Clips Round-up for 9/18/12
What interesting things that are said behind closed doors to a candidate's financial backers! The big news yesterday was the release by Mother Jones of leaked videos from a private Romney fundraiser, in which donors—who paid $50,000 to attend—heard him make disparaging comments about the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay a net income tax.
Among other choice quotes contained in the video was a blunt assessment by Romney of the political money game. When an attendee asked how he could help Romney sell his candidacy, the Republican candidate responded, "Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars."
The May fundraiser was hosted in Boca Raton, Florida by "private equity party boy" Marc Leder of Sun Capital Partners who has given $225,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future and tens of thousands to other candidates.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Public Campaign: Nick Nyhart to Join Rep. John Sarbanes at Money in Politics Forum on 9-20
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) introduced a new small donor matching bill called the Grassroots Democracy Act on Friday. Public Campaign President and CEO Nick Nyhart will join Rep. Sarbanes, as well Adam Lioz of Demos and Adam Skaggs from the Brennan Center for Justice, for a roundtable about the bill and money in politics on Thursday, September 20 at 11:30 am.
Nyhart released this statement after the bill's introduction: "Public Campaign supports Congressman Sarbanes' exemplary leadership to reduce the oversized role that corporate and special interest money have in our elections. The Grassroots Democracy Act complements the Fair Elections Now Act and elevates the voices of small donors so that everyday Americans can have a greater role in the democratic process."
Nonprofit Quarterly: Trumping Donors’ Interest in Anonymity: The Public’s Right to Know
Bob Edgar of Common Cause asks how the recent avalanche of political spending by 501(c)(4) nonprofits will impact the nonprofit community’s reputation as a whole.
Politico: Dave Camp, Orrin Hatch tell New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to back off
Rep. Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Hatch (R-Utah) say that NY AG Schneiderman’s investigation into shadowy nonprofit “social welfare” 501(c)(4) groups spending millions in this year’s election violates federal privacy laws. Schneiderman’s office counters that it must do so to enforce state law.
Politico: Crossroads targets House races
This could totally change the game in House races, where spending is lower and voters are less saturated with news coverage of candidates compared to teh presidential election: “The powerful conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are launching a new, $10-plus million advertising offensive hitting every level of the 2012 campaign — including the Crossroads groups’ first ad this cycle in a U.S. House race.”
NYT: ‘Super PAC’ Makes Some Intriguing Bets on Romney
“Mitt Romney may have had a bad run in polls in recent weeks, but he still has supporters who are bullish about his chances in some states that President Obama won handily in 2008. Restore Our Future, the “super PAC” supporting Mr. Romney, is investing $1.5 million on ads in Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Bloomberg BNA ($): Crossroads GPS Reports Spending, Exempt From Disclosing Contributors
“Crossroads GPS, a leading pro-Republican Section 501(c)(4) group, has reported its first “independent expenditures” in the presidential campaign for over $5.3 million worth of television ads opposing President Obama's re-election.” This comes after the Van Hollen court decision stating that 501(c)4 groups would have to disclose donors on electioneering communications without a direct appeal to vote for or against a candidate, but left a loophole for more explicit "independent expenditures."
Politico: Joe Ricketts ad blitz has Romney fingerprints
The super PAC funded by Joe Ricketts, the investor who was linked to the controversial, aborted plan “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama,” will be releasing $10 million in ads promoting Romney and $2 million supporting Republican congressional candidates.
Patch: Obama Tampa Fundraiser to Include Eddie Vedder, $20,000 Price Tag
Obama’s upcoming fundraiser will offer the chance to see Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder for the modest sum of $20,000.
Politico: Paul Ryan attending roundtable meeting Thursday
Republican vice-presidential nominee is coming back to Washington on Thursday, but not to solve problems in Congress—no, he’ll be at a roundtable fundraiser for Romney Victory, with separate roundtables for construction, education, energy, insurance, and manufacturing. The cost to attend one of the roundtables? $10,000.