Clips Round-up for 1/17/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NY Post: For cleaner campaigns
Letters from the Consumers Union and NYC Campaign Finance Board in support of public financing.
Democrat and Chronicle: Andrew Cuomo eyes key election reform
"Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the coming weeks will introduce a proposal that good-government advocates have long said would transform New York politics like nothing else: voluntary public funding of political campaigns."
Citizen Action of New York: Siena Poll shows 74% support for public financing of elections
Great, great polling out of New York, with 3 out of 4 New Yorkers supporting Cuomo's plan for public financing. More at the Times-Union.
- Are you a New Yorker, or do you know a few? Make sure to contact your lawmakers (or tell your friends to!).
Portland Press-Herald: Lawmakers should fix, not gut, Clean Elections
The Portland Press-Herald calls for fixes, not an end, to Maine's Clean Elections law. They like "requalifying" as a solution. "Maine has a chance to lead once again on campaign finance reform. The Legislature should not miss this chance to minimize the impact of money in our elections."
NextGen Journal: What is Stephen Colbert really trying to say?
This op-ed from a University of Maryland student calls for the Fair Elections Now Act, highlights Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) as a co-sponsor.
Huffington Post: Occupy DC passes corporate personhood resolution
Occupy DC passed a corporate personhood resolution that also calls for for "public financing of public elections."
The Nation: Two years later: Showdown with Citizens United
Katrina vanden Heuvel on the 2 year anniversary of Citizens United with a shoutout to Fair Elections.
HuffPo: Stephen Colbert's PAC parody explains campaign finance to America
Paul Blumenthal and Dan Froomkin have a series this week on Colbert and his super PAC. "But one public figure has managed to pierce the veil of dullness to actually demonstrate -- in an electrifying way -- just how dangerous and corrupt the current system of political campaign financing has become."
Philly Inquirer: Super PACs running the show in elections
The Philly Inquirer does not like super PACs: "As people watch the primary returns coming in from South Carolina, they should take note of the Citizens United anniversary and think of its beneficiaries as modern-day Borgias grinning from ear to ear because they have taken one more calculated step toward imposing their will." Editorials also in New Jersey and West Virginia.
Washington Post: Super PACs dominate Republican primary spending
It's Washington Post's turn to look at super PAC spending. Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly: "When you think about the amazing impact that this small number of people have on deciding the election, on the information that people will have on who to vote for, it’s mind-boggling."
AP: In the super PAC era, do handshakes even matter?
AP analysis on the attack ads: "they have affected primary results more than other forms of campaigning, including personal appearances by candidates, stump speeches or town hall meeting." The Times looks at ad spending here.
WaPo: A defense of big money in politics
Richard Cohen's latest column brings out the over-used Eugene McCarthy example of why we should get rid of contribution limits.
Political Wire: Colbert super PAC backs Cain
The Colbert super PAC is backing Herman Cain--watch their new ad.
- And did Huntsman drop out because he didn't want to be compared to Colbert? Looks like it.
Jack Abramoff: Arch-villain, scapegoat, or something in between?
Stephen Erickson at Americans United to Rebuild Democracy writes: "Jack Abramoff spent four years in prison for his crimes and must pay a $44 million restitution, to Native American tribes and others. Meanwhile, the de facto bribes and extortions continue on and around Capitol Hill daily when Congress is in session, and elsewhere when it is not."
iWatch: Wyoming billionaire pledges half a million dollar matching contribution to Santorum "super PAC"
"A billionaire Wyoming investor has pledged to give up to a half-million dollars in matching funds to an outside spending group that supports Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum."
Politico: Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren call for super PAC cease fire
This is interesting: "Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren and Republican Sen. Scott Brown on Monday demanded a cease-fire of the third-party spending that’s certain to play a major role in this state’s pivotal Senate race" and they "will soon meet to try to craft an unusual pact to curtail the influence of so-called super PACs."
McClatchy: Banks flooding Romney's campaign coffers
"The country’s biggest banks are overwhelmingly supporting Mitt Romney’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a Charlotte Observer analysis of federal campaign contributions shows."
AP: Romney-Scrap campaign finance laws
Romney repeated his belief that we should hand over our elections entirely to the 1%, or something like that. He also said McCain-Feingold was a "disaster." McCain recently endorsed Romney. More on the exchange between Gingrich and Romney.
AP: Romney says he may release tax returns in April
"Romney did say that while he might be willing to release his tax returns, he wouldn't do so until tax filing time in April. And the multimillionaire former businessman didn't get much gratitude from his rivals for his halting change of heart." The NYT editorializes.
NYT: As Rick Santorum secured earmarks, 2006 donations flowed in
The Times looks at Santorum's earmarks and the campaign donations surrounding them.
Washington Times: Congress logs most futile legislative year on record
"It’s official: Congress ended its least-productive year in modern history after passing 80 bills — fewer than during any other session since year-end records began being kept in 1947."
Bloomberg: Casino Owner's Gingrich gift shreds court's logic
By Noah Feldman: On the Court's decision in Citizens United that there was no danger of corruption as long as the groups remained independent- "This was the loophole to end all loopholes."
The Hill: Pipeline foes press Congress with upcoming protest
"Environmentalists battling the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline are shifting their focus from the White House to pressuring what they call an oil-soaked Congress, a strategy that will be on display next week."
The Hill: Koch-backed group spends $6 million on anti-Obama Solyndra ad
I'm shocked that a group founded and funded by dirty energy tycoons would run an ad critical of clean energy programs.
The Hill: Industry groups to President Obama: leave federal trade agency alone
Trade groups are nervous about Obama's restructuring plan of the business agencies, specifically the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
MN Public Radio: Norm Coleman super PAC could influence Congressional races
Former Sen. Coleman is running a super PAC to help Congressional candidates. He's also an adviser at a lobbing firm, by the way. Anyone see any issues there?
The Capital Times: An agenda to reform Wisconsins's political process
From Wisconsin Common Cause's Jay Heck: "This state will not function effectively nor will its government have the confidence and support of its citizens if the political process continues to deteriorate and make a mockery of democracy and representative government. The process of reform and cleaning up state government must begin now."
WaPo: Walker recall organizers to submit petitions, but Wisconsin governor will be in New York
It looks like activists in Wisconsin have gathered more than enough signatures to force a recall elections for Gov. Walker, but he'll be in New York (fundraising?) when they submit them.
Election Law Blog: Quote of the Day
Must-read speech from Eric Holder on voting rights given on MLK Jr. day.