Clips Round-up for 11/9/11
We were proud to stand hand-in-hand with our friends in the immigrant rights and labor communities last night to defeat Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070 and a leading opponent of the state's Clean Elections system. Here's Huffington Post on his loss: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/08/russell-pearce-recall-election-jerry-lewis_n_1083129.html. When you leave your voters behind, they're going to do the same to you.
- Our full statement is here: http://campaignmoney.org/press-room/2011/11/09/watchdog-pearce-special-interest-corruption-doomed-his-re-election.
And, a hearty congratulations to our friends in Maine who worked to reinstate same-day voting registration and our labor allies in Ohio who successfully repealed union-busting efforts in the Buckeye State.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Missoula voters stand up to Citizens United
"Missoula voters have approved a local ballot referendum urging Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that clearly states that corporations are not human beings and do not have the same rights as citizens by a three-to-one margin."
How consequential is Citizens United?
"There is a tendency right now to attribute to Citizens United (CU) virtually all newly emerging forms of financing elections, and the increasingly large amounts, that arose in the 2010 election cycle and that look to play an even more central role in the 2012 elections. But this tendency can reflect a complacent sensibility among critics of Citizens United that the case is the source of all evil in campaign financing, or the desire of journalists and others to craft dramatic narratives that elevate single moments into uniquely transformative events. The truth is more complicated, for at least two reasons."
Letter: Occupy Wall Street protesters really get it
A letter explaining how Occupy Wall Street gets it--it's about our broken political system. "Elected officials must do the bidding of their powerful donors to be re-elected."
Stanching the flow of corporate dollars into campaigns
Read Katrina vanden Heuvel's latest on Citizens United, outside spending, and the need for a constitutional amendment
Murray staff members meeting at firm that lobbies
The staff of supercommittee co-chair Patty Murray is holding a retreat in the conference room of a lobbying firm in Seattle. Public Campaign Communications Director Adam Smith: "At best, it's just really tone-deaf. The American people already think that Congress listens too much to special interests."
Both sides on deficit panel seeking to avoid blame
And, where the supercommittee stands: "Members of a Congressional panel on deficit reduction are no longer trying just to solve the nation’s fiscal problems. Some are desperately trying to avoid blame for the possible collapse of a process..."
Major Romney donors help enrich Romney family through joint financial relationships
"But what sets Romney apart is the direct financial relationship he has forged with some of his major campaign contributors."
GOP Rep. Joe Walsh melts down, screams at constituents: "Don't blame banks! I am tired of hearing that crap!"
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) screamed lost his cool recently, telling a constituent, "Don't blame banks!" Check out the top giving sector to his campaign: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=Career&cid=N00004723&type=I.
Prez preaches to tough choir
A few Occupy Philly protesters showed up at an event for Obama yesterday. One of them: "Corporations have the most influence over the president and pretty much every politician in the entire country."
Record political ad spending powered by special interest groups
"Ads for Republican presidential hopefuls are just starting to hit the airwaves in battleground states, kicking off what will be the most expensive election in history. Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group projects as much as $3.3 billion will be spent this season, with north of $1 billion going to the presidential race."
Political ad spending spurs local tv mergers
"But what the economy took away, politics may help restore. Television stations are among the biggest beneficiaries of political ad spending — one of the primary reasons for the increase in sales activity."
How Grover Norquist corners Congress
Grover hasn't let his ties to the Jack Abramoff scandal get in the way! "America’s No. 1 anti-tax activist has turned his single-minded nonprofit organization and its no new taxes pledge into a sprawling lobbying empire that leverages his iconic status to influence politicians on a broad array of issues that sometimes have little or nothing to do with preventing tax hikes." Check out the line on page 2 about how he personally called up supercommittee member Kyl in May and got him to clarify, on the Senate floor, his position on no new taxes.
Oil project splits Occupy movement, labor unions
"For union leaders, the Occupy Wall Street protesters seem like natural allies, even cheerleaders and enablers. But controversy over a proposed oil pipeline has split the labor movement and alienated the liberal activists gathered in tent cities around the country."
Letting the banks off easy
The New York Times editorializes on the attorneys general mortgage negotiations. Don't let them off easy, they write. "The government’s history on challenging banks and holding them accountable does not inspire confidence."
U.S. doles $17.7M for conventions
"Both major political parties have received $17.7 million in public funding for their respective 2012 presidential nominating conventions, the Federal Election Commission announced Tuesday."
Several stories in Arizona today that mention how state Sen. Russell Pearce was dogged by his ethics scandals in his election
Md. Sen. Currie acquitted of corruption charges
I had forgotten this was going on, but a surprising end: "A federal jury on Tuesday acquitted Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie of all charges in a corruption case in which prosecutors had accused the Prince George’s County Democrat of taking more than $245,000 in bribes from two grocery chain executives."
Jury hears opening arguments in Wooten trial
"A jury of six men and six women will decide whether money used to finance the 2008 political campaign of District Judge Suzanne Wooten were bribes or was received legally."
City's traditional campaign contribution cap is unique
"Iowa City is likely the only municipality in the state to impose a cap on city council campaign contributions from a single donor — a longtime local law designed to prevent the appearance of corruption, but one that candidates say makes fundraising a challenge."