Clips Round-up for 8/10/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
New York Times: Groups Campaign Spending Scrutinized in New York
"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York is escalating his inquiry into the fastest-growing but darkest corner of the campaign world, requesting in recent weeks tax returns and other financial documents from dozens of tax-exempt groups that are among the biggest spenders in this year’s election."
- More from Salon
Newsday: Corporate Cash in Campaigns is Insanity
"More and more, the agents of special interests roam the land responding to the general cry, "Get your politicians here. Buy them nice and fresh. We have plump juicy ones for sale." Yes, if naivete were an Olympic sport, Team Supreme Court would have received gold medals for the mental back flips that produced such a ruling."
ABC News: What is a Super PAC
A nice little history of Super PACs - how they came to be and what they can do.
CNN: Romney Raises $5 Million in N.Y. and N.J.
"Mitt Romney will raise a whopping $5 million after a two-day fundraising swing in New York and New Jersey, according to his finance chairman, Spencer Zwick."
The Hill: Super-PAC hits Four House Republicans on Lobbyist Ties
"Friends of Democracy, the new super-PAC from Jonathan Soros targeting congressmen who oppose campaign finance reform, is up with $700,000 worth of ads attacking Reps. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) for the donations they've received from special-interest groups."
- More from the Sacramento Bee
New York Times: Watchdogs Question John F. Tierney's Family Finances
"Representative John F. Tierney, the Massachusetts Democrat who is seeking his ninth term in the House, is facing new questions over the illegal offshore gambling business once run by two of his brothers-in-law, just a few months before an election pits him against the most viable opponent of his career."
FCC: TV Station Profiles and Public Inspection Files
The FCC's database for political ad buys is online.
Huffington Post: Labor Unions Plan to Send Volunteers to Canvass for Obama
"For the first time, unions can use their funds to target non-union households as well as those with family members in a union. That change comes as a result of the Supreme Court's landmark campaign finance decision in Citizens United."
Huffington Post: Jon Huntsman: GOP is 'Holding Company' for Super PACs
"The former GOP presidential candidate, who had support from a super PAC of his own when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, accused his party of welcoming one too many outside groups under its big tent."
Politico: Four McCotter Staffers Face Charges
"Four staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter were charged with violating election laws Thursday for an alleged “cut-and-paste job” to get the Michigan Republican enough signatures to land on the ballot."
Roll Call: Richard Trumka Wouldn't Bet on House Democrats' Gains
“I wouldn’t rule that out, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it this time. We’ll see what happens,” he said in response to a question about whether Democrats will pick up seats in the House.
Washington Post: Sen. Sherrod Brown Targeted by U.S. Chamber, Outside Conservative groups
"His is just one of up to a dozen Senate races where the groups, some taking advantage of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that loosened campaign finance law, figure to play key roles. The chamber, which does not engage in presidential politics, does not reveal its political budget, but Democratic and Republican officials who have monitored the group expect this year’s spending on congressional races to about triple its 2008 budget of more than $30 million."
Politico: Unions Hit Democratic Convention Where it Hurts: In the Wallet
"The Democrats are hitting up unions — their go-to cash cows — for last-minute donations to help pay for next month’s convention in Charlotte.The response from some big unions? Tough."
San Francisco Chronicle: Federal Judge Blocks W. Va. PAC Contribution Limit
"West Virginia cannot limit contributions to political action committees that act independently of candidates or parties, a federal judge ruled Thursday, agreeing to block the state's $1,000-per-election cap while one such group challenges its constitutionality."