Clips Round-up for 7/24/12
Sen. Durbin is holding a hearing today on "Taking Back Our Democracy" in his Judiciary Subcommittee. Head to Hart today if you can or watch online. Join in on Twitter with the hashtag #democracy4sale. Public Campaign's Susan Anderson will also live-tweet the hearing. Story from Gannett.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
AP: IRS to consider tightening election spending rules for nonprofits
"After more than a year of needling