Clips Round-up for 9/10/12
Barack Obama raised $114 million in August, beating Mitt Romney (who raised $111.6 million) for the first time since the creation of the joint RNC-Romney Victory fund. Jim Messina: "The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August." NYT, AP, The Hill, Reuters, WaPo, USA Today.
On Friday, Scotts Miracle-Gro pleaded guilty to selling toxic birdseed (among other violations). They'll pay $12.5 million for civil and criminal penalties, including $8 million to the EPA. Mitt Romney wants to weaken the EPA--and Scotts Miracle-Gro gave his super PAC $200,000 in June. If you can't follow the law, might as well fund those who'll change it, right?
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: Corporate contributions and disclosure
New York Times editorial on the recent eigth circuit court decision challenging Minnesota's campaign finance law and pushes for new disclosure rules. "Importantly, the new ruling casts no doubt on the constitutionality of the urgently needed federal disclosure bill Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking in July. "
Charleston Gazette: Supreme Court rejects candidate's plea for public financing
In continuing fallout from SCOTUS' Arizona Free Enterprise decision, the West Virginia Supreme Court has blocked trigger funds to a candidate using public financing for his judicial race, with Brennan Center arguing legislative elections are different than judicial and that "the court has recognized there is a compelling interest to assure fair and impartial judicial elections."
NYT: A tight election may be tangled in legal battles
"The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states."
Roll Call: Nonstop fundraising stretch starts
Not just presidential candidates raising big bucks: "Members on both sides of the aisle and their professional fundraisers have squeezed in events from dawn until the wee hours of the morning. They're trying to extract every available dollar from the K Street and political action community in the remaining legislative days before Members shift all of their attention to the campaign trail."
CRP: Ten weeks out from election day, outside spending exceeds 2008 total
"The amount spent by super PACs, political non profit groups and other non-political party entities on the presidential and congressional races, about $306.2 million as of Sept. 5, is already more than such groups spent during the entirety of the last presidential election cycle, about $301.6 million. "
Financial Times: Obama super PAC in push to raise $150M
"A campaign group backing Barack Obama is pushing to raise up to $150m in coming weeks in a late effort to counter Republicans’ financial advantage and an expected advertising blitz for Mitt Romney."
PCAF Tumblr: Knowing your audience
The Romney campaign has a full-page ad in today's Wall Street Journal inviting people to its NYC fundraiser this week. When's the last time you saw a fundraiser ad in a newspaper?
NPR: Who benefits in money game? Democracy or donors?
All Things Considered Weekend Edition talked to Jane Mayer, Sheila Krumholz and others about the presidential money game.
NYT: In swirl of excess, no guilt included
Great story in New York Times magazine this weekend on the conventions. "Political conventions are about big speeches, funny hats and packed swag bags, and they are also moneyed and decadent affairs. To wit: the rolling party at the Ritz bar, spilling into the adjacent BLT Steak restaurant."
Star-Tribune: Democrats are slow to embrace outside money
On the hard time Democratic outside groups are having raising money. Nick Nyhart on why: "There's internal conflict for many of those donors."
NaJo: Dems pumped about Rahm's role raising unlimited cash
"And though Democrats are coming late to the game compared to the Republican Super PAC Restore Our Future, which has been backing rival Mitt Romney since the GOP primaries, several top Dems believe there is still plenty of time for Emanuel to make up ground. "
CPI: Obama rails against those trying to "buy this election"
"President Barack Obama urged delegates at the Democratic National Convention to beware 'the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election' in his acceptance speech Thursday night."
NPR: As election nears, keeping donors a secret is trickier
"Some of the groups running ads this election season haven't been required to disclose their donors. But as Election Day draws nearer, some of the rules are changing, making campaign ads a riskier business for those who want to keep donors a secret."
Huffington Post: DNC Funding: Corporate cash ban changes face of Democratic convention
Interesting read from Ryan Grim on what banning corporate and lobbyist cash looked like at the DNC. "While corporations aren't lacking for influence on politics in general, and plenty of lobbyists have received waivers to work in the administration, the convention reform has been surprisingly effective."
PCAF: Adelson-backed super PAC launches $2 million ad campaign
YG Action Fund, which has received 89% of its money from Shel and Miriam Adelson, is out with a $2 million ad campaign boosting Republican House candidates.
Newsday: Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama can stop runaway campaign spending
What if Obama and Romney agreed to an outside spending pact like in Mass? Newsday's Anne Michoud writes, "I can't imagine that TV ads or even a few dozen fliers would sway my vote. I'd be more impressed by a presidential candidate who stood for sanity on campaign spending."
WaPo: NYC gay bar hosts Obama fundraiser
On a recent fundraiser at Eastern Bloc in NYC: "The fundraiser, hosted by a gaggle of models, fashion editors and socialites, is just one of hundreds of such small, grass-roots events organized by individual donors and held throughout campaign season in private homes or during backyard barbecues." For "liberal media" conspiracy theorists, the bar is owned by Anderson Cooper's boyfriend.
ProPublica: Revealed: the dark money group attacking Sherrod Brown
Great reporting using reports filed with TV stations to unmask a shadowy group attacking Sherrod Brown - run out of a lobbyist shop that employes a former staffer for Josh Mandel, Brown's opponent.
The Reporter: VP candidate Ryan will court donors at fundraiser in Indianapolis, fertile ground for GOP
"Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will be in Indianapolis later this month seeking support from Hoosiers." More on Indiana fundraising. Ryan was in Fresno for a fundraiser on Friday and will be in Knoxville at the end of the month.
The Root: Meet the black fraternity super PAC for Obama
"But what if black fraternities collectively began a super PAC of their own? Enter the organization 1911 United, a group launched by a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity who pooled their resources to campaign for President Obama outside of their respective Greek organizations."
Politico: Linda McMahon files ethics complainst vs Chris Murphy
"GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon has filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against her opponent, Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, alleging that Murphy violated House rules related to a home equity loan obtained from a bank he once represented as a private lawyer."
Sunlight Foundation: Kennedy heir's bid for Congress attracts campaign contributing veterans
"Joseph P. Kennedy III easily won a primary election in Massachussett's fourth district thanks in part to his family, some Washington insiders and a high-profile family and their vast network of well-heeled donors."
New American: "Monk" actor Tony Shaloub blasts Citizens United ruling
Tony Shaloub doesn't like our big money political system.
Valley Courier: Campaign contribution questioned
"Highlighting a 2011 campaign donation from Gary Boyce to Scott Tipton proved politics can make strange bedfellows — and mudslinging season is in full swing."
AP: NY super PAC disclosures may miss 2012 elections
"New York is cracking down on high-profile campaign attacks by secretive, well-funded super PACs, but the regulations requiring specific disclosure on spending and donors that were drafted months ago likely won't be final this election cycle."