Clips Round-up 8/8/2011
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
I.R.S. handling of donations draws ire of both parties.
A "group of four anonymous political donors is accusing the [I.R.S.] of playing politics on behalf of those Republicans and demanding that it make a decision immediately about whether the gift tax applies to donations to advocacy groups or not."
Former House aide gets afternoon in jail for trip
A former aide to Rep. Don Young spent a Friday afternoon in jail for his conviction on three felonies related to a free trip to "the World Series with a corporate official and lobbyist" and not reporting it.
Super PACs raise millions but distort political process, by Mark McKinnon
McKinnon writes in the Daily Beast: "The dual-structure affiliation of super PACs and nonprofits is currently legal, but it's an end run around the voice of the voter, and the potential for corruption is great."
Steelman presser for "clean super committee
Missouri GOP Senate candidate Sarah Steelman has called for transparency on the deficit reduction super committee. David Donnelly: ""I don't think many organizations can trust what they get out of this unless the committee is insulated from this lobbying bonanza."
Pelosi calls for super Congress transparency
"On Saturday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on the debt reduction 'super committee' to do its work in the open." Transparency is good, but they can do more!
Wealthy 2012 contributors use outside PACs to give big to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
The donors the super PACs supporting Romney and Obama...are the same donors to Romney and Obama.
Some lobbyists buck the odds in 2011
Not every lobby shop is having a rough time. Why? "The success of these firms can be attributed to a handful of themes: issue specialties outside of appropriations, heavy client growth and strong connections to current legislative leaders." The last one isn't really a shocker.
Here's an easy $100 billion cut
NYT says ending tax breaks for oil companies and ending the ethanol subsidy is an easy way to cut $100 billion. "The oil industry’s well-paid defenders — lobbyists and lawmakers in unison — will surely scream 'tax hike' and claim that ending $4 billion a year in sweetheart subsidies will decrease production and increase prices at the pump. All of which is nonsense."
Do people care where campaign money comes from? Yes.
Chris Cillizza at WaPo wrote Friday that voters don't really care about who's giving money. Here's PCAF political director Jeff Robinson's response.
Mystery million-dollar Romney donor revealed
Aaand it seems that having a $1 million secret donor is something that causes problems. The guy was Edward Conard, a former Bain Capital managing partner. Restore Our Future spokesperson said she's glad this "supposed controversy" is over. LOL.
- Washington Post isn't a fan of this sort of thing
- California editorial opposing the effort
What happened to Obama?, by Drew Westen
Drew Westen starts to lay out his diagnosis for "what happened" to Obama. One thing that stuck out: "Or perhaps, like so many politicians who come to Washington, he has already been consciously or unconsciously corrupted by a system that tests the souls even of people of tremendous integrity, by forcing them to dial for dollars — in the case of the modern presidency, for hundreds of millions of dollars."
When it comes to lobbyists, the "fix" is in, by Robert Gilstein
A letter to the editor from MA says, "OK, congressmen & senators: integrity versus campaign contributions. We're watching."
Five Republican party officials got $38,000 bonuses after $100,000 PAC donation from Cooper
Nothing to see here folks, just an Alabama Senate staffer being reimbursed by a PAC for a $100,000 donation she made to another PAC.
Pearce, Lewis offer Mesa voters two distinct options
An op-ed on the recall campaign against Clean Elections-foe Russell Pearce. "I found it interesting that while Lewis used Facebook to let the regular folks know about his gathering, Pearce hooked up with a group of powerful Phoenix lobbyists who represent labor unions, insurance companies, gambling, and the liquor industry and who are planning a bash to raise funds for Pearce and the Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall."
A California model for campaign finance
The Center for Governmental Studies has a new report out with a "comprehensive plan for redesigning campaign finance in California."
Still the struggle to vote, by Laughlic McDonald and Laura Murphy
An op-ed from the ACLU on voter suppression efforts in the states. "It should be a given that the right to vote is fundamental. Incredibly, though, 32 states are trying to limit access to the ballot box in one way or the other."
Groups that lobby Virginia assembly have donated millions to candidates
The Post reports on pay-to-play in Virginia politics.