Clips Round-up for 8/3/12
PCAF Blog: "Mitt Romney’s campaign and joint victory committee with the Republic National Committee have received $1.87 million in campaign contributions from 748 registered Washington lobbyists and dozens of corporate PACs, according to Huffington Post analysis of records filed with the Secretary of the Senate."
And watch out for litigous billionaires: "The DCCC said it was retracting statements 'that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party.' Those statements accused Adelson of personally approving of prostitution at his company's casinos in Macau, China, according to his lawyers and published reports." And, in case you missed them, here are stories from Reuters and ProPublica that highlight the troubles his company is facing.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Albany Times Union: Fair Elections, Fair Economy
Richard Kirsch on the push for Fair Elections in NY: "What, you ask, does a campaign finance reform measure have to do with economic fairness? Everything. We won't have an economy that works for everyone as long as our government is a captive of super-rich campaign contributors and corporations."
Detroit News: House Democrats seek to overturn Supreme Court super PAC rule
"A group of House Democrats led by Rep. John Dingell introduced legislation Thursday seeking to overturn a Supreme Court decision that allows corporations and wealthy individuals to make unlimited donations to political action committees." Ann Arbor.
MassLive: Massachusetts joins call for constitutional amendment
"Political activists in the Bay State rejoiced this week as the Massachusetts House of Representatives joined the state Senate in passing a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to enact a federal Constitutional Amendment to reinstate campaign finance laws which were thrown out as a result of the Supreme Court's 2010 decision on the Citizens United case."
Politico: Congress scramble to delay ethics law
"Senior aides in both the House and Senate, as well as the White House and intelligence community, are concerned that the STOCK Act’s disclosure requirement for executive branch employees could force sensitive national security staff to reveal information that could accidentally lead to their exposure."
IBT: Do you know who's paying for the 2012 election?
Yesterday, some folks at the Post made a big deal about the fact that people don't know what a super PAC is. Here's Nick Nyhart's response to that: "The reality is people know the system is crooked and they want to see it changed.They may not know the details of campaign finance, but they know something is wrong." Or, in other words, most people wouldn't be able to name the women's gymnastics team members, but does that mean they don't know/care they won the gold?
Republic Report: Corruption #2 issue for Americans
Related to above: "87% percent of Americans find, 'reducing corruption in the federal government,' to be 'extremely,' or, 'very important' according to a new Gallup poll on American’s top priorities for the next president.
CNN: Massive $77 million ad time buy for Obama
"The Obama campaign has taken the extraordinary step of booking $77 million in additional ad time starting Friday and running through Election Day, a Republican ad buying source told CNN."
Politico: Bill Clinton to make ask with donors for pro-Obama super PAC in New York City
"Former President Bill Clinton is slated to meet with donors at a private residence in Manhattan to urge them to open their wallets to the pro-President Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, two sources told POLITICO." NYT.
Courier Press: Romney fundraiser now scheduled to start at 3 pm Saturday
Romney is heading to Evansville Saturday for a fundraiser. The eclectic guest list, according to Sunlight Foundation, includes Silver Spoons' Ricky Schroeder, Bo Derek, Dan Quayle, the NRA's top lobbyist and CEO, Charlie Black, and is hosted by a former coal executive and George W. Bush bundler.
Charlotte Observer: Romney will visit Charlotte on August 15th
"Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will return to Charlotte on Aug. 15 for a lunch-time fundraiser at the Duke Mansion."
Berkshire Eagle: Obama fundraiser set for today
"When first lady Michelle Obama comes to town this afternoon for a private campaign fundraiser at the Colonial Theatre, featuring a one-hour concert by James Taylor, acting Police Chief Michael Wynn expects that 'the impact on traffic should be minimal.'"
Roll Call: Republicans solicit lobbyists for input on party platform
"In a series of small, private meetings, Republican officials have solicited input for their party platform from lobbyists and policy experts on Capitol Hill." I think this is my fave line of the story: "Public Citizen lobbyist Craig Holman, who has not attended any of the RNC sessions, criticized the Republicans for being overly cozy with hired guns."
The Hill: Axelrod: "Yes, I'm concerned about money."
"Obama strategist David Axelrod said on Thursday he was concerned about super-PACs and outside groups outspending the campaign."
HuffPost: Americans for Prosperity, Koch-founded group, plans $25 million ad spree
"People familiar with the plans say Americans for Prosperity plans to spend about $25 million on the ads beginning next week and running into early September." That is, as Washington Post's Dan Eggen noted on twitter, more than their entire 2010 budget.
USA Today: Democrats' convention fundraising hindered by rules, boycott
"With just weeks to spare, the leaders of the Democratic convention are chasing last-minute contributions to fund the political gala aimed at boosting President Obama's re-election bid. Their efforts are hampered, in part, by Obama's decision to limit direct corporate contributions and a partial union boycott of this summer's event in Charlotte."
Bloomberg: New Republican super PAC aids swing state organizing
"Republican Union PAC, which filed organizing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission this week, will pay hotel and travel expenses to move people who want to contact voters in states with close presidential and congressional races, spokesman Bo Harmon said in an interview."
WaPo: Special interests win in Senate panels attempt at tax reform
"It was supposed to be a first step toward tax reform. But as lawmakers tackled a list of 75 special-interest tax breaks, the special interests repeatedly won."
NaJo: Members throwing down over deli meats
"Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman may be retiring, but his legendary New York deli fundraiser lives on. This evening, New York Democrats Steve Israel and Jerry Nadler will engage in a contest of meats, vying to bring the most authentic New York deli experience to Washington."
Sunlight Foundation: Special interests honor Congress and executive branch with $19 million in 2011
"While Congress’ public approval ratings may be dismal, special interests spent over $15 million honoring its members and their various caucuses. They spent some $3.5 million honoring executive branch officials. The remainder was spent honoring legislative branch staffers and candidates for federal office."
Politico: Businesses fuels death of cyber deal
Oh, I don't know, this seems problematic: "Over the last three years savvy business interests managed to water down a bill to beef up America's cybersecurity – and then Thursday it drowned. Key industries played one chamber against the other and one party against the other, knowing precisely where to toss their monkey wrenches."
CRP: 2012 candidates have spent over $130 million funding their own campaigns
"They're among the dozens of candidates who collectively have more than $130 million invested in their campaigns ahead of the November elections, in races ranging from the recent Texas primary runoff to a Hail Mary Senate bid in Arizona."
Fayetteville Observer: Judicial super PACs take races to new low
Editorial in NC criticizing super PACs for judicial races: "The judiciary occupies a special place in our republic and this subdivision of it. Its members aren't there to peruse polls and deliver the outcomes that the people who respond to polls want. Trial courts exist to keep trials fair, in the constitutional sense. Appellate courts are there to address errors at trial. The top tier exists to decide disputed issues of law, with reference to the constitution and case law."