Clips Round-up for 5/9/12
Public Campaign Action Fund and Democracy Corps will be releasing new polling today (previewed in The National Memo this morning) showing that swing voters are ready to reward candidates that make money-in-politics a campaign issue, support alternatives to our current system, and believe that money in politics is not a distraction from the economy--it is the economy. Look for it tomorrow or on www.campaignmoney.org a little later today.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
CT Mirror: Legislature splits with Malloy over campaign bill
There will be more to come on this: "The Connecticut Senate gave final approval early Wednesday to what the national advocacy group Common Cause said would be the strongest campaign-finance disclosure law in the United States."
Politico: FEC leans toward helping Feinstein
" Sen. Dianne Feinstein may soon be able to ask top donors for more cash to make up for the millions allegedly embezzled from her campaign."
HuffPost: Democratic Donors' 2012 campaign strategy is heavy on ground, light on air
More on wealthy Dem donors focusing on grassroots groups over the air war: "Key players in the progressive universe have reached the conclusion that the 2012 elections can be won only with a gamble. Rather than match conservative groups dollar-for-dollar in television ad campaigns, they will invest their more limited resources in building up a grassroots infrastructure designed to get out the vote. " More at NYT, WaPo, and criticism from Jonathan Chait.
Roll Call: Democrats far behind in super PAC money
Related to above: "For Democratic super PACs struggling to catch up with their cash-flush GOP counterparts, the news that financier George Soros will soon give $2 million to a couple of progressive groups comes as small consolation."
Politico: Romney to hold fundraiser at oil billionaire's home
"Mitt Romney will hold a fundraiser tomorrow night at the Oklahoma home of oil billionaire Harold Hamm, his chief energy adviser on his campaign and an executive who, according to Forbes, sees his profits rise as the per-barrel price of oil tops $50 a barrel."
Change Nation: One of Mitt Romney's big campaign donors is bankrupting senior citizens
"Today billionaire Sam Zell really showed senior citizens he doesn’t care about them. He didn’t even bother to show up for the board meeting of one of his companies, Equity Life Style Properties (ELS). So he wasn’t there to hear senior citizens tell shareholders to stop trying to bankrupt them with ever-increasing rents that are depleting their retirement savings."
HuffPost: Small donors flee House Republicans, flock to House Democrats in first quarter of 2012
Interesting analysis from Paul Blumenthal on small donor fundraising in the first quarter. Democrats are winning.
WaPo: Biden comments on same-sex marriage expose internal White House divisions
Interesting tid-bit: "About one in six of Obama’s top campaign 'bundlers' are gay, according to a Washington Post review of donor lists, making it difficult for the president to defer the matter. "
ThinkProgress: Romney to fundraise with Plan B maker despite announcing emergency contraception as "abortive pills"
Fundraising can be awkward: Romney is holding a fundraiser at the Florida home of Phil Frost, the chairman of the company that makes Plan B emergency contraception, which he was said negative and untrue things about. Related story on his Florida fundraising
Politico: Real estate bust sank GOP fundraising
"Four years after a presidential race that flooded American politics with more than $800 million in itemized contributions, high-dollar donations in the Republican presidential primary are down 25 percent through March, most visibly at the epicenters of the housing crash."
Republic Report: Bank lobbyists coordinated "Tea Party" challenge to Senator Lugar
With Lugar's loss last night in Indiana, it's important to note that the bankers had it out for him.
CNN: In statement, Lugar defends campaign while criticizing partisan environment
After his loss last night, Lugar had this to say as part of his statement: ""I also knew from the races in 2010 that I was a likely target of Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and other Super Pacs dedicated to defeating at least one Republican as a purification exercise to enhance their influence over other Republican legislators.""
Roll Call: Dick Lugar's K Street ties couldn't salvage his primary fight
"Sen. Dick Lugar’s K Street ties run deep and include a network of loyal former aides and family members. But the help of his downtown supporters wasn’t enough to push the Indiana Republican to victory Tuesday."
PCAF Tumblr: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) gets questioned
At a townhall meeting, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick got questioned about the big money fundraiser he attended in Key Largo, FL. And, um, he didn't know what to say.
National Journal: Holding, and his super PAC, win NC's 13th district GOP primary
"The presidential candidates' super PACs get all the attention, but super PACs focused on individual House races started the year with a victory Tuesday night, as ex-U.S. Attorney George Holding won the Republican primary in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District."
Politico: Cantor distances himself from super PACs
LOL: "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sought to distance himself Tuesday from the YG Action Fund, a super PAC run by two of his former top aides, another example of the discomfort elected lawmakers have with the big money groups." Or, as Dave Weigel notes, "I have nothing to do with that super PAC my former aides work for."
Roll Call: New York: Super PAC takes aim at Charlie Rangel
"The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a nonpartisan super PAC that has successfully targeted incumbents this cycle by supporting primary challengers, will next turn its substantial financial resources against longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)." NYT.
Gawker: Stephen Colbert gives us another lesson in the scummy tactics of super PACs
Funny Stephen Colbert piece on super PACs and donor secrecy.
ThinkProgress: Paul Ryan suggests we need to shred America's safety net because rich people give politicians money
For the life of me, I can't really figure out what Rep. Paul Ryan is trying to say here. If only he was as articulate about campaign finance as the Campaign Legal Center's Paul Ryan!
Washington Post: Wrangling over anti-bribert law rages on, with top firms facing investigation
"Corporate America has mounted a well-funded lobbying campaign in recent years to persuade Congress to make changes to the law, known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. That effort now appears stalled amid the outcry over allegations that Wal-Mart engaged in rampant bribery of officials in Mexico."
PCAF Tumblr: Cartoon of the day
Cartoon clarifying recent changes to our electoral system.
The Hill: Sen. Bingaman's "consultant" was a lobbyist
"A lobbyist for a generic drug company was introduced as a special consultant to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) during negotiations on patent law, according to others who attended the meeting."
Politico: Apple's DC lobbying effort has yet to ripen
"In the first three months of this year, Google and Microsoft spent a little more than $7 million on lobbying and related federal activities combined. Apple spent $500,000 — even less than it spent the year before."