works. It’s far better that candidates rely on a broad base of small dollar donors than risk the corruption of dependence on a few."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Mother Jones: Want to ditch Citizens United? A DIY guide
This is fun: "Let this choose-your-own-adventure-style flowchart guide you through the steps to a Citizens United-free America."
WFPL: Yarmuth applauds Conway for joining brief against Citizens Unied decision
"U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is commending Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway for backing the state of Montana in a case that revisits the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling." Jim Bopp and Adam Skaggs talked about the case yesterday on Air Talk.
Roll Call: How Citizens United is affecting campaigns
Stu Rothenberg writes on the impact of Citizens United: "Instead, a growing number of wealthy individuals have used the system to their advantage, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or more into a single race — usually a primary — to try to select a nominee in a district or state where the nomination is tantamount to election. Ultimately, this development could change the nature of one of our parties."
Spokesman Review: Montana case opens door for true disclosure
"A Montana case has given the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider its decision in Citizens United, the odious 2010 ruling that opened the gates to unlimited, undisclosed campaign spending. Reversal is highly unlikely, but the justices could give the states some leeway in their regulation of corporate and individual giving. If any state can make the case, Montana can."
Forbes: Count 'em: 30 billionaires now backing Romney's super PAC
"As of Sunday, at least 30 billionaires — 7.5% of the Forbes 400 — had donated money to Restore Our Future, a Mitt Romney-backing super PAC, either personally, through their companies or both." The PCAF pinterest board reflects these updates.
Mother Jones: Lobbyists make it rain for Romney
Andy Kroll looks at PCAF's analysis of Romney's lobbyist bundlers. And Michael Beckel looks at the bundler who lobbied on behalf of a solar company that benefited from that DOE loan program Congressional Republicans don't like.
Mother Jones: Unmasking the bundlers
And Adam Serwer pivots off that post to point out that the only reason we know about those bundlers is because it's required. The Romney campaign refuses to release its full list of bundlers.
Roll Call: Donations to Jim Renacci, Josh Mandel part of federal probe
Darn those conduit contributions: "The campaigns of Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel, the GOP nominee for Senate, confirmed today that they are aware the government is investigating contributions they accepted from employees at a direct marketing firm." WaPo, Toledo Blade.
NYT: Fundraising for Romney eats into Obama's edge
"President Obama’s once-commanding fund-raising advantage is declining as major Republican donors rally for Mitt Romney, conservative 'super PACs' far outpace their liberal counterparts and tax-exempt issue-advocacy groups swarm the political landscape." Boston Globe.
WaPo: Romney joins forces with RNC, state parties to increase fundraising
"By joining forces with the Republican National Committee and four of its state-level affiliates, Romney is able to raise $75,800 from one person or more than $150,000 from a couple. That puts him on an even playing field with President Obama, who has been doing the same on the Democratic side since last year."
Monterey Herald: Obama's trips to California net big bucks for campaign
"But as he returns to California Wednesday for his 15th trip as president, Obama has yet to venture more than a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, clinging to the wealthy coastline where donors can add to his campaign coffers. " And Romney raised $10M in New York.
Americans United to Rebuild Democracy: Too corrupt to succeed
Stephen Erickson writes, "Wall Street is still gambling on the taxpayers' line of credit and putting the entire nation at risk. It doesn't take a genius to see why the problem was never fixed: Wall Street is bribing America's political leadership with campaign donations."
CNN: Obama and Clinton to hold second joint fundraiser
"Former President Bill Clinton will lend President Barack Obama some additional fundraising star power in early June at the second of three fundraisers the two agreed to jointly headline, the campaign said in a Monday email to supporters."
WSJ: Dick Cheney to raise money for Mitt Romney
"Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, will host a July fund-raiser for Mitt Romney at their home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., according to a save-the-date e-mail from the Romney campaign."
MSNBC: Oklahoma billionaire cuts nearly $1M check to pro-Romney super PAC
"Just one month after he was named Mitt Romney's top energy adviser, Oklahoma billionaire Harold Hamm contributed $985,000 to the top pro-Romney Super PAC -- a donation that was the second largest the group collected in April, according to a new campaign disclosure filing today."
ABC News: Republicans dominated super PAC money in April, but donations down since primaries
"While President Obama's official re-election campaign out-fundraised challenger Mitt Romney last month by $17 million, non-aligned political action committees that support Republicans continue to dominate groups supporting Democrats in the race, financial disclosure reports filed Sunday night show."
Roll Call: Super PACs shift focus to Congressional races
"Super PACs have jumped feet first into Congressional races in recent weeks, the latest public disclosures show, with the conservative groups Club for Growth Action and FreedomWorks for America leading the way."
AJC: Obama leads Georgia fundraising
"President Barack Obama once again collected more money from Georgians in April, but the gap with Republican challenger Mitt Romney is closin"
Bloomberg; Obama hits Romney less in TV ads than Bush pounded Kerry
The Obama campaign hasn't "assailed presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney with the same intensity, spending $4.5 million to run ads in March, April and early May, one-ninth of Bush’s total during the same three-month period four years ago, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, an advertising tracking firm."
CRP: Bear market for Wall Street's contributions
"OpenSecrets.org data shows that both the Mitt Romney campaign and Restore Our Future, the super PAC that is backing him, have seen significant drops in contributions from the securities and investment industry."
Boston Globe: Cape Wind foe Koch chips in for Romney
"William I. Koch, the Osterville summer resident and fossil fuel magnate who helped bankroll the opposition to the Cape Wind energy project, has emerged as a key backer of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, donating $2 million to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Romney’s drive for the White House."
ThinkProgress: Bain and financial industry gave over $565,000 to Cory Booker
"A ThinkProgress examination of New Jersey campaign finance records for Booker’s first run for Mayor — back in 2002 — suggests a possible reason for his unease with attacks on Bain Capital and venture capital. They were among his earliest and most generous backers."
Sunlight Foundation: Million dollar check club: Who's writing big checks to super PACs?
"In the current election cycle, all super PACs have raised a total of $207.9 million, with some $76.8 million of that amount--about 37 percent--coming from a small group of donors with the means to give a million or more." USA Today.
Politico: Chamber of Commerce: We won't disclose donors
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not backing down on its promise to engage in the most aggressive campaign operation in its 100 year history, despite a recent court decision that would require disclosure of secret donors behind issue ads." The Hill.
ThinkProgress: How the banks bought the tea party
TP looks at Tea Party members, their big bank money, and support for Wall Street's agenda.
Minnesota Public Radio: Klobuchar to be feted at swank birthday fundraiser
"Just days after Minnesota Republicans endorsed a candidate to run against DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the state's senior senator will add to her campaign's already large war chest with a birthday-themed fundraiser Tuesday evening at an upscale Washington restaurant."
WSJ: Romney PAC fundraiser's fee: $3 million
Super PACs are good business: "A company associated with Steven C. Roche, a former Romney aide, has received about $3 million in fundraising fees, according to a monthly campaign finance report filed Sunday."
The Hill: LinkedIn registers first Washington lobbyist
"LinkedIn, the professional networking website, has hired its first K Street lobby firm, public records show."
WaPo: Federal prosecutors reach into Vincent Gray's inner circle
"ANY DOUBT about the seriousness of the investigation into D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 election campaign was removed Monday, when a federal prosecutor filed criminal charges stemming from the year-long inquiry."