Clips Round-up for 8/7/12
Politico: "Roughly 2.5 million people have kicked in $200 or less to the various committees helping their candidate win the White House. But those 2.5 million people account for less than 18 percent of the total money haul. By contrast, 2,100 donors giving $50,000 or more have contributed about $200 million to the Obama and Romney campaign committees, victory funds and their supportive super PACs." And Politico's list of Republican and Democratic "mega-donors."
NYT: "The fund-raising machine behind Mitt Romney and the Republican Party once again outperformed President Obama and the Democrats last month, raising $25 million more in July than the president and his Democratic allies." Sunlight Foundation, LA Times, Politico, Examiner, Bloomberg, WaPo, The Hill.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
AP: Groups turn in petitions for Colorado proposals
Colorado activists turned in 176,000 signatures yesterday to put an initiative on the ballot that would "ask members of Congress to support a constitutional amendment to authorize limits on campaign contributions." And Lansing City Council is looking at a resolution.
Tennessean: Jim Cooper proposes campaign donations via text
"The small print at the bottom of ads for federal politicians may soon get a new wrinkle — one that tells you to contribute to candidate X or Y by texting on your mobile phone. The proposal comes from Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, who said he expects the Federal Election Commission to give its final approval to the idea sometime this week."
NYT: Celebrities turn out for Obama fundraising event
"President Obama finished an evening of fund-raising at a star-studded event at the Connecticut home of the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on Monday night, and even offered his personal review of the latest Batman movie."
NBC Chicago: Romney, Obama set fundraising sights on Chicago
"Obama returns to Chicago Sunday for four fundraising events, including three intimate shindigs to ring in his 51st birthday. (Obama turned 51 on Aug. 5.) Meanwhile Romney arrives Tuesday for two fundraising events downtown and a speech in Elk Grove Village about reviving manufacturing jobs."
Yeshiva World News: Mitt Romney to attend fundraiser at Lake Terrace Hall
"Mitt Romney will be back in New Jersey this week for a fundraiser in Lakewood hosted by attorney Larry Bathgate II and Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore."
NYT: Ohio early voting lawsuit
On the Romney campaign's ridiculous spin on Ohio voting lawsuit: "But just as Republicans have twisted the Voter ID issue into a fight against a phony trend of fraud, they are now trying to turn the early-voting battle into a defense of the military against an administration falsely portrayed as anti-soldier."
AP: Romney trounces Obama fundraising for 3rd month
Interesting bit buried in this AP story: "Seeking to keep its coffers full, the campaign has special plans for some donors who live in reliably Democratic states where the president may not visit in the midst of the campaign. They'll get a chance to fly elsewhere in the country to meet him at an event. "
Politico: Republicans tell IRS to back off tea party
"In a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman today, 10 Senate Republicans said it would be 'highly extraordinary' for the agency to quickly revise rules governing certain nonprofit groups and said any changes would wreak of politics." Here's Schumer's response: "The only thing missing from the Republicans’ letter is the ‘or else’. This unsubtle threat is clearly designed to put a chilling effect on the agency’s enforcement of the law.” The Hill.
GQ: Take the money and run
Michael Wolff: "A new loophole in American law means that, for the first time, powerful, largely elderly billionaires can now invest as much as they please in the presidential candidate of their choice. So, are they protecting their belief in an unfettered capitalist heritage, or are they too being fleeced by the marketeers?"
CBS: Karl Rove's super PAC for hire
On Rove's donors with DOJ problems: "As wealthy donors to Republican political causes, it gives the donors under investigation an opportunity to paint any moves by the Justice Department to prosecute wrong doing as mere politically motivated investigations. But the real opportunity for these donors is a change at the Justice Department. Political staff can make several investigations go away simultaneously for 'philosophical reasons'."
Vanity Fair: The Rise of Karl Rove
"Not long ago, Karl Rove seemed toxic: the brains of a disastrous presidency, tarred by scandal. Today, as the mastermind of a billion-dollar war chest—and with surrogates in place in the Romney campaign—he’s the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But in Rove’s long game, 2012 may be just the beginning."
Rolling Stone: Guess who's profiting most from super PACs?
"Candidates may raise the unprecedented sums of political cash being funneled through Super PACs this year, and media strategists may decide how to spend them – but the people who actually wind up pocketing much of the money are America's television broadcasters." Or, as Dickinson writes, "In short, the dirtier the system, the better for the bottom line at TV stations and cable systems."
Politico: Crossroads blitzing 5 senate races
"The GOP independent-spending behemoth American Crossroads will launch a new wave of Senate ads totaling over $7 million in TV time, three strategists tell me." MO, NV, MT, ND, VA.
Bloomberg: NRA sought donations in days after shooting
"Three days after a gunman calling himself the Joker from the Batman series shot dead 12 people in a suburban Denver movie theater, the National Rifle Association sent out a letter asking for money."
Politico: Edwards' exa-aide won't be charged
"Andrew Young, the former aide to John Edwards who once took the fall for his former boss by claiming to be the father of John Edwards’ child, will not be prosecuted for criminal contempt for his conduct regarding a sex tape featuring the former senator and his mistress..."
NaJo: Revolving door chronicles: Skadden hires former DOJ antitrust chief
"In the latest installment of the Washington revolving door, the one-time head of the Justice Department's antitrust division who helped derail a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has gone to work at the law firm that worked as outside counsel for Sprint Nextel, which lobbied hard against the corporate marriage. "
Democrat & Chronicle: Stricter oversight needed on campaign finance
Rochester paper wants better oversight of campaign finance law in New York, and "There is much to do: Contribution limits (the highest in the nation) should be lowered; disclosure requirements should be tightened; the public-financing system Cuomo called for in his State of the State address should be hammered out."
Republic Report: Michigan representative introduces prison privatization bill, top donor is private prison lobbyist
On some private prison donations to a guy that wants to...privatize prisons.