Clips Round-up for 2/17/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Sheboygan Press: Disclosure needed on all campaign money
Editorial on disclosure: "At a time when information is becoming more and more available to the average person, it's more than ironic that we see attempts by state and national lawmakers to keep information about who is trying to influence elections from the voters."
Huffington Post: Politicial nonprofit investigation sought by Democrats
"Seven Democratic senators sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calling for an investigation into social welfare nonprofits that spend large amounts on direct political advertising." More at Politico.
Roll Call: Louise Slaughter, Tim Walz pres for STOCK Act conference committee
"The two original authors of a House bill to codify a ban on insider trading by Members and staff are pressing House and Senate leaders to move forward on the bill, versions of which have now passed both chambers."
NYT: Obama raised $29.1 million in January for his campaign and the DNC
"President Obama raised a total of $29.1 million for his re-election campaign and for the Democratic National Committee in January, he told supporters over Twitter early Friday morning, with most contributions coming in checks of $250 or less."
Politico: Obama to raise at least $8.6 million, mostly from big donors
"President Obama is expected to raise at least $8.6 million during his three-state western trip — with the bulk of that coming from high dollar donors at small, intimate gatherings."
NYT: A better way to buy politicians
Do read this op-ed on getting rid of McCain-Feingold in response to super PACs: "Doing so wouldn’t get rid of the role of money in American politics. But by channeling it back into the parties, it would reintroduce accountability to the system, the lack of which is what makes super PACs so pernicious." And then follow the #betterwaytobuypoliticians hashtag started by @daviddonnelly.
NPR: White House and Super PAC: How close is too close?
"President Obama's decision to have White House officials and Cabinet secretaries help raise money for a pro-Obama superPAC is raising questions."
Buzzfeed: Romney's "death star" on massive ad buying spree
"Friday was the biggest day yet for Mitt Romney's SuperPAC Restore Our Future, informally known as "The Death Star," which bought ads in eight states in an attempt to overpower Romney's surging rival, Rick Santorum."
The Nation: The .0000064 percent election
Ari Berman's latest: "At a time when it’s become a cliché to say that Occupy Wall Street has changed the nation’s political conversation—drawing long overdue attention to the struggles of the 99 percent—electoral politics and the 2012 presidential election have become almost exclusively defined by the 1 percent. Or, to be more precise, the .0000063 percent."
Roll Call: Van Hollen chief of staff leaving Hill
"C.R. Wooters, chief of staff to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), is leaving Capitol Hill to join Purple Strategies."
Politico: Rick Perry seeks OK to create super PAC
"Rick Perry is asking permission to use the cash he has left in his presidential campaign committee to start a PAC or a super PAC, according to a request filed this week with the Federal Election Commission."
The Hill: Lobbyists decertify after Obama ban
"More than 20 members of federal advisory committees canceled their registrations as lobbyists after the Obama administration banned K Street from the panels in 2009, according to a review by The Hill."
Sunlight Foundation: Embattled financial services chairman hits up friendly industry for campaign dollars
"Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., under investigation for possible violations of insider trading laws and facing a primary challenge over his close ties to the banking industry, will be seeking campaign help from that industry on Monday."
CNN: Trump dials donors for Romney
"Donald Trump lent some star power to Mitt Romney on Wednesday by opening his Roladex and placing fundraising calls with Romney."
ABC: Santorum's top super PAC donor suggests women should use aspirin for contraception
Yes, you read that right.
Denver Post: Colorado's swing-state status gives rise to super-PAC attack
"Colorado voters: Get ready for a bombardment. A deluge of money pouring into outside political groups means that voters in swing states will weather more door-to-door canvassers, more shiny pamphlets in the mail and way more negative commercials on television than in any other election in the nation's history."
The Atlantic: Occupy Wall Street now has a super PAC
"Embracing Occupy Wall Street means embracing the language of the 99 percent—even when you're filing for a super PAC. Today, an election lawyer tipped us off to a Federal Election Commission filing for a brand new super PAC: The Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee. It's the type of document that's typically stuffy and technical, but less so when the treasurer of the super PAC is an Occupy organizer. Note the mailing address that's listed above."
PC: Watchdog: Tipton should return contributions from SG Interests
Something we got out yesterday in Colorado: "Campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign called on Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Co.) to return thousands of dollars in contributions he received from the executives of SG Interests, a company being forced to pay a $275,000 fine as part of an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice."
Politico: Stephen Colbert super pAC has $815k on hand
"Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert’s super PAC has over $800,000 in the bank after raising $219,000 last month, almost entirely from small donors, and – just like a regular political committee – spent most of its cash on fundraising and consulting."
Politico: A string of Grimm headlines
"Freshman Michael Grimm can't buy a favorable headline these days."
Daily Herald: Super PAC targets Walsh in 8th district
"But as Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth try to lay claim to the high road, along comes a liberal super PAC that could lend a big hand to the eventual primary election victor by targeting 8th District Republican incumbent Joe Walsh of McHenry in the Nov. 6 general election."
The Hill: Rep. Berman denies encouraging super-PAC mentioned on his website
"When MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd asked Rep. Howard Berman about his super-PACs Thursday morning, the California Democrat took issue with the question. "No, it's not fair. I have no super-PACs. I have not been involved," he said."
Bipartisan group says campaign finance reform good for democracy
"A new bipartisan group is endorsing Governor Andrew Cuomo's call for a change in the way New York State politicians finance their campaigns. The group--NY Lead--includes some big names in business, like David Rockefeller and George Soros's son Jonathan Soros...and former elected officials from the democratic and republican parties. "
Examiner: Massachusetts joins the fight against Citizens United through Senate bill #722
"The landmark decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was decided by the Supreme Court in 2009. In three short years, outcry and condemnation for the decision is at a head in Massachusetts, resulting in the soon-to-be-voted-upon State Senate bill #772."