Clips Round-up for 10/26/11
This first story felt like it needed to stand on its own:
Tucker Carlson on hosting Jack Abramoff book party: "What he did is hardly out of the ordinary for Washington"
Tucker Carlson is hosting a book party for Jack Abramoff. And, reformers, Tucker Carlson has your number: “And in any case, unlike most of the many people here who deserve it, Abramoff actually served his time, quite a bit of it. So in a small way, I hope this party serves as a well-earned middle finger to the various breast-beaters, professional reformers and other holier-than-thou whiners who make this city less fun to live in." Um? We're not fun? DID YOU SEE COMMON CAUSE'S NEW HALLOWEEN VIDEO??
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Mike Lee, Tea Party senator, wants a super PAC for his leadership PAC
How much PAC can a PAC PAC PAC? "Freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a member of the Tea Party Caucus, is pushing the boundaries of campaign finance law by seeking to open a super PAC account within his leadership PAC."
Russell Pearce targeted in mailer for "tainted" contributions
Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch dropped mailers in Arizona yesterday going after Clean Elections foe Russell Pearce in his recall election. David Donnelly: "He is an example of what is wrong in Arizona politics and why we need clean elections in the state."
How Justice Kennedy paved the way for Super PACs and the return of soft money
Rick Hasen's latest piece for Slate: "Soft money is coming back to national politics, and in a big way. And we can blame it all on a single sentence in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in 2010’s controversial Citizens United decision—a sentence that was unnecessary to resolve the case."
The constitutional amendment derby
Americans United to Rebuild Democracy's Stephen Erickson writes his own constitutional amendment to end corruption.
Congressman: Lobbyists know more about supercommittee than he does
Freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told the Heritage Foundation: "“It seems to be that quite a few K Street lobbyists know fairly a lot about what’s going on in that room, which is what we feared."
Another Mitt Romney lobbyist fundraiser
Mitt Romney, who has called Obama's tax on millionaires "class warfare," is having a fundraiser today with lobbyists for oil and gas companies that get ridiculous subsidies and companies pushing for a "tax holiday" on bringing back their oversees profits.
- Chris Frates at National Journal has the full list of attendees: http://influencealley.nationaljournal.com/2011/10/romney-holds-k-street-funder.php
Contributions to Rick Perry from big donors' children raise questions
"Recently filed federal election disclosures show an unusually high number of live-at-home children of Perry donors also contributing to the Perry campaign -- more than the number contributing to other Republican candidates -- provoking questions as to whether some of those donations are actually coming from the kids." When you were 16, you had $2,500 lying around that you were dying to donate to a presidential candidate right?
President Obama holds secret meet-and-greet with Hollywood execs and influencers
"Before he left Los Angeles for San Francisco on Tuesday, President Barack Obama stopped for an undisclosed meeting with some of the entertainment industry's high-level executives, as well as talent representatives with access to the industry's top stars and musical acts..."
Venture capitalists put money on easing medical device rules
"As Congress considers reauthorizing a law that sets the fees for medical device makers, venture capitalists are emerging as a rich and influential ally of device companies eager to remove what they say are regulatory roadblocks in the approval process."
Activists encourage students to "Occupy"
From Rutgers: "Instead of attending class in a traditional classroom, more than 50 students heard lectures on the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue from Occupy Wall Street 'occupiers' and the impact of their social revolution." Plenty of talk about money and politics.
The super-silent committee
So much supercommittee secrecy! Sunlight's Gabriela Schneider: "While the committee says they’re trying to keep things intact so that they won’t be persuaded one way or another by outside groups, that’s just not true. That’s just not how Washington operates."
- Even Steny Hoyer is pessimistic: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/189797-debt-panel-is-stoking-skepticism-supercommittee-deadline
Big Democratic donors stiff super PACs
"Democrats railed against deep-pocketed Republican groups in 2010, but this year conceded it was time to compete, rolling out their own network of super PACs and other groups that can take unlimited cash. But so far, their big money groups are low on one thing: big donors."
Political ads: Do we know enough?
Politico interviewed the former FEC commissioner and founder of the anti-reform organization the Center for Competitive Politics about transparency. Less disclosure, obviously, is what we need.
Lobbyists claim victory against tax rule
"After five years of steady lobbying, business groups say they are on the verge of vanquishing a hated withholding tax. "
Unknown groups exploit new law
"The right of the public to know who is spending what in political campaigns has a new foe this election season: the seemingly countless shell organizations that are spending tens of thousands of dollars to affect some of the year's most important political contests."
Edwards fights campaign finance case
"Lawyers for John Edwards will head to federal court here on Wednesday to ask a judge to dismiss charges that he violated campaign finance laws by using money from two wealthy benefactors to support his pregnant mistress during his run for the presidency in 2008."
Emanuel Cleaver, Artur Davis spar over voter ID laws
Emanuel Cleaver rightfully derided former Rep Artur Davis' new love of oppressive voter ID laws.