Clips Round-up for 4/6/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Capital Times: Ethics reforms needed for Congress
Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan is running for Tammy Baldwin's congressional seat and has a plan for reforming government, which includes the Fair Elections Now Act.
WXXI: Groups press Cuomo on campaign finance reform
Lots of work in NY this week: "Governor Cuomo promised in his State of the State message that he would try to reform the state’s campaign finance system. The governor is expected to release a bill later this month. A new coalition has formed to hold him to his word." On the press conferences in Binghamton and Buffalo.
Salt Lake Tribune: Efforts broaden to overturn Citizens United court case on super PACs
"A coalition of 11 state attorneys general has sent a letter to Congress, urging support for a constitutional amendment to overturn a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and labor unions to pour unlimited funding into election campaigns." Vermont Senate will vote on an amendment resolution today.
BNA: GOP-Leaning Group Seeks to Block Ruling That Could Disclose Funding of Political Ads (PDF)
"A Republican-leaning organization that sponsors political advertising asked a federal judge April 5 to stay a recent ruling, which could require it and other, similar organizations to disclose their donors."
WaPo: Romney using ethics exception to limit disclosure of Bain holdings
"Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, whose wealth has become a central issue in the 2012 campaign, has taken advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings." The Obama campaign responded, asking for the Romney campaign to release more tax returns.
LA Times: Democrats give corporations, lobbyists a role at convention
"But even as Democrats tout the three-day event in September as a populist gathering, organizers have found ways to skirt the rules and give corporations and lobbyists a presence at the nominating convention."
WSJ: Super PAC money stalled despite Obama greenlight
"Mr. Burton's super PAC, Priorities USA Action, and a companion nonprofit group was at the end of February about one-tenth of the way toward its goal of raising $100 million, struggling with inexperience and missteps against more successful super PACs supporting Republican candidates."
NYT: Republican committee fundraising has big turnaround
"Once teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and irrelevance, the Republican National Committee has raised more than $110 million over the past 15 months and retired more than half its debt, accumulating large cash reserves that could give Mitt Romney a critical boost later this spring as he intensifies his campaign against President Obama."
Mother Jones: Mitt Romney hires GOP super PAC guru and ex-corporate lobbyist
Romney has brought on Ed Gillespie, a former corporate lobbyist, as a senior adviser. Story also features a quote from PCAF's David Donnelly.
The Hill: Report: Romney adviser lobbied for individual mandate
"Mitt Romney's newest adviser lobbied for a national mandate that everyone have insurance two years before President Obama embraced the idea, The Washington Examiner reported Thursday."
ThinkProgress: After receiving $45,000 in meat industry cash, Rep. Steve King comes to pink slime's defense
Headline sort of says it all!
NPR: Family ties to Marriott heirs pay off for Romney
How the Marriotts are helping Mitt Romney.
HuffPost: Kraft drops membership in conservative group ALEC
Dropping like flies this week: "Under pressure from the advocacy group ColorofChange, Kraft Foods Inc. said Thursday night it would end its support for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative lobbying group that has backed state 'Stand Your Ground' gun laws." Unrelated to this, a story on Kraft's lobbying.
Courier-Journal: A vicious agenda
Louisville Courier-Journal op-ed on ALEC: "The work of ALEC goes far beyond 'pro-business' legislation like right-to-work laws and efforts to break public employees’ unions. Other model legislation that the group has advanced include bills targeting illegal immigrants and those that would limit voter participation by requiring photo identification cards."
WFPL: New super PAC will help McConnell re-election
"A Covington-based Super PAC has formed to aid Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in his 2014 re-election bid." 2014! It was reported recently that McConnell is already "spending hours nightly" dialing for dollars.
NaJo: Envy List: Highest paid lobbyists
So, who are the highest paid lobbyists in Washington? (The U.S. Chamber's tops the list--almost $1.7M.) And what about the heads of trade associations and unions?
Reuters: Voter ID laws spark heated debate before election
On CAP's new report on voter suppression efforts. More at The New Republic.
AP: Obama to make high court campaign issue
"President Barack Obama is laying groundwork to make the majority-conservative Supreme Court a campaign issue this fall, taking a political page from Republicans who have long railed against liberal judges who don’t vote their way."
NaJo: Brown to outside groups: Butt out of my Senate race
Scott Brown's campaign manager has a new memo up on their site: "No one should have any doubt about Senator Brown's commitment to the Pledge. Third party groups attempting to support Senator Brown's re-election that spend in Massachusetts while the Pledge remains in effect are hurting him and his campaign."
Politico: Republicans invade Silicon Valley
As tech companies start playing more in politics, they're also opening up their checkbooks to more Republicans.
Politico: Guess who's pushing for tax holiday?
The country's largest companies have been lobbying Congress for a tax holiday on their overseas profits. Here's how much: "A POLITICO review of annual reports and Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows that a dozen of the most vocal corporate critics of U.S. tax policy finished 2011 with more than $455 billion in cash, investments and other earnings held by foreign subsidiaries — up from $381 billion the year earlier."
Roll Call: Auto lobbyist's assembly-line perspective influences Hill outreach
A feature piece on Toyota's top lobbyist in Washington.
Washington Examiner: Hot water rising for Rep. Miller, son
"Rep. George Miller, D-CA, has cultivated a reputation for honesty and high ethical standards, but that image may suffer amid revelations about two cases in which he and his lobbyist son came to the aid of powerful campaign donors and troubled California companies."
Republic Report: Million dollar gifts accounted for half of super PACs money in 2011
Great new infographic from Republic Report on the big money behind super PACs.
CRP: Two years after mine disaster, coal lobby is still growing
CRP looks at coal industry lobbying on the 2 year anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.
Bill Moyers.com: The best Congress the banks' money can buy
"Here we go again. Another round of the game we call Congressional Creep. After months of haggling and debate, Congress finally passes reform legislation to fix a serious rupture in the body politic, and the President signs it into law. But the fight’s just begun, because the special interests immediately set out to win back what they lost when the reform became law."