Clips Round-up for 5/30/12
Top story this morning from Politico: "Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations. ... The Republican financial plans are unlike anything seen before in American politics. If the GOP groups hit their targets, they likely could outspend their liberal adversaries by at least two-to-one, according to officials involved in the budgeting for outside groups on the right and left."
Roll Call reports today on a curious number of tariff bills introduced by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick that would specifically benefit a big donor. Here's PCAF's statement on the matter--dude shows why people don't trust Congress.
Other top stories today: Scott Walker raised $5.9 million in the past five weeks, Sam Stein on Republican efforts to paint Obama a "Wall Street stooge" with attack ads paid for by...Wall Street, and Montana Citizens United sequel will be on SCOTUS' docket June 14.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
ProPublica: New disclosure rules for political ads could take months
The FCC decision on ad spending disclosure was a win for transparency advocates, but it could take forever before it actually happens. "In effect, the delay in implementation means information on who is buying political ads, where, and for how much, will remain trapped in filing cabinets at TV stations through several crucial months of the presidential campaign (not to mention state and local campaigns)."
National Journal: DISCLOSE Act sparks dueling letters to senators
The Campaign Legal Center has responding to the U.S. Chambers misleading letter (shocking!) on DISCLOSE. The Portland Press-Herald editorializes in support of DISCLOSE.
Fosters Daily Democrat: Cleaning up Campaigns
Former Rep. (and current candidate) Carol Shea-Porter writes on her platform for reform, which includes disclosure, shareholder rights, and the Fair Elections Now Act.
Politico: Citizens United: Democracy for sale
CAPAF's Tom Perriello and Amy Rosenbaum write, "But this election cycle is showing us how a rigged democracy produces a rigged economy — and how the ironically named Citizens United decision now stacks the deck against the 99 percent of Americans still working too hard to make ends meet."
Mother Jones: No disclosure please, we're contractors
MoJo looks at Congressional efforts to keep contractor political spending secret.
Politico: Mitt Romney: Solyndra trumps Bain
"Still, Mitt Romney and a super PAC supporting him are giving Solyndra a try on the trail, unveiling ads that wield the $535 million energy loan scandal as a double-whammy: an indictment of big government spending and the answer to Romney’s private equity problem." Worth noting that a lobbyist bundler for Romney has lobbied for the same DOE loan program, for a company that has come under fire from Congressional Republicans.
BusinessWeek: AT&T chief fills GOP accounts after Democrats hit his
Such thin skin these rich folk have: "AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson lost $2.08 million in bonus pay after Democrats killed his bid to build the biggest mobile provider. Six weeks after the deal collapsed, he made his largest campaign donation in more than two decades of giving to Republicans."
WaPo: Mitt Romney's losing gamble on Donald Trump
Chris Cillizza questions why the Romney campaign would spend so much time raising money with someone like Donald Trump, a birther who's just a totally out-of-touch self promoter.
NYT: Campaigning tests Obama's staying power
Campaigning to keep his job, including attending lots of fundraisers, is taking over Obama's schedule.
MSNBC: Meet Mitt Romney's billionaire backers
Lawrence O'Donnell talks with Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson about the 16 people who have donated $1 million or more to Romney's super PAC.
NYT: Drug maker Endo gets input in House bill on generics
"One of the few bills moving through Congress with bipartisan support this spring would speed government approval of lower-cost generic copies of brand-name drugs. But one company, with help from an influential former congressman, is lobbying to protect its most lucrative brand-name product against generic competition and appears to have had some success in the House, potentially altering the bill to make it more favorable for the company."
CBS News: Romney to meet with Sheldon Adelson on Tuesday
Mitt Romney met for 45 minutes yesterday with former Gingrich sugar daddy Shel Adelson.
Politico: Super PAC timing raises questions
Some coincidences in ad timing from Romney and Obama campaigns and their super PACs. "Call it coordination or call it coincidence, but it’s clear there’s no robust mechanism, and little government appetite, to dissuade moneyed campaigns and super PACs from dancing near or around rules governing concerted activity and messaging which, strictly speaking, isn’t legal."
CNN: Wall Street ditches Obama, backs Romney
"Deep-pocketed financiers have abandoned President Obama and are flocking to Mitt Romney in droves, providing more donations to his campaign than any other industry except retired workers. (And that's not really an industry.)"
Miami Herald: The $50,000 mystery over the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, the RPOF and David Rivera
More trouble for Rivera: "Buried amid the records compiled in the recently concluded criminal probe of Republican Congressman David Rivera is a $50,000 mystery. Why did an obscure Republican organization pay $25,000 in 2006 to a defunct company founded by Rivera's mother? Why did a political consultant with close ties to Rivera receive another $25,000 on the very same day? And where did the money come from in the first place?"
Politico: Silvestre Reyes falls, Ralph Hall wins
Faced with spending from the Campaign for Primary Accountability, Rep. Silvestre Reyes lost his Democratic primary in Texas last night.
The Hill: Liberal group's ad hits GOP Sen. Heller for Wall Street ties
Sen. Heller is facing an ad from Patriot Majority for taking Wall Street money and doing the industry's bidding.
ArsTechnica: Silicon Valley donations to Obama reach record levels
"A quick dip into OpenSecrets.org, an online tool from the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that so far, the majority of employees from the rank-and-file of major Bay Area tech companies also go for Obama too."
NYT: Complaint claims Illinois Senator violated campaign finance law
More on the Mark Kirk story from yesterday. "It accused Mr. Kirk, 52, of improperly hiding fees and expenses to his then-girlfriend, Dodie McCracken, for her work during the race by funneling it through another company working for the campaign, the newspaper reported." Roll Call reports that this is a different situation than John Edwards.
The Hill: Bankrupt wireless firm LightSquared cuts employees, but not lobbyists
"Wireless startup LightSquared has laid off nearly half of its workforce and filed for bankruptcy, but isn’t parting with its extensive network of Washington lobbyists."