5/29/12 Daily Clips - Coburn admonished, secret money looms large, and more
Do read Matea Gold and Joseph Tanfini's piece in the LA Times on the millions in secret money that was spent by the Center to Protect Patient Rights and what it means for 2012. Craig Holman: "This is a classic example of how our campaign finance system has entirely fallen apart." National Journal spends some time on secret money too.
In case you missed it, and you probably did because it was conveniently released on the Friday before a holiday weekend, Tom Coburn was rebuked by the Senate Ethics committee for his actions during the John Ensign scandal.
Sunlight Foundation provides the week ahead in fundraisers, Jeff Faux writes that ending our big money system will help to save the middle class, PCAF called on Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) to follow Josh Mandel's lead and return $100,000 in possibly illegal campaign contributions, and Rick Scott is doing his best to steal the election.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Sunlight Foundation: Romney super PAC challenges FEC on disclosure
Restore Our Future is challenging the FEC on a rule on ad spending disclosure.
NYT: Can state laws cohabit with Citizens United?
Lincoln Caplan writes, "Citizens United has done great harm to federal elections for Congress and the president under the guise of protecting free speech. The harm would be greatly magnified if the justices extended that flawed analysis to cut down state laws aimed at corruption."
Alternet: How I became Stephen Colbert's Lawyer--and joined the fight to rescure our democracy from Citizens United
A must-read speech by Trevor Potter.
WV Record: PAC, potential donors call W.Va. election laws "unconstitutional"
"An independent political action committee and a group of potential donors are suing West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and the state's prosecuting attorneys, arguing that some of the state's election laws and policies violate their First Amendment rights."
Las Vegas Sun: Romney event in Las Vegas: $2 million goal, $675,000 pledged
Jon Ralston has deets on Romney's Vegas fundraiser with Donald Trump today. If you raise $250k, you get to be a "chair." Of course, we don't know who those people are because the Romney campaign is still stonewalling on its bundlers. When questioned how it looked to be raising money with a birther, Romney said "meh."
NYT: Joe Ricketts finds new role in anti-Obama campaign
Joe Ricketts may have disavowed the race-baiting Rev. Wright campaign, but he has no problem funding a film based on a book saying that Obama has a "Kenyan anti-colonial" outlook.
McClatchy: Congressional Black Caucus rallies preachers to tackler voter-ID laws
"African-American churches, historically at the forefront of the nation’s civil and voting rights efforts, are grappling this election year with how to navigate through the wave of new voting-access laws approved in many Republican-controlled states, laws that many African-Americans believe were implemented to suppress the votes of minorities and others."
NPR: Outside money making the race a rich man's game
"Now strategists and donors are going where the money's going, and growing evidence suggests that this election year — not just on the presidential level, but also for congressional races — will be dominated by superPACs."
NPR: For a billionaire $2M gets you superdonor status
Peter Overby looks at BIll Koch's political giving.
Politico: Newt offers O'Malley some 2016 advice: "Raise a lot of money
"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is offering Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley some advice if he runs for president in 2016: 'Raise a lot of money.'"
NYT: End of the charade
NYT editorial takes on the Chamber and its request to keep its donors anonymous. If the Chamber has to give up on "issue ads" to keep from disclosing, "When the chamber is overtly advocating the election of Republicans — rather than hiding behind phony issue ads — it will be impossible to deny that it has become a very well-financed arm of the party. And companies that contribute to the chamber will be unable to claim that they are paying dues to an independent business league."
USA Today: Military campaign money favors President Obama
"Obama has a more than 5-to-1 edge over Romney in political donations from individuals who list themselves as employees of the Defense Department or one of four military branches, a USA TODAY analysis of federal filings shows."
Roll Call: Anti-union construction group targets vulnerable GOP freshmen
"An anti-union construction trade group is targeting three vulnerable House Republican freshmen with a barrage of negative advertising over a series of labor-friendly votes."
Politico: K Street not thrilled with Tampa
Aww: "The combination of tight corporate budgets, ethics rules and unappealing weather — the average high for Tampa in August is 90 degrees — and it’s a recipe for trade groups and lobbyists to spend time anywhere but Florida."
