Clips Round-up for 7/3/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Esquire: The Rough Beast of Citizens United Slouches Forward
"The Supreme Court's decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has deformed our politics in a thousand different ways. Super PACs, entities made possible by the decision, had raised $220 million by the beginning of June, from sources as anonymous as were the ones who raised the money to pay off the burglars."
Rick Hasen: Very Interesting Vermont Campaign Finance Ruling
"Along the way, the court offers an intriguing discussion on “major purpose” as a limit on regulating PACs, at odds with the Fourth and Tenth Circuits."
Mother Jones: Is Rick Santorum's New Dark Money Group Breaking the Law?
"Rick Santorum, the onetime Republican presidential hopeful, has joined the dark money arms race, but his new nonprofit, Patriot Voices, could well find itself in trouble with the tax-man."
Vanity Fair: Where the Money Lives
"For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments."
Huffington Post: Power Outages Around Washington Preceded by Power Plays
"Major electric utilities have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last two decades on campaign contributions and lobbying as part of a hugely successful push to free their industry from federal and state regulations and ostensibly embrace competition. Rather than a reduction in prices, the result has been that utilities' community obligations have been superseded by the need to drive up short-term profits, while enriching top executives and big shareholders has been prioritized over reinvesting profits in improved facilities."
Bloomberg: In Praise of Sheldon Adelson
Umm. "So give Adelson his due: He is open about his motives and has let the public in on the deal. That's better for democracy than flooding the system with secret donations."
Roll Call: DCCC Fundraising Surges Since Supreme Court Decision
"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $2.3 million since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Thursday ruling the Affordable Care Act constitutional."
ABC News: What Price Democracy and Freedom?
An ABC News clip asks "A US Supreme Court decision effectively overturning a ban on corporate financing of election campaigns gave rise to Super Pacs, but what exactly are they and what's their impact on democracy in the US?"
Open Secrets: Stealthy Super PACs Influenced Primaries Without Disclosing Donors
"In other words, by timing their expenditures just right in the races on which they focused, these super PACs are able to keep their donors under the radar until after the primaries. The public will learn who the contributors were on July 15."
Minor-league Soccer Club to Wear Pro-Romney Jerseys
"An anonymous donor is looking to boost Mitt Romney's campaign in a unique way: paying to have the candidate's logo and slogan placed on the front of a minor-league soccer jersey."
The Hill: Market Watch: Tobacco Interests Spent Nearly $5 Million In The Past Year To Exert Influence on California Legislative Policy and Elections
"Tobacco interests spent a total of $4.7 million during the first year of the 2011-2012 election cycle to fight Proposition 29 and to influence legislators and policies in California, according to a recent report by the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing of the American Lung Association in California."
The Hill: Lobbyists Face Cruch Time Ahead of House Farm Bill's Release
"Lobbyists for farm groups and other interests are using the week ahead of the markup for a final chance to influence the bill’s shape."
Idaho Business Review: Despite 'Citizens United,' Politics Remains Hazardous for Corporations
"Wal-Mart, Kraft, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Amazon.com and McDonald’s all recently dropped out of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), despite having been members for decades. These companies yielded under pressure from activists whose actions made it clear that the companies’ consumer-friendly branding could be threatened by their association with the organization." Common Cause's Doug Clopp is quoted.