Clips Round-up for 4/20/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
YNN: Campaign finance reform
"As state officials consider an overhaul campaign finance laws and possibly restrict notoriously high contribution limits, Speaker Sheldon Silver says he may get behind a bill that would public financing the next state comptroller's race in 2014 as an experimental program. He's backing the bill alongside a broader measure to publicly finance political campaigns." We're still looking for a comprehensive bill--not comptroller only--just like the Assembly has passed in previous sessions. And, Public Campaign's Nick Nyhart and Citizen Action NY's Karen Scharff spoke on The Capitol Pressroom yesterday.
AP: Vermont wants PAC law reversed
"The Vermont House on Thursday passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to start the process of changing the federal Constitution to reverse a Supreme Court decision that expanded the rights of corporations to influence political campaigns."
Boston Globe: Sen. hopeful Warren: Corporate disclosure needed
"Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is planning to join Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren to call for federal legislation requiring better disclosure of corporate campaign contributions."
WaPo: Financial reports to show how much cash left for candidates, "super" PACs since Super Tuesday
"For the first time since the Super Tuesday primaries, voters are getting a look at just how much money presidential candidates and their supporters have been raking in. And whether big-dollar donors are heeding President Barack Obama’s belated call for supporting an independent political action committee." AP.
WaPo: Obama '08 campaign failed to disclose $2 million in contributions, FEC audit finds
"The Obama campaign did not disclose nearly $2 million in donations ahead of the 2008 elections, according to an audit by the Federal Election Commission released Thursday," but "The contributions appeared on regular disclosure filings made after the election." Politico.
Reuters: Rove rides again, as a force behind Romney
"Perhaps no one, besides Romney himself, will have a greater influence on the course of the Republican presidential campaign this fall than Rove, the brash, often-controversial architect of Bush's two successful bids for the White House."
NYT: Money rules in Washington politics
New York Times editorial on Obama and White House visitors and Romney already inviting donors to post-election events. It concludes: "The candidate who truly wants to impress voters would put an end to special-access retreats for big donors and would promise not to check a donation list when granting White House access. Mr. Obama, in particular, promised in 2008 to fix a “broken” public financing system that allows oversize donations. He opted out of the system, and the country is still waiting for that promise to be fulfilled."
Crossroads groups: $100 million raised so far this cycle
"American Crossroads, the pro-Republican super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, and its nonprofit affiliate Crossroads GPS, will announce $100 million raised for both so far through the 2012 cycle, officials told POLITICO."
The Atlantic: Constant fundraising: the other campaign-finance problem
"Advocates of campaign-finance reform often talk about the undue influence that money has on politics, and that is certainly a significant problem. But the amount of time legislators spend asking for money rather than doing their job is itself problematic."
iWatch: Crossroads political machine funded mostly by secret donors
"Sixty-two percent of funds raised by two conservative groups associated with former Bush adviser Karl Rove have come from mystery donors, a statistic that shows the increasingly important role being played by nonprofits in a post-Citizens United political world."
PCAF Blog: CEO of closed factory Mitt Romney visited is a donor to his campaign
Mitt Romney visited a factory closed in 2008 to bash President Obama's economic policies. The owner of the company that owned it? A Mitt Romney donor.
WSJ: Obama campaign raffles off dinner at George Clooney's house
"Not everyone can afford the price of a ticket to President Barack Obama’s fundraiser at actor George Clooney’s house next month. But for a measly three bucks you, too, can have the chance to clink glasses with Barbra Streisand and make small talk with Hollywood uber-executive Jeffrey Katzenberg."
Sunlight: The X-factors? Lesser-known super PACs could have big impact in fall congressional races
"While the super PACs supporting presidential candidates have been in the spotlight in the early months of the campaign season, a number of lesser-known -- but potentially as influential -- super PACs are emerging. Filings that came in over the weekend at the Federal Election Commission featured a number of heretofore unsung super PACs, many formed for the purpose of influencing a specific House or Senate election."
Sheboygan Press: Paul Ryan building huge money pot for re-election
"After collecting $732,218 from January through March, Ryan now has more than $5 million to spend on his re-election campaign in the fall. A Center for Responsive Politics analysis shows 57 percent of the contributions of $200 or more Ryan has collected since January 2011 have come from outside the state."
Roll Call: Drugmaker's eyelash fight reaches Congress
"The company behind Botox is lobbying Congress to make it harder for cosmetics makers to compete with a $100 million-a-year drug it markets to thicken eyelashes."
Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Bay State members of Congress keep reeling in PAC contributions
"Massachusetts congressional candidates are relying heavily on contributions from political action committees as they face campaigns in sometimes dramatically redrawn House districts."
Politico: Elizabeth Warren: Scott Brown is Wall Street's buddy
"Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday attacked Sen. Scott Brown as a friend of Wall Street, charging the Republican has repeatedly voted against the middle class and for the 'richest and most powerful among us.'"
NPR: Why lobbyists dodge calls from Congressmen
Great NPR story: "We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money."
Buzzfeed: More than $200,000 "missing" from Huntsman PAC
"The Utah political action committee formed to launch Jon Huntsman’s bid for president made more than $200,000 in payments to a phantom company, one of Huntsman’s consultants told BuzzFeed Thursday."
"We the people" peteition site the newest tool in K Street lobbying repertoire
"A White House petition site designed for the public has become a handy lobbying tool for interest groups in Washington."
Politico: CAPE PAC raises red flags among Republicans
There's a scammy-looking super PAC that is making Republicans angry.
In These Times: Labor and the primary season: AFL-CIO super PAC will focus on GOP
"Labor-backed challenger could win House seat in NYC, but nationally, unions will hold fire for GOP opponents."