Clips Round-up for 8/17/11
Deficit supercommittee members have close ties to many lobbyists
"More than 100 former staffers of the bipartisan, bicameral supercommittee members have gone to work for entities that lobby Congress, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics." And that's why we need disclosure and a break from fundraising.
Supercommittee at risk with campaign donors
Peter Overby says: "At the same time, they're also raising funds for their next campaigns, and that could be a problem if the supercommittee members are under pressure to bite the hands that feed them money." Mentions Sunlight's call for transparency.
Sunlight for the Supercommittee
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fl.) has this op-ed on the need for supercommittee transparency. "There must be no more closed-door meetings or smoke-filled rooms, where special interests flourish and the American people suffer."
Murray can't wear fundraising and deficit panel hats
And The Olympian in Washington State editorializes: "So on the one hand, while she’s raising money from special interest groups to elect Democrats, Murray will be selecting programs important to those interest groups that will be trimmed or eliminated from the federal budget. That dual role causes a conflict of interest."
U.S. Chamber urges supercommittee to go for grand deficit deal
The Chamber has released its vague wishlist for the super committee--overhaul entitlements and lower taxes on the wealthy and don't single out oil companies or jet owners.
- Roll Call: http://www.rollcall.com/news/us_chamber_calls_on_deficit_panel_to_tackle_taxes_entitlements-208208-1.html?pos=htmbtxt
US deficit panel talks loom for Medicare, Medicaid
Reuters looks at the implications for Medicare and Medicaid cuts, talks about how Sen. Murray may break ranks and oppose defense cuts--but her dual role as a big recipient of defense money and Senate chief fundraiser puts her in a tough spot.
Talk to Paul Ryan? It'll cost you
Politico reported yesterday on a new habit of Republican members not doing townhalls--but just holding events that people have to pay to go to.
- Ben Quayle is having one with campaign donors: http://campaignmoney.org/blog/2011/08/16/penny-your-thoughts-better-make-it-35
- And we sent a letter to Ryan yesterday on this: http://campaignmoney.org/press-room/2011/08/16/watchdogs-ryan-constituents-shouldnt-have-pay-money
Oil money and the "Super Congress"
Public Campaign and Oil Change International released a memo yesterday on super committee's oil money.
Veteran Democratic staffers head for the exit
"More than half a dozen senior congressional and White House aides have exited for K Street, the private sector or academia over the past several weeks."
Rick Perry reverses himself, calls HPV vaccine mandate a "mistake."
Perry has disavowed his decision to require young girls to get HPV vaccines in Texas. Interestingly, one of the lobbyists for the vaccine manufacturer had previously served as Perry's chief of staff and has since helped found a supportive super PAC.
2012 election brings a new kind of fundraiser: super bundler
"A wealthy donor now has the ability to give nearly $67,000 directly to a presidential candidate and his or her party, plus unlimited amounts to super PACs — which must reveal their donors — and nonprofit advocacy groups, which do not." Super PACs + Super Congress + Super Bundlers = Worst Saturday morning cartoon ever.
Obama responded to a question about Romney's "corporations are people" remark. "But he took issue with Romney’s recent defense of corporations, saying that 'special interest legislation' in Washington has not worked for ordinary Americans."
Corporations are the funniest people
This Pittsburgh columnist makes light of the corporations are people comment: "I repent of thinking ill of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case when the court ruled that corporations are like people for campaign funding purposes. Selfishly, I feared that the whole political process would be taken over by suits, effectively cutting out the middle man (i.e., me)."
Stephen Colbert loses treasurer to Rick Perry
Stephen Colbert, whose PAC ran ads telling people to vote for "Rick Parry," has lost his PAC treasurer to...Rick Perry.
Boulder voters will weigh in on corporate personhood
Boulder voters will get to vote on a referendum in November that says the constitution "should be amended to make it clear that corporations are not people and that money is not speech."
2 Wisconsin Democrats re-elected
Wisconsin Republicans were unable to knock off any of the "Wisconsin 14" that left the state to protest the union busting bill earlier this year.
Russell Pearce's lawyer files notice of appeal to Arizona Supreme Court
And Russell Pearce has filed a complaint with the state Supreme Court to try to get out of his recall election.