Republic Report: Congressmen fulfill lobbyist request, file letter requesting carcinogenic chemicals in their own buildings
When a lobbyist says jump, members of Congress ask how high.
NYT: Political Dividends
Thomas Edsall's latest piece looks at the influence of the financial services industry. "Romney has made it very clear how he will help Wall Street if he wins. It’s President Obama who is in a conflicted position. Obama could conceivably take a more aggressive regulatory posture. The more likely scenario, given recent history, is that he would be apprehensive about the consequences of regulating hedge-fund operators and investment bankers. In the aftermath of Citizens United, Obama and the rest of the political community are aware of how dangerous the financial sector can be in the freewheeling world of campaign finance."
MassLive: Liberal advocacy groups raise record sums for Elizabeth Warren
"Liberal advocacy groups from around the country are rallying behind Warren, using their extensive fundraising networks to fill her campaign coffers. Donors and advocacy groups say they are swayed largely by Warren’s work on consumer protection in the financial industry."
MassLive: Financial industry keeps cash flowing into Sen. Scott Brown's reelection campaign
And, related: "The financial industry is lining up behind Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown’s reelection campaign, making him one of the top recipients of cash from financial, insurance and real estate companies during the current election cycle."
HuffPost: Gary Miller vs. Pete Aguilar: Super PACs of realtors, credit union spending big in California primary election
"The contest in California's 31st District has seen the most spending from independent groups of any non-special election House race in the 2012 election cycle. The realtors and the credit union league have pumped more than $1.4 million into the race as they seek to elect candidates to be their champion in Congress."
Houston Chronicle: Texas leads country in super PAC giving - by a wide margin
"Texas residents have donated more money to the top 20 Super PACs than voters in any other state — an indication of how new campaign finance rules brought about by Citizens United have given a state with traditionally large pockets and even greater influence."
Chicago Tribune: U.S. Sen. Mark Krik's ex-wife files FEC complaint about campaign payments to his girlfriend
Did Sen. Kirk's campaign violate election law? "At the heart of the matter is [Kirk's ex-wife] Vertolli's assertion that the Kirk campaign may have improperly hidden money to [Kirk's former girlfriend] McCracken by paying her through another company working for the campaign. Because the money was not paid directly to McCracken, her name does not appear in Kirk's federal disclosures."
NYT: Rangel's campaign is helped by colleages' contribution
Charlie Rangel, facing a tough primary, is getting help from his friends. "More than a dozen Democrats who never donated to Mr. Rangel before, from party leaders to backbenchers, have made out checks to the 81-year-old lawmaker this year, according to the most recent campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. "
Arizona Republic: Senate candidates Cardon, Flake spar over accusations
It's dueling FEC complaints in the Arizona Senate race! "The top two candidates for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination are feuding over dueling complaints before the Federal Election Commission."
The Hill: Anti-incumbent super PAC puts Texas House lawmakers in its sight
"The Campaign for Primary Accountability, the anti-incumbent super-PAC that has struck fear into the hearts of lawmakers, has turned its attention to next week’s Texas primary."
The Hill: Lobbyists gird for big farm bill battles
"Lobbyists expect numerous amendments on the floor aimed at reducing farm subsidy spending through payment limitations and means testing. It is not yet clear if an open amendment process will be allowed or if a consent agreement can be reached to limit changes."
Politico: 17 funniest super PAC names
Laughter through tears, I guess.
WaPo: Universities opening DC offices, in-house lobbyists to raise goverment relations profile
"A crop of universities is claiming new real estate in Washington as part of a push to expand higher education advocacy in the nation’s capital."
NYT: Political money talks
Editorial on Scott Walker telling a $500k donor he'd "divide and conquer" the unions: "Governor Walker’s office says this access only confirms how sincere the governor was in promising to seek out “job creators” and proclaiming Wisconsin 'open for business' from his first day in office. Recall voters should have no doubt about the real business of big-money politics signaled by that $500,000 check." And an update on Walker's other problems.
WJBC: Ill. reformers want time to fix super PAC limits
Illinois: "Reformers are trying to put the brakes on a bill that would lift limits on campaign contributions. The bill in question, S.B. 3722, would exempt all candidates from contribution limits if Super-PAC spending exceeds $250,000 in a statewide election, or $100,000 in any other election."