Clips Round-up for 8/9/12
Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts came out with a statement yesterday as odd as it was offensive. Claiming that Massachusetts sending out voter registration letters to welfare recipients as part of the 1993 “motor voter” law was “clearly designed” to benefit his opponent Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, Brown said “it's outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party over another.” He also attacked Demos, one of the parties who sued to enforce the law, for having Warren’s daughter on its board of directors.
In response, Demos released this statement: “We believe it is fundamental to our democracy that all eligible citizens be accorded the maximum opportunity to register and vote. That concept was embodied in the passage of the NVRA [motor voter act], which required people getting a driver’s license or receiving state assistance or disability services to be given that opportunity.”
Public Campaign Action Fund executive director David Donnelly had this to say: “If Scott Brown doesn’t think the government should be helping people to register to vote, then what does he want the government to do? From his recent votes, it appears just to protect the wealthy from paying their fair share and tax breaks for oil companies—the donors funding his campaign.”
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Washington Post: Scotts Miracle-Gro goes out on a limb with political donation
Miracle-Gro’s $200,000 donation to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, “makes Miracle-Gro among the first public companies with well-known consumer brands to publicly enter the new world of campaign funding.” Says one disappointed garden store shopper, “It’s a plant fertilizer — it’s not for growing political parties”
Mother Jones: 250 Years of Campaigns, Cash, and Corruption
Mother Jones with an illustrated history of campaign finance and scandals throughout the years.
CBS News: Super PAC pres. says their money “dwarfed” by Labor dollars
A pretty strange claim when the $300 million that American Crossroads plans on raising from a handful of donors is by itself 50 percent more than the $200 million every labor union combined spent on all Democratic races in 2008.
Sunlight Foundation: Stealthy Wealthy: To Robert Rowling, political giving makes business sense
The Sunlight Foundation continues its “Stealthy Wealthy” series with a feature on the owner of TRT Holdings, which includes Gold’s Gym, Omni Hotels, and oil company Tana Exploration. Rowling has given $6.8 million to conservative super PAC American Crossroads.
Mother Jones: Dark Money's Top Target: Claire McCaskill
“But in her reelection bid, McCaskill isn't just complaining about secretly funded ads—she's made them her call to arms. Her debut ad blasted the out-of-state "special interests" clogging up the airwaves; a follow-up slammed "secret money" from "big oil and insurance companies." Through July 17, McCaskill has seen $12.75 million in attack ads targeting her, including $7.6 million from groups that hide their donors, with only $1.3 million coming from outside groups that back her.
FactCheck.org: Obama not trying to curb military early voting
These facts, they’re tricky things. “The suit seeks to block state legislation that limited early voting times for nonmilitary members; it doesn't seek to impose restrictions on service members.”
Christian Science Monitor: Tough new Bain ad from Obama 'super PAC': Does it go too far?
A new ad from Priorities USA Action ignited plenty of controversy yesterday. The ad told the story of a worker who was laid off from a company owned by Bain Capital and whose wife later got cancer. Team Obama said they didn't know the details of the worker's story featured in the video, even though he told essentially the same story on an Obama campaign conference call in May.
The Daily Beast said those who don't like the ad should blame the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, not the Obama campaign. "So thank the Supreme Court, and thank Citizens United. It has always been the tendency of these legally unaffiliated groups to make the sleazier ads than the campaigns themselves. In the post-CU world, it's going to be even worse, because more money and more groups is going to create a race to the bottom like we've never seen."
ABC News: Super PAC Raises Beer Money
"In college we solve our differences by sitting down and having a beer," said Daniel Bassali, the co-founder of Slam Dunks, Fireworks and Eagles. "I don't think our congressmen are too proud to accept a collegiate approach to deficit reduction."
Politicker: George Pataki Explains His Super PAC’s Lackluster Fundraising
Pataki “claimed millions of dollars in pledges with expectations to raise “in the high seven figures,” or, “if things go well, in the low eight” in total funds. But he’s not close to that number so far, according to last month’s federal filing, he’s raised only $30,000.”
LA Times: Campaigns on California ballot measures raise $150 million
Unlike candidates, California committees formed around a ballot measure can receive contributions of unlimited size. A California government website makes it easy to see who’s donated over $10,000 to these committees, and shows, for example, how “tobacco companies played a major role in raising $48 million for the campaign that defeated a $1-per-pack tobacco tax on the June ballot.”