Clips Round-up for 9/11/12
Common Cause and Demos released an important new report yesterday: Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote Against Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation. "This report describes the threat posed by potential voter challenges in the 2012 elections, and assesses the extent to which ten key states...are prepared to protect the rights of eligible voters to cast a ballot in the face of such challenges." HuffPost.
From Janie Lorber at Roll Call: "The Republican Study Committee is laying the groundwork for a new informal partnership with the American Legislative Exchange Council, even as dozens of major corporations cut ties with the conservative nonprofit for its support of controversial voting and gun laws."
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Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Reuters: Appeals court upholds Illinois campaign disclosure law
"A federal appeals court on Monday upheld an Illinois state law that requires advocacy groups to disclose their donors, even in the case of an organization whose main purpose is unrelated to elections."
Georgetown Public Policy Review: Campaign disclosure in the super PAC era: an interview with Dr. Lee Drutman
The GPPR interviewed Sunlight Foundation's Lee Drutman on the DISCLOSE Act and transparency in elections.
WaPo: New donors to Obama? Some ways he can use the $114M in contributions he raised last month
"With the extra money, the president can be expected to purchase more television ads, hire more campaign staffers and dump any excess cash into coffers to use if Romney and his super PAC allies, as expected, saturate the airwaves as Election Day approaches."
HuffPost: Democrats Embrace Super PACs, Despite Russ Feingold's Efforts
Sam Stein on the Democrats love-hate relationship with super PACs, featuring comments from Progressives United and Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly.
CAPAF: Sheldon Adelson's return on investment
TOP GOP donor and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson could see a $2B tax cut if Romney is elected.
Politico: Rahm Emanuel suspends super PAC fundraising
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing a teachers strike, is backing away from fundraising for Democratic super PACs," and cancelled a planned appearance for Priorities USA Action yesterday.
Politico: For Obama, joy from fundraising is muted
So what if Obama won the fundraising race in August? "Romney and the Republican National Committee raised a still-impressive $111.6 million — it’s third straight month above $100 million — and more important, he likely still has more in the bank than Obama and also has hundreds of millions of dollars in conservative outside money helping out."
Mother Jones: Romney needs a miracle to win the presidential cash dash
Alternatively: "Here's the big takeaway from August's fundraising numbers: The president, despite his own warnings, will almost assuredly raise more money than Romney this presidential election."
Tampa Tribune: Obama, Romney will appear at area fundraisers next week
"Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will make appearances at private fundraisers in the Tampa area Sept. 20, raising the possibility that both also will have public campaign appearances at the same time. "
Grist: Charles Koch, America's largest crony capitalist, takes on crony capitalism
A response to Charles Koch's Wall Street Journal op-ed yesterday, highlighting his own crony capitalism and big political spending. He wrote a similar piece in 2011.
AP: VP nominee Paul Ryan in Washington for fundraisers
"Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is in Seattle after a brief stop in Portland during a Northwest fundraising swing." He raised $1M in Portland.
Politico: Pro-Connie Mack super PAC launches two-week buy
"Freedom PAC, the super PAC supporting Rep. Connie Mack in his Senate run in Florida against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, is going on air for the next two weeks with a spot featuring the Republican hopeful speaking." Of the $1.17 million the group raised through July, $1 million came from Sheldon Adelson.
Philly Inquirer: Andrews' wife vetted use of campaign funds on trip
More on the ethics issues with Rep. Andrews: "When New Jersey Rep. Rob Andrews used campaign funds to pay for a family trip to Scotland, an unusual compliance officer signed off: his wife."
The Economist: Of mud and money
Media firms are making BANK this cycle.
Greenwire: Firm behind major anti-ethanol campaign goes to bat for biofuels
Oh, Washington: "The D.C. lobbying firm behind a large and expensive 2008 publicity campaign opposing the federal biofuels mandate has now been hired by ethanol groups to do the exact opposite: drum up support for the renewable fuel standard."
USA Today: Analysis: $575 million spent on presidential ads
"An eye-popping $575 million has been spent so far on presidential campaign ads in battleground states, according to an analysis by NBC News."
WSJ: Liu fundraiser places blame for scheme
"An 'obsession' with prosecuting city Comptroller John Liu propelled federal investigators to launch an undercover probe in an attempt to "manufacture a crime" that would ensnare the potential mayoral candidate, court documents filed Monday by attorneys representing a fundraiser for Mr. Liu allege."
AZ Republic: Ex-Fiesta Bowl lobbyist takes plea deal in probe
"A former Fiesta Bowl lobbyist has entered a plea deal with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, admitting he did not disclose costs incurred while currying favor with lawmakers on behalf of the bowl."
AP: Mayor of New Jersey’s capital city arrested as part of federal corruption probe into bribery
"Federal agents arrested the struggling mayor of New Jersey’s capital Monday on corruption charges, alleging he agreed to accept bribes in connection with a proposed parking garage — actually a fake project created by authorities trying to snare him."
Republic: Trial lawyers PAC spends $198k on Democratic legislative candidates, PACs
"A political committee affiliated with New Mexico trial lawyers has donated $198,000 in the past two months to Democratic candidates and political groups helping Democrats retain control of the Legislature, according to a financial disclosure filed Monday."
WaPo: More than $110,000 missing from DC Councilman Michael A. Brown's campaign coffers
"D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) reported late Monday that more than $100,000 went missing from his campaign treasury this summer, essentially wiping out most of the money he had available to spend on his bid for reelection."