Clips Round-up for 6/7/12
In response to the Wisconsin results, Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly told the Washington Post yesterday that, "This is just another example of big money winning. The strategic question is whether we just have people complain about it, or are we going to fix some of these problems in our campaign-finance laws? We need a serious, comprehensive plan to add a little democracy to our democracy." Other good stuff from us, Ilyse Hogue at CNN, NYT editorial, iWatch, Mother Jones, and Ezra Klein mentions Fair Elections and DISCLOSE.
This will be a bit of a shortened clips report as I'm on my way to Netroots Nation in Providence. Clips will resume again Monday.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Roll Call: House Ethics panel clears self
"The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it has cleared itself of wrongdoing during the buildup to the canceled ethics trial of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) after a nearly yearlong investigation by a specially hired outside counsel." NYT.
WaPo: Restrictive voting laws tied up in court
Read this: "Stricter ID laws and other controversial voting restrictions, passed this year by several Republican-controlled legislatures, are hitting legal roadblocks that could keep many of the measures from taking effect before the November elections." And Florida continues to defy federal law in its voter suppression efforts.
Politico: The return of Sheldon Adelson
#USAdelson: "Sheldon Adelson is back on the market with talk of giving at least $1 million — and possibly much more — to the Mitt Romney-affiliated super PAC Restore Our Future, POLITICO has learned." He's also in talks to fund a group to help Senate Republicans retake the majority.
Politico: Obama, DNC raise over $60 million in May
"President Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised over $60 million in May, the Obama campaign announced on Twitter Thursday." 572,000 people, 147,000 first-time donors, $54.94 average donation.
Politico: Obama spends record amount of time fundraising
"No, it’s not your imagination: President Barack Obama is spending a whole lot of time fundraising, perhaps more than any incumbent president in history." Including California.
Boston Globe: President Obama winning battle for small donors
"All the attention directed at the mega-donations that business titans are making in the race for the White House this year has eclipsed an equally critical aspect of the fund-raising war - courting the little guys. And in that boisterous battle of e-mails, celebrity-sponsored contests, and online credit card charges, President Obama is clearly winning."
ThinkProgress: Romney to attend fundraiser with billionaire accused of ducking millions in taxes
"2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will hit the fundraising circuit in Texas tomorrow, attending a fundraiser in San Antonio hosted by billionaire Billy Joe McCombs. Likely not on the table for discussion, though, is the fact that McCombs was ordered by the IRS to pay $44.7 million after using a scheme meant to avoid capital gains taxes."
Salk Lake Tribune: Romney's biggest backers to gather at Deer Valley resort
"Mitt Romney will be in Utah on Friday for a series of fundraisers for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But the real money behind the Romney campaign will be in Utah two weeks later, for an exclusive day-long retreat in Deer Valley."
Daily Beast: Dinners with Anna Wintour for Obama, Donald Trump for Romney: Rise of raffle fundraising
"The old-fashioned raffle is taking a central role in 2012 fundraising, with both Obama and Romney offering up events with themselves and celebs like George Clooney and Donald Trump as an easy, inexpensive way to lure small donors."
Politico: Lobbyist indicted for Harry Reid donations
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign received tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to his 2010 effort, according to the indictment Wednesday of a Nevada lobbyist. F. Harvey Whittemore of Reno faces four felony counts in connection with the alleged scheme to funnel funds to Reid. Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing." Shelley Berkley has disposed of these contributions.
Public Campaign: Jo Ann Emerson sides with broadcasters in transparency debate
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson sponsored a bill yesterday to defund the FCC initiative to add more transparency to political ads. Guess how much money she's received from broadcasters and their lobbyists?
Roll Call: Lawmakers unite to fight FDA cigar regulations
What can get bipartisan support these days? Protecting the cigar lobby.
Huffington Post: Political consultants in the age of super PACs see more opportunity than ever, win or lose
Wanna get rich? Become a political consultant.
iWatch: Are nuclear weapons contractor's millions in campaign contributions buying favors?
"Employees of private companies that produce the main pieces of the U.S. nuclear arsenal have invested more than $18 million in the election campaigns of lawmakers that oversee related federal spending, and the companies also employ more than 95 former members of Congress or Capitol Hill staff to lobby for government funding, according to a new report."
Washington Times: Congressional staffers, public shortchanged by high turnover, low pay
This sort of thing gives lobbyists and other interests more influence: "High turnover and lack of experience in congressional offices are leaving staffs increasingly without policy and institutional knowledge, a Washington Times analysis of a decade of House and Senate personnel records shows — leaving a vacuum that usually is filled by lobbyists."