Clips Round-up for 4/26/12
CRP breaks down the trends in first quarter fundraising for House races. Worth a read!
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
North Country Public Radio: Still to come: campaign finance reform, possible min wage increase
From NY: "Governor Cuomo says he has some goals for the rest of the legislative session, including reforming the campaign finance system and possibly raising the state's minimum wage."
The Atlantic: The last best change for campaign finance reform: Americans Elect
Lawrence Lessig's latest: "We cannot afford this silence now. We can't afford to wait. We must find a way to put this issue into the center of this presidential campaign. And the only way to do that just now is the most misunderstood movement in this election cycle so far -- Americans Elect. "
CRP: Senate Electronic Filing--If everyone loves it, why hasn't it happened?
There was a Senate hearing yesterday on Sen. Tester's bill to require Senator's to join the 2000s and file their fundraising reports electronically.
Politico: Make them public: Put broadcasters' files online
All eyes on the FCC tomorrow: "But a Federal Communications Commission vote on Friday may finally push broadcasters into the 21st century. After a decade of dragging its feet, the FCC seems poised to force stations to put this public information online — where the public can actually find it."
Current TV: The War Room with Jennifer Granholm
I joined Republic Report's Lee Fang on The War Room last night to talk billionaires and 2012 spending.
WaPo: Americans hate super PACs. But will they vote against them?
A good question from the Washington Post: "It’s a pretty easy call for Americans to suggest that powerful outside groups lead to corruption; it’s another matter for that belief to get them to swing their vote to the other side based on the actions of one group."
iWatch: Top 10 donors make up a third of donations to super PACs
"Of the top 10 donors to super PACs so far in the 2012 election cycle, seven are individuals — not corporations — and four of those individuals are billionaires."
The Hill: Koch-backed group to hit Obama with latest energy ads
"Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative group funded partially by the billionaire Koch brothers, will unveil its latest advertising campaign that takes aim at President Obama’s energy policies Thursday."
HuffPost: Charlie Black, informal Mitt Romney adviser and top GOP lobbyist, helping Walmart
As Roll Call reported yesterday, Walmart is scrambling its lobbyists to deal with the Mexico scandal--and one of them is an adviser to the Romney campaign. PCAF's David Donnelly: "Like with John McCain, it's clear that lobbyists will play a big role in Romney's campaigns -- as advisers, big money bundlers, and donors. It's important to look at what influence these lobbyists and their clients will have in crafting Romney's policy on the campaign trail and if he makes it to the White House." NYT has more on the Walmart story.
Roll Call: Members continue to tap campaign accounts for legal help in ethics cases
"The re-election campaigns of Members involved in ethics inquiries and other legal matters paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees during the first quarter of the year to help sort out the lawmakers’ affairs, depleting valuable financial resources heading into an increasingly competitive general election cycle."
The Hill: Romney fundraiser: Donors "coming out of the woodwork"
"Mitt Romney's fundraising has skyrocketed since he became the de facto nominee, a top Romney fundraiser told The Hill Wednesday evening."
ABC: White House responds to RNC complaint that president is campaigning on taxpayer dime
The RNC filed a complaint with the GSA aleging Obama is wasting taxpayer money by taking trips that are campaigning. The White House, of course, denies this. Just for fun.
HuffPost: Dean Heller accused of oil "hypocrisy" by Democrats
Sen. Heller votes with Big Oil in the Senate and then bashes the industry on the campaign trail. DSCC: "Dean Heller is using election-year rhetoric to try [to] hide the fact that, in Washington, Heller votes to protect his Wall Street and big oil contributors who get rich driving up gas prices at the pump."
AP: 6 reasons it's the Year of Big Money in politics
This is about right: "Sure, there's always handwringing about money in politics. This time really is different, though - the first presidential race since the courts changed the rules, clearing the way for secret cash and freeing billionaires and businesses to write multimillion-dollar checks for their favorite candidates. It's the Year of Big Money."
Bloomberg: Money won't win presidency, but it might buy Congress
Interesting piece from Ezra Klein: "But how many people do you know with a strong opinion on their congressman? Or on his or her challenger? Do you even have a strong opinion on your congressman? That’s the kind of “low- information” race where money can have a big impact."
WaPo: Most independent ads for 2012 election are from groups that don't disclose donors
"Politically active nonprofit groups that do not reveal their funding sources have spent $28.5 million on advertising related to the November presidential matchup, or about 90 percent of the total through Sunday, a Washington Post analysis shows."
Politico: Romney's finance events through May: Twenty-plus
"Mitt Romney's campaign has set a breathtaking schedule for finance events for him over the next month, according to a schedule obtained by POLITICO - with at least fifteen different cities put on his calendar between April 30 and the last day of May."
NY Mag: Sorry Breitbart, Obama and Fallon didn't violate the equal-time rule
This guy isn't buying Breitbart.com's claim that Obama broke the law by appearing on Jimmy Fallon.
The Atlantic: The corruption law that scares the bejesus out of corporate America
In light of the Wal-Mart scandal, a good piece on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Important to remember that companies have been working to weaken it.
Politico: House elections: frosh rainmakers help fellow rookies
"Freshman Republicans, meet your rainmakers. A circle of House Republicans have kicked major campaign cash to their colleagues — a strategy that’s helped many other lawmakers build up their political capital for the long run."
The Hill: Sequestered cuts keep K Street on high alert
On the sequester cuts: "Defense contractors, healthcare groups and associations representing everything from housing to education reported that they were monitoring, and in some cases opposing, the budget cuts that are set to begin next year. The cuts were set in motion by the agreement to lift the debt ceiling last summer."
CNN: Gingrich super PAC navigates the wilderness
"Winning Our Future, the super PAC backing Newt Gingrich, isn't quite sure what to do with itself these days."
The Nation: Rep. Brad Miller speaks out on why he hasn't hired for mortgage fraud task force
Advocates thought Rep. Brad Miller would be perfect for the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities working group, and it looked like the process was moving forward, but all of the sudden--he didn't get the job. Why? "[One reason] was that Republicans were watching the work of the task force very closely and very critically, and that they would oppose my playing that role. And presumably they would be speaking for the industry,” said Miller.
AP: Inslee a meticulous manager of campaign cash
"Throughout 25 years in politics, [Jay] Inslee has meticulously managed his campaign cash while relying heavily on his closest allies rather than average voters, according to an Associated Press review of more than 1,000 pages of campaign finance records, some of which are now only available on microfiche in the state's archives."
Dallas News: Texas accidentally released personal data in voter ID case
Texas was fighting DOJ's call for the release of deliberations by the legislature over the voter ID case, but they, unbelievably, had a pretty easy job releasing voters' Social Security numbers: "The state attorney general's office accidently provided the Social Security numbers of Texas voters to opposing lawyers as part of a voter ID case, but none of the data leaked out, a top state attorney said Wednesday."