Clips Round-up 8/29/2011
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
FEC drafts opinions for Guyana-born man about presidential run
"The Federal Election Commission is showing signs that it might allow a Guyana-born American citizen to file papers and raise money to run for president of the United States."
Congress isn't broken--it's fixed by special interests, by Dan Weeks
ACR's Dan Weeks writes: "In such a system, it is little surprise that members of Congress spend more time raising money from a wealthy few than working with bipartisan colleagues to solve the nation’s fiscal crisis and start creating jobs for the good of all Americans. Indeed, Washington isn’t broken – it’s fixed.
Nebraska will no longer enforce campaign finance law
And Nebraska will no longer enforce its "fair fight funds" system.
Congress super panel must stay super clean
2nd letter on the page: "Will these six Republicans and six Democrats use this super panel as a super fundraising opportunity? Historically, the answer is hell yes. For the sake of our democracy, we must demand from our elected representatives that they support complete transparency and a ban on all political fundraising from the members of the super panel while deliberating this process."
Open debt talks are a super idea
The Fosters Daily Democrat editorializes: "all official meetings and hearings of the committee to be open and webcast live on the joint committee's Web site."
Elizabeth Kennedy: Panel for cutting deficit must do business in open, by Elizabeth Kennedy
Brennan Center's Elizabeth Kennedy writes: "If a Super takes a check from a defense industry lobbyist one day, then votes in the committee to protect the defense industry's interest the next, the American public has the right to know."
Lines blur between candidates and PACs with unlimited cash
Mitt Romney spoke to a group of donors for our Restore our Future, but he didn't ask for money - so, you know, no coordination. ". "The 2012 race is already being widely viewed as a laboratory for political operatives, some of whom say that Super PACs founded to support individual candidates may soon become a feature of Senate and even House races if they are used successfully — and without legal headaches — by allies of the presidential candidates."
Wall St. lobbyist to provide lesson reviewing (Wall Street) donations
The House GOP is bringing in a lobbyist to teach the caucus about Congress's ability to review (or reject) new regulations - regulations like part of financial reform (and this lobbyist works for some banks)
Campaign donations tied to US debt
Former Congressman Dan Glickman has an op-ed in Politico on the increase in campaign contributions..and increase in the size of government. "In fact, since the great surge in campaign spending began in the early 1980s, the size of our federal government—all the spending, appropriations and tax law changes passed by Congress and promoted by various presidents — have grown precipitously. And all are deeply connected and often parallel to campaign spending."
Government approval hits low, according to poll
Another day, another poll showing Congressional approval in the dumps--falling behind bankers and lawyers!
Earthquakes, hurricanes, and spectrum auctions
Broadcasters and wireless providers used the earthquake last week to push their sides in the fight over broadcast spectrum.
"Independents" candidates really love
NYT editorial on the "fiction" of separation between Super PACs and candidates. "The Romney Super PAC has already been blessed with mystery million-dollar donations, including one via a dummy corporation that had to be hurriedly disclosed lest it violate the law. 'No harm, no foul,' Mr. Romney assured voters about the donation, sounding like a candidate for the F.E.C."
Fund-raisers likely to be canceled due to irene
Awesome lead by Nick Confessore on presidential fundraisers getting canceled on the East Coast over the weekend: "They won’t be making it rain."
Religious right millionaire backed Rick Perry's career, paved Texas conservative politics with money
Rick Perry had a big event hosted by a "millionaire Christian right figure" this weekend who "is seen as a pioneer of political donations to conservative politicians and causes."
David Brooks advice to Perry opponents: Make him seem corrupt
Hey, David Brooks on how Mitt Romney could attack Rick Perry: "And I think the most fruitful lines of attack are to say, ‘This guy is Tom Delay,’ which is to say he uses campaign money in funny ways to — not for principled reasons but for political reasons, to feather his own nest and his buddies’. And I do think he’s vulnerable on that.”
In focus: Secrecy shrouds costs of Perry's travel
Gov. Perry won't have to detail the full cost of his travel (and what it means to taxpayers) until well after the 2012 election.
Perry became a millionaire while serving in office
Perry and his wife made just $46,000 in 1987, but not anymore: "thanks largely to a handful of real estate deals that critics allege were achieved through the presidential candidates' political connections."
Will someone let Roemer debate?
Let Buddy Roemer debate! "Would Roemer would have anything to add? Suppose the former governor's gimmick — he accepts no PAC money and no individual contributions bigger than $100 — isn't just a gimmick. What if it's the policy many of us are looking for?"
Antidote for our discontent, by Mark Murray
A local Savannah physician writes on our broken system: "Our congressmen spend far too much time campaigning and far too little time governing. Their political focus is primarily dictated by who gives them the most money for their re-election war chests. This is a travesty."
New York Times smacks down Rep. Darrell Issa's demand for a retraction
On the ongoing battle between Darrell Issa and the New York Times
Capuano still weighing his options on possible Senate bid
Will Rep. Mike Capuano jump in the Mass. Senate race?
Attacks on NY AG standing up for Main Street show Wall Street's control over our elites
On the banks and influence over Attorneys General settlement.
A poll tax by any other name, by Rep. John Lewis
From last week, but an important read: "Since January, a majority of state legislatures have passed or considered election-law changes that, taken together, constitute the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act of 1965."