Clips Round-up for 5/31/12
Top stories: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick gets some bad local press based on yesterday's Roll Call story on his tariff "earmarks" for donors, Walmart leaves ALEC, Buddy Roemer has officially suspended his campaign, and Politico on how a one sentence bill would give one bank a $300 million benefit (you'll be surprised that there is campaign money involved).
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
SCOTUS Blog Is Citizens United already shrinking?
Interesting: Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, a dissenter to the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on money in politics, said Wednesday that the Court has already begun paring the scope of that decision, and predicted that it very likely will do so further in future cases." Reuters, NYT.
Roll Call: Campaign finance challenge
Eliza Newlin Carney looks at the Montana case: it's risky. "The justices could reverse course from Citizens United and embrace new political money restrictions, as reformers argue they should. But the high court also could opt to deregulate the system further, law professor Richard Hasen said. That would leave Citizens United opponents worse off than they are today." Also, George Will has a column on this.
Politico: Mega-donors: quit picking on us
"All they wanted was to get involved. But to hear some of the biggest donors of 2012 tell it, their six- and seven-figure contributions have instead bought them nothing but grief." Or, alternatively, my million dollar donation is free speech, so y'all should stop using your free speech to criticize it. Paul Waldman rightly makes fun of this line of attack.
LA Times: Study finds wealthy donors lean toward centrist candidates
On a new study of billionaire giving: "These very wealthy Americans, all billionaires, have given just short of half a billion dollars to political candidates, with a median contribution of $355,100 each. In short, they’re serious players in the political game. But contrary to the more extreme statements from either the left or the right, their contributions tend toward the safe middle."
Public Campaign: John Lewis: Our elections are going to the highest bidder
Yesterday on Diane Rehm, John Lewis spoke briefly about all the money flowing into our elections.
Rolling Stone: Florida GOP takes voter suppression to a brazen new extreme
Ari Berman looks at the latest voter suppression effort in Florida. It's really crazy.
Sun Times: Obama to raise millions of dollars in Chicago on Friday
President Obama is expected to raise $3 million at a series of Chicago fundraisers tomorrow.
HuffPost: Mitt Romney in Hillsborough: GOP nominee's expensive Bay Area stop raises eyebrows
"Included in the itinerary is a $50,000 per plate founder's dinner at a 65,000-square-foot chateau in Hillsborough, a San Francisco suburb and one of the wealthiest communities in the country." It also featured Meg Whitman, a CEO whose company announced 27,000 layoffs last week. He'll be in Newport Beach on Friday.
WaPo: Chamber says it will evade disclosure ruling by tweaking ads
The Chamber won't let court rulings get in the way--it'll just change its ads so it doesn't have to disclose. "Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer, a veteran campaign-finance activist, says the chamber’s shift in ad strategy shows that the group has never been as apolitical as it claimed. In addition, he argues, the chamber risks angering some of its corporate patrons by becoming directly involved in federal races."
Public Campaign: Watchdog: 2012 election spending should be alarming to Americans of every stripe
Statement from Nick Nyhart in response to yesterday's political story on $1B in conservative outside spending: "Our laws and the courts' interpretation of the Constitution has led us to the point where elections are no longer of, by, and for the people. Rather, they are the domain of the tiniest elite who think America works best when it works for them and no one else." Boston Globe on the story, Rolling Stone, News Hour.
The Hill: Team Obama to donors: Get off sideliness and send cash now
And the story was a siren to Dems: "President Obama’s campaign team and top supporters are telling donors they need to get off the sidelines now so they can compete with GOP super-PACS waging an expected $1 billion campaign against them."
NYT: On climate change, it's money vs. mouth
"A number of major United States corporations publicly support climate change science but contribute heavily to politicians and research groups that deny or play down the threat of global warming, according to a new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists."
Politico: Watchdog group wants probe of Rep. Ed Towns's car use
"The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint Wednesday with the FEC, asking for an investigation into whether the New York Democrat broke federal law by allowing his wife, Gwen Towns, to use a leased Infiniti without reimbursing the campaign."
CRP: Anti-incumbent group strikes again
"Tuesday's defeat of eight-term Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas was another victory -- arguably the most surprising one yet -- for the mysterious Campaign for Primary Accountability super PAC." Here's what Republic Report has to say about it.
ThinkProgress: Soaked with oil cash, Republicans block military's push to use clean energy
Why are Congressional Republicans blocking the military's push to use clean energy? VoteVets says, look at their oil money.
Roll Call: Home builders regroup with lobbying push
"After months of bad news, including layoffs, the National Association of Home Builders is coming back swinging. The leaner trade group is bringing some 1,000 members to Capitol Hill next week to make the case for increased lending to home buyers and builders as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform."
News Tribune: Adam Smith's money pledge left far behind
No, the other Adam Smith: "As a freshman in Congress, Adam Smith made a one-year vow to shun money from all special-interest groups to focus on his new job. Since that pledge expired in 1998, the Tacoma Democrat has become one of the lawmakers most heavily reliant on special-interest money to get re-elected in this state."