Clips Round-up for 7/11/12
A must-read from the Albany Times Union on Gov. Cuomo saying his next issue will be reform: "But Cuomo's willingness to use his bully pulpit — a poll last month showed he is viewed favorably by 70 percent of the state's voters — elevates the issue above others that he has pushed for with less vigor, such as raising the state's minimum wage."
Amazing story out of local politics in DC yesterday: "A secret $653,000 effort funded by one of the District government’s most prominent contractors corrupted the 2010 mayoral race and helped Vincent C. Gray get elected, the city’s top federal prosecutor said Tuesday." Washington Post editorial.
And a great new piece from Lawrence Lessig in the Atlantic: "It is as if America ran two elections every cycle, one a money election and one a voting election. To get to the second, you need to win the first. But to win the first, you must keep that tiniest fraction of the one percent happy. Just a couple thousand of them banding together is enough to assure that any reform gets stopped. "
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
TPM: Holder calls voter ID laws "poll taxes"
"Attorney General Eric Holder deviated from his prepared remarks during a speech before the NAACP on Tuesday and called voter ID laws 'poll taxes.'"
Courier-News: Unlimited money the root of political evil
Editorial in New Jersey: "Let the legal experts debate whether Citizens United was the 'right' interpretation of First Amendment protections. It was nonetheless the wrong decision for the nation. The road to a constitutional amendment is long and daunting, but this is one journey that must be attempted."
Campaign Legal Center: RNC Court challenge to aggregate contribution limits opposed by reformers
"Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed an amici brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to defend the aggregate contribution limits against a challenge brought by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Shaun McCutcheon."
New Yorker: The strange history of campaign finance reform
Jill Lepore writes: "The saddest part of this news isn’t that the Obama campaign is likely to be outspent; it’s that the Obama campaign has no position on the problem of money in elections." Ouch.
WSJ: Political spening by unions far exceeds direct donations
"Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis." Not so fast, WSJ. A response from the AFL (and here), Daily Kos, and Jason Linkins at HuffPo.
Boston Globe: Mitt Romney plans two London fundraisers on the eve of the Olympics
"On the eve of the Olympic Games, Mitt Romney is planning two separate fundraising events in central London hosted by a variety of banking industry officials, according to copies of the invitations obtained by the Globe." It's his second fundraising trip to London this cycle. Obama has yet to do a fundraising trip abroad (this cycle), but other campaign staff have. And he'll hold one in Jerusalem at the end of the month too.
Business Insider: Dick Cheney to host exclusive dinner for Romney in Jackson Hole
"Fresh off of his weekend in the Hamptons, Mitt Romney is hosting another round of swanky fundraisers this week, this time with high-dollar donors and well-heeled socialites of the Mountain West."
Politico: Obama heading back to California for campaign cash
"President Obama is scheduled to do another West Coast fundraising swing later this month, according to the San Jose Mercury News." Going to Portland too.
PCAF Tumblr: First Lady fundraising with James Taylor
James Taylor will perform at a fundraiser with Michelle Obama in August.
Daily Caller: Walker to attend Romney victory fundraiser
"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is coming to D.C. on Wednesday as the special guest of a Mitt Romney Victory fundraiser at the City Club of Washington, Politico reports."
Roll Call: Prospective Mitt Romney running mates draw income from many sources
"As the Romney campaign closes in on its vice presidential pick, it is considering a governor who holds more than $100,000 in royalty rights to Listerine mouthwash, another who accepted more than $123,000 in gifts and travel last year, and a Senator who is paying off loans on a band of pickup trucks."
Washington Examiner: Tariff waivers open floodgates of dollars for sponsors
"At least 59 members of Congress have received almost $600,000 in total contributions since 2009 from companies that are beneficiaries of MTBs they are sponsoring."
NYT: House ethics committee clears Buchanan in part of finances case
Vern Buchanan isn't totally off the hook: "The House ethics committee on Tuesday dismissed allegations that Representative Vern Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, failed to properly disclose some of his financial holdings, but it is continuing to examine a more serious set of accusations against him centering on possible campaign finance violations." The Hill, Roll Call.
Politico: Former Giffords opponent, Jesse Kelly, joins Citizens United
"Former Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, who last month lost in his special election bid to replace Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), will join conservative advocacy group Citizens United as an executive, POLITICO has learned."
Reuters: House Democratic super PAC raised $4.3 million in Q2
"House Majority PAC, a "Super PAC" aimed at helping elect Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives, said Tuesday it raised $4.3 million in the second quarter of 2012, a notable jump from the first three months of the year."
Roll Call: American Crossroads' $70 million Senate blitz
"American Crossroads and its sister organization are poised to inject up to $70 million into the battle for the Senate on behalf of Republicans."
Bloomberg: Corporate exodus continues from policy group
Five more groups have left ALEC: "The companies are Deere & Co., CVS Caremark Corp., MillerCoors LLC, Hewlett-Packard Co., and Best Buy Co. Inc., according to ColorofChange.org."
Washington Post: Obama campaign shrugs off reports of Romney's fundraising advantage
"The Obama campaign on Tuesday shrugged off reports showing that Republican challenger Mitt Romney outpaced the president by $35 million in contributions last month, even after firing off a dire message to donors warning of defeat in November if fundraising doesn’t improve."
WaPo: As fundraising for the DNC comes up short, some blame Jim Rogers
"So with less than two months left before the kickoff and people with knowledge of the operation saying that just over half of the money needed has been collected, some are starting to cast blame. Those fingers are being pointed at the business executive long seen as the convention’s greatest potential rainmaker."
Politico: Pro-lesbian super PAC debuts
"Following President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage and an election cycle in which the 'war on women' has taken center stage, a new pro-lesbian super PAC is planning to raise $1 million to invest in races around the country." Interesting tidbit: one of the supporters is the daughter of Joe Ricketts, the wealthy Republican donor.