Clips Round-up for 7/31/12
Quick correction--yesterday, we noted that "dark money" groups accounted for half of all election spending, but I should've written that dark money accounts for half of all independent/outside spending. Sorry for any confusion.
Sen. Harkin (D-Iowa) released a new report on the many issues with for-profit colleges. On the Public Campaign blog, we report that while their profits have soared--so has their political spending.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Gotham Gazette: Groups seek to pressure Cuomo on campaign finance reform
A review of reform efforts in NY and advocacy groups pushing Cuomo. "Progressive advocates are desperately hoping that Cuomo follows through on campaign finance reform this year in a way that he didn’t on his promise to support independent redistricting and to veto legislators' gerrymandered district lines."
Washington Times: Mike Dukakis on modern politics and his American story
Mike Dukakis, on Citizens United: "Citizens United is one of three or four worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court, decided by a majority that calls itself 'strict constructionist.' Where in the Constitution does it say that money is speech or, worse still, that corporate money is speech? Congress has been regulating campaign contributions and expenditures for over a hundred years and so have state legislatures. When did that become unconstitutional? As John McCain said, if money is speech, then 99% of us are disenfranchised, and the corrupting influence of corporate money is, as the Montana Supreme Court said, a historic fact in U.S. political history."
Politico: Voter ID forces attack voting rights
American Univeristy Professor (and former Sen. Kennedy aide) William Yeomans: "The bigger threat to electoral process legitimacy will come from the disfranchisement of large numbers of minority, elderly and poor voters, unable to satisfy these photo ID requirements." And Dan Froomkin criticizes reporters for their coverage of the issue.
The Atlantic: The only way to fix campaign-finance regulation is to destroy it
Clarus Research Group's Ron Faucheux: "It's time to recognize reality and do something we should have done years ago: Repeal campaign contribution caps. This suggestion will no doubt horrify some people. But when they think about it, cooler heads will prevail."
Campaign Finance Institute: National parties are holding their own financially at eighteen-month mark
New CFI analysis: "In an election filled with tumultuous campaign finance change, the six major national political party committees so far have been holding their own financially. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 20, the two national committees and four congressional committees had raised a combined total of $792 million in the eighteen months between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012."
The Hill: Anxious Obama campaign plans high-dollar fall fundraising spree
"President Obama will host a series of high-dollar fundraisers in the coming weeks and is expected to add more events than usual after the Democratic National Convention. The string of upcoming events reflects deep worry in Chicago about competing with the tidal wave of cash being raised by outside groups aimed at electing Mitt Romney."
Politico: Obama rakes in $2.4 million in brief New York trip
Obama raised $2.4 million in NYC at a "quick fundraising swing at the chic NoMad Hotel in the Flatiron District."
iWatch News: Former Olympians praise Romney in ad--and pony up contributions
Some Olympians appear in a new Romney super PAC ad: "In addition, everyone else in the new ad, which was unveiled Monday, is also a donor. What are the chances of that?"
Texas Tribune: Senate runoff race spending topped $45 million
Big spending ahead of today's runoff in Texas: "Between the rivals' campaigns and a cadre of outside groups, more than $45 million has been spent trying to convince Texas Republicans which candidate is the best choice for the open U.S. Senate Seat, campaign finance records show."
Reno Gazette Journal: Mitt Romney to return to Reno for 4 fundraisers in 1 day
Romney's heading to Reno: "Four separate events will be held, each with a different contribution level."
LA Times: NRA clout rooted more in its tactics than its election spending
Good read: "But an examination of the group's spending suggests the NRA's influence on Capitol Hill derives more from its fearsome reputation than from a substantial investment in federal election campaigns."
CBS News: Top 10 super PAC donors through June
Who are the big super PAC donors? CBS runs down the list.
Chicago Tribune: Olympics ticket broker to co-host Romney fundraiser
"An Olympics ticket broker whose company apologized last week for distribution problems at the London Games is co-hosting a fundraiser for Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Indiana this week."
Politico: How corporate PACs handle bad PR
Good story on how PACs go silent in a crisis, wait til the controversy is over, then start giving again. "Then, after perhaps taking some lumps at congressional hearings and spending a few months in the political wilderness, quietly begin cutting checks again as if nothing happened."
NYT: Super PAC backs Santa impersonator for Michigan House seat
The super PAC funded by a college junior's inheritance has chosen its candidate in the race to replace Thad McCotter: "The group’s choice to take the seat? Kerry Bentivolio, a libertarian-leaning reindeer farmer and Santa impersonator."
Roll Call: Did FAIR Election violate law?
"An immigration reform group handed out a report that included a fundraising solicitation at a press conference last week hosted by three Republican Senators — a move that may have been a breach of Senate rules."
The Hill: Silicon Valley web giants go their own way with new lobbying startup
"Web giants in Silicon Valley are pouring cash into a lobbying startup after deciding that Washington’s established groups aren’t sufficient for protecting their interests."