Clips Round-up for 3/27/12
The Senate Rules Committee will hold a hearing on the DISCLOSE Act Thursday, featuring Democracy 21's Fred Wertheimer, Professor Rick Hasen, and David Keating from the "first amendment group" the Center for Competitive Politics.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
The Nation: Two SEC commissioners could dramatically change campaign finance
"Some campaign reformers have thus turned their attention to the Securities and Exchange Commission, urging it to pass a rule that all publicly traded companies must disclose political spending to shareholders—this would reveal exactly what business interests are trying to influence the election, and in the eyes of most experts, lead to dramatically reduced corporate electioneering." Huffington Post.
Connecticut Mirror: Advocates: Malloy plan "betrays spirit" of reforms
Public Campaign's Nick Nyhart and several others testified about Gov. Dan Malloy's suggested changes to the state's campaign finance law. Nick: "It certainly betrays the spirit of the law. Such a solution could bring us back to the days of Corrupticut." More at the CT News Junkie and an editorial from The Day.
Civil Beat: Judge confirms Hawaii can't limit "independent" campaign contributions
"A Honolulu federal judge confirmed Friday that the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission cannot limit contributions to political committees that solely make "independent" expenditures."
Great Falls Tribune: New arguments filed in campaign finance case
"The Montana attorney general's office filed new arguments Friday in the ongoing court battle over Montana's political spending restrictions, saying the state's ban on corporate campaign contributions is constitutional."
Campaign Legal Center: FEC reminded it has no authority to strike down contribution limits
"The Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed comments today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), reminding the commission that it has no authority to strike down statutory aggregate contribution limits, or any other laws passed by Congress, as requested by Advisory Opinion Request (AOR) 2012-14."
NYT: Rangel and his campaign to pay $23,000 fine over misuse of rent law
"Representative Charles B. Rangel and his campaign have agreed to pay a civil fine of $23,000 stemming from his use of a rent-stabilized apartment as a campaign office, according to Federal Election Commission records."
AP: Romney's fundraisers are quietly amassing millions
"The lack of transparency by the Romney campaign prevents voters from knowing who wields influence inside the GOP frontrunner's campaign and how their interests might benefit if he is elected."
Reuters: Romney scrambles to raise cash for Santorum battle
"Mitt Romney scrambled on Monday to raise campaign cash to help him fend off the lingering challenge from rival Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential nomination, and he acknowledged that the battle could extend into June."
Sun Herald: Small business advocates uneasy about Romney's super PAC
American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman: "Large contractors should not be able to fund Mitt Romney’s campaign. Large companies want every single dollar the government spends, and allowing them to contribute directly to a candidate’s campaign is the same as allowing them to bribe their way into lucrative contracts.”
USA Today: Gingrich charging supporters $50 for photos
"Newt Gingrich is starting to charge supporters for photos in a bid to raise money for his struggling campaign."
Politico: Romney's Wisconsin spending edge still powerful, but narrowing
"Mitt Romney no longer has the Wisconsin airwaves to himself, but he still has a nearly 4 to 1 advantage over Rick Santorum in the last week of the primary campaign, according to sources tracking the air war."
Politico: Karl Rove's fight club
On Karl Rove and his alliance of groups: "A coalition that helped Republicans retake the House majority in 2010 is back and plotting even bigger plans in 2012, with more money, more players — and more problems."
NaJo: Chamber, NAM may key vote oil subsidies legislation
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers both announced on Monday their opposition to legislation that would end tax incentives for some oil and gas companies and told senators they may consider a vote on the act on their annual legislative scorecards. "
Alternet: Republican Party is rotted and collapsing from within--and we can thank super PACs for exposing it
Steven Rosenfeld writes, "They are anti-democratic and turning the 2012 presidential campaign into an extreme sport for the wealthy, but they are destroying the modern Republican Party in the process. Call it the paradox of the Super PACs. "
The Hill: Defense lobby chief wants "eyes wide open" to impact of sequestration cuts
"The defense industry is counting on David Hess, the chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), to prevent the unthinkable. His mission: convince a Congress mired in partisan gridlock to work together — in an election year, no less — to reverse the hundreds of billions in sequestered defense cuts set in motion by the failure of the supercommittee last year."
NaJo: 16 lobbying groups among 130 parties that filed health care briefs
"In the lead-up to Supreme Court arguments over President Obama’s health care law, more than 130 parties filed amicus curiae briefs to the high court. Sixteen of them have disclosed lobbying on health care in the last year."
CRP: Stock Act advances transparency of financial disclosure by lawmakers
What else is in the STOCK Act? "But several huge improvements to the transparency of personal financial disclosure statements were also included in the bill, updating the 1978 Ethics in Government Act."
Minnesota Public Radio: Bachmann says McCain will help her retire $1M debt
"Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign says 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain is going to help her raise money and help retire $1 million in campaign debt. "
Politico: Jefferson loses bribery appeal
"Former Rep. William Jefferson – infamous for hiding $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer – lost his bid on Monday to overturn all but one of his corruption convictions."
WRAL: Scraps for the scrappy campaign finance program
Update on NC's Council of State public financing program.
Progressives United: "Wisconsin for Falk" undermines recall effort
Progressives United on a new super PAC to benefit Scott Walker's opponent: "Regrettably, as well intentioned as Wisconsin for Falk no doubt is, the impact it will have on the recall election will almost certainly be to undermine, not bolster, the chances of successfully replacing Scott Walker as governor. "
Des Moines Register: Review of lobbyist spending prompts House ethics meeting
"Lobbying groups’ ability to spend unlimited amounts of money for events that wine and dine lawmakers will be a focus of discussion Thursday at a House Ethics Committee Meeting."