Clips Round-up for 6/4/12
An interesting BuzzFeed story on the donors not giving to Obama in 2012 that gave in 2008 - disillusionment with him and Congress, the economy, and feeling like small donations don't make a difference in the age of super PACs are all reasons given.
Other top stories: We found a super PAC donor hosting a fundraiser for Romney today in Portland, Peter Stone has more details on the Koch plans for 2012, $63.5 million has been spent in the Wisconsin recall race (Roll Call looks at the race too), and the cartoon of the day from Tom Toles.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: An invitation to keep money out of politics
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has this op-ed on the state's challenge to Citizens United. "IN Montana’s frontier days, we learned a hard lesson about money in politics, one that’s shaped our campaign-finance laws for a century and made our political system one of the country’s most transparent. " An editorial in Kentucky hits the same issue and the ability of states to decide their own laws.
UPI: Under the US Supreme Court: "Influence, gratitiude, access not corruption"
One of the lines from anti-reformers in the Montana case: "huge sums' being spent for independent expenditures do not involve any cognizable corruption. Only transactions involving a quid-pro-quo-corruption risk pose a cognizable corruption risk. ...Influence, gratitude or access are not corruption."
Politico: John Edwards case shines light on hard-to-enforce campaign finance laws
"If you’re a sketchy or careless politician with an urge to tempt campaign finance law – well, go for it. Odds are that you’ll get away with your misdeeds for years, dinged only by a paltry penalty - if any at all - well after the fact. And that’s assuming, perhaps foolishly, that today’s campaign laws are the same as those tomorrow." NPR and a story from AP on our "anything goes" campaign finance system.
LA Times: When is a campaign donation a bribe? Supreme Court may decide
Former Gov. Don Seligman's case may go to SCOTUS: "The Supreme Court is set to decide as soon as Monday whether to hear Siegelman's final appeal, which raises a far-reaching question: Is a campaign contribution a bribe if a politician agrees to do something in return, or is it to be expected that politicians will do favors for their biggest supporters?"
LAT: California offers Obama and Romney prime fundraising
"Mitt Romney and President Obama are spending a lot of time in California these days, and their well-worn paths illustrate the most important thing the state has to offer their campaigns for the White House. Money."
NYT: Whose welfare?
New York Times editorial on 501 c4s spending money in elections. "If the I.R.S. had stood up to this farce last year, it would have had a hugely beneficial effect on this year’s campaign. Though it needs more resources and better legal tools, it mostly requires the will to enforce the law. "
Seattle Times: Mitt Romney local fundraiser Monday: no media access, no details
Romney campaign being secretive about a fundraiser today: "Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will be visiting the Seattle area Monday for a fundraiser. But don't expect to hear or see much from the former Massachusetts governor."
Obama, Romney focus on fundraising today
"President Obama and Mitt Romney are scheduled to hold fundraisers today."
Huffington Post: Pity the poor billionaires
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship on the billionaire donors complaining about attention. "And the plutocrats cried all the way to the bank."
New Republic: When did conservatives change their mind about campaign finance disclosure?
Mark Schmitt: "Disclosure was waved as a talisman against actual regulation, but when disclosure is an actual option, conservatives treat it as a mortal danger to liberty." On the introduction of DISCLOSE, Public Campaign pulled together quotes of Republican Senators supporting disclosure.
Politico: Obama campaogn and Obama super PAC hold strategy session in Chicago next week
"Two different invitations for Obama-related events in Chicago next week have gone out, one for the campaign's national fiance committee, and the other for a 'reception and strategy conversation' for the super PAC Priorities USA Action."
CNN: Obama outspends Romney on online ads
"President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is spending record amounts of money for online advertising and more than twice as much as his Republican rival, a CNN analysis of campaign finance data shows."
WBIR: For TN lawmakers, high-end fundraisers are increasingly the norm
Great story on the many fundraising events Senators and House members from Tennessee are having. "As summer heats up and Election Day draws near, opportunities to hobnob with Tennessee lawmakers won/'t be hard to find. ... But the price tag isn't cheap."
SF Chronicle: Nancy Pelosi skilled in art of political warfare
Good interview with Leader Pelosi with some talk about 2012 fundraising.
HuffPost: Facing super PAC onslaught, Democrats take solace in 1970s campaign law
A very very thin silver lining for Democrats, I think: "Since the passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, candidates for office have been allowed to pay the lowest unit rate available for television and radio airtime in the 60 days prior to a general election. The discount doesn't apply to outside groups."
NYT: Rangel challenges proceedings that led to his censure
"As questions of ethics shadow Representative Charles B. Rangel in what has become a challenging bid for re-election, he is pushing for an examination of the House proceedings that led to his censure."
Politico: Mitt Romney's net worth: Up to $255M, according to filing
"Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s net worth is up to $255 million, according to a personal financial disclosure report filed Friday afternoon."
AP: Conn. House speaker: No one bought by influence
"A defiant and emotional Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan strongly denied Sunday that he had any knowledge of money trading hands in exchange for legislation as alleged by federal authorities who arrested the one-time finance director of his congressional campaign." Donovan has fired the staff involved, brought on a former Republican federal prosecutor to look at what happened, and Connecticut Citizen Action Group's Tom Swan to manage the campaign.
Plain Dealer: Renacci keeps the cash
A nice letter to the edtior hitting Jim Renacci for keeping $100,000 in possibly illegal campaign cash while the Republican Senate candidate has returned it.
Politico: Congress sets its sights on conventions
On public financing of conventions: "In the aftermath of Congress’s public shaming of the General Services Administration for throwing an $800,000-plus conference in Las Vegas, lawmakers find themselves squeezed between their rhetoric on fiscal responsibility and the festivities celebrating their presidential nominees — which is costing taxpayers more than $36 million."
Hartford Courant: Governor should veto bill that would discourage candidate debates
The Courant does not want Gov. Malloy to sign the transparency bill passed by the state legislature.
New Mexico Telegram: Dems take aim at new super PAC because of GOP involvement
"Some Democrats announced they were filing complaints with the Secretary of State’s office Sunday, alleging that the new Reform New Mexico PAC was illegally formed. The man at the center of it all is Gov. Susana Martinez’s top political strategist, Jay McCleskey."