Clips Round-up for 7/12/12
Sen. Whitehouse has introduced a new version of the DISCLOSE Act that "would not require disclosure until these groups spend $10,000 or more in aggregate, and would also remove other pieces from the 2010 bill in a bid to streamline it and make it easier for companies and other groups to comply."
This weekend, Scott Brown said oil companies don't get subsidies. Guess who held a fundraiser for him two weeks ago? A BP lobbyist, Public Campaign Action Fund reports.
And a must-read analysis from USA Today on Romney's bundlers - there are at least 1,200 of them, 25% from the finance sector, and 90 have given $18.4M to Romney's super PAC. To be clear, this is all USA Today legwork and the campaign has still refused to release the list itself.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Roll Call: FEC gridlock no help to Obama campaign
"Despite repeated pleas to Obama from watchdog groups to strengthen or even appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission, the president had other priorities. Now Obama, swamped by unrestricted spending on behalf of his GOP opponent, has asked the FEC for help. But some reform advocates say it’s too little, too late."
Roll Call: Judges will rule on Texas voter ID
Eliza Newlin Carney looks at the Texas voter ID case. "The war over this election’s voting rules is heating up, drawing crowds this week to a closely watched federal court trial in Washington, D.C., where a three-judge panel is hearing arguments for and against a contested Texas voter ID law."
Asbury Park Press: Act to overturn Citizens United
"The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, allowing unlimited corporate spending to influence elections, has opened wide the door to an increasingly class-driven society dominated by precious few of the wealthiest people in the nation."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Political deceit: Big donors use the tax code as campaign cover
"Unfortunately, there is not much hope for FEC action to get rid of the pretense that these are social welfare organizations. At this point, Americans' best defense is to give the political messages spread by 501(c)(4) money the skepticism they deserve -- and to pressure Congress to reform this part of the tax code."
ProPublica: Broadcasters make emergency motion to block transparency rules
Broadcasters really don't like transparency: "The National Association of Broadcasters, an industry group representing television stations around the country, is asking a court to block the implementation of a new rule that will put political ad information online before it goes into effect next month."
NYT: Txt 4 Ur candidate
"Text-message political giving has the potential to transform the political process by democratizing fund-raising. Perhaps most important, it is one way to encourage grass-roots participation in political campaigns."
NYT: Partisanship disguised as charity
Editorial on ALEC's tax exempt status: "This outrageous situation has to be reversed."
Sunlight: Romney surging, but Obama well ahead in campaign cash
"Obama's advantage has been lost in media reports highighting the Republican nominee's $106 million June haul. Even Obama's campaign, including the president himself, has downplayed its financial advantage when it warns of being outspent by Romney and the Republican National Committee. For that to happen, Romney would have to best Obama by $39.5 million a month for each of the last four months of the campaign, which is $5 million more than the advantage Romney had in June."
Daily Voice: Michelle Obama to attend Stone Barns fundraiser
"First Lady Michelle Obama will return to Pocantico Hills this Sunday for a campaign fundraiser at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a campaign official said Wednesday."
WaPo: Money gap may not matter so much in November
Does the money gap matter? Washington Post looks into it. And Jamelle Bouie at the American Prospect says, "But at a certain point—particularly in presidential elections—it’s not clear whether an advantage or disadvantage means anything for the final outcome."
The Nation: Romney's donors share his love of offshore tax havens
"And perhaps not so mysteriously, some of the biggest abusers of offshore tax havens—along with some of the chief facilitators of this practice—seem to have gravitated to Romney’s re-election effort. Of the his campaign’s top eleven contributors, seven are financial firms with significant offshore tax haven activity."
AP: Cheney lends a bit of his star power
"Former Vice President Dick Cheney is using his popularity with Republican conservatives to give a boost to Mitt Romney, hosting a fundraiser for the party's likely nominee at a mountain valley resort as well as a private dinner at his Wyoming home." Tagg Romney did some fundraising this week, too. And he's headed to the Bay Area next weekend.
TPM: Dem Senate super PAC raises $5.4 million in 2nd quarter
"Majority PAC, a super PAC backing the Democratic Senate candidates and incumbents, announced Thursday that it had raised $5.4 million during the second quarter of 2012. The group has $4.6 million cash on hand."
Roll Call: Mehlman Vogel gasses up "Bus Force One" for GOP convention
"One K Street shop is taking to Tampa like rock stars, gassing up a luxury bus that it plans to use to ferry friends and clients to receptions during the Republican convention."
Denver Post: Colorado hottest political advertising market in country
"Three of the top four hottest advertising markets for political campaigns are in Colorado this week, NBC News reported Wednesday."
NBC Connecticut: Former Donovan campaign aide indicted
"A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Wednesday against the former finance director for the U.S. Congressional Campaign of state House Speaker Christopher Donovan."
Politico: Shelley Berkley stands by fight for kidney care
"Since allegations surfaced that Shelley Berkley’s advocacy on kidney care benefited her husband’s medical practice, the congresswoman has countered with one unwavering response."
Boston Globe: US Sen. Brown raises $5M in 2nd quarter of year
"U.S. Sen. Scott Brown raised about $5 million in the second quarter of 2012, less than the more than $8.6 million raised by Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren during the same three months."
WaPo: Mayor Vincent Gray new of campaign finance violations in January, sources say
"Mayor Vincent C. Gray knew in January that associates spent money on behalf of his successful 2010 election that was not properly reported, a violation of campaign finance laws, according to people with knowledge of the ongoing criminal investigation." Councilmembers Cheh, Catania, and Bowser have all called for his resignation.