Clips Round-up for 7/5/12
At the top of the clips today: The New York Times Magazine published "Can the Democrats Catch up in the Super-PAC Game?" an excellent look behind the scenes of today's super PAC fundraising via the Obama-backing Priorities USA Action and its struggle to keep up with well-heeled conservative super PACs. Apparently, their fundraising strategy involves Paul Begela and Bill Burton on a yacht in Texas "wearing jeans and bearing iPads" while drinking Michelob Ultra with their fundraising targets.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Sunlight Foundation: Feds order online posting of political ad info next month
Dark money will get a little less dark on August 2, when TV stations in the country’s 50 biggest media markets will begin posting information about political ads—even by secretive 501(c)4 groups—online.
U.S. News and World Report: Supreme Court Ruling Lets Politics Go Up for Sale
ACLU general counsel Frank Askin “spoke recently with U.S. News about the campaign finance system and why he thinks unregulated donations are putting too much power in the hands of those with deep pockets.” This is interesting as the official ACLU position still seems to be in favor of the Citizens United ruling and against many attempts to overturn it.
The Imperial Republican (Neb.): ‘Dark money’ taints politics
“Rather than being so worried about ObamaCare, our Congressional representatives should instead be attacking the 2010 Citizens United ruling.”
Washington Post: Presidential fundraising down; congressional soars
Without 2008’s well-financed presidential primary amongst the Democrats, presidential spending this far in the cycle is down—even considering super PACs—according to the FEC. Meanwhile, congressional races have seen far more money than 2008.
Salon: When Romney beat campaign finance caps in 2004
Alex Seitz-Wald takes us on a flashback to Mitt Romney’s fundraising for governor in 2004: “Romney’s campaign finance tactics this year, including heavy reliance on a super PAC during the GOP primary to bury his competition in negative ads, and his refusal to reveal bundlers, can trace their roots to earlier efforts to push the envelope of campaign finance laws.”
Mother Jones: America's Most Patriotic Super-PACs
To celebrate July 4th, Mother Jones takes us on a tour of some of the most patriotically named super PACs.
Boston Globe: GOP winning race for funds
"The top “super PACs’’ supporting Republicans in the fall elections have raised more than three times as much money as super PACs aligned with Democrats, $158 million to $47 million, a Globe analysis shows." Meanwhile, Jim Geraghty of the National Review offers a contrarian take based on expenditures-to-date rather than fundraising.
Huffington Post: July 4th: If Only ...
If John Adams were alive today to see the fallout from Citizens United v. FEC, would he revise his quote "Power must never be trusted without a check” to "Power must never be trusted with a check”?
The Atlantic: Obama's Awkward Dance on Campaign Fundraising
"The president is caught between his disdain for Citizens United and his need for cash, between populism and the importance of big donors."
National Institute on Money in State Politics: Money, Incumbency, and Competitiveness in 2009-2010 State Elections
Two new reports released by NIMSP reveal that, among other things, “A robust public funding program for legislative candidates is one of the strongest predictors of high rates of monetary competitiveness.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: Voter ID law may hit more in Pa. than originally estimated
Over 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania--9.2 percent of the state's population--do not have the photo IDs they will need in order to vote in November, including 18% of those in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. The Brennan Center's Lawrence Norden takes to CNN to urge everyone to fight back against restrictive voting laws and push to modernize the voter registration system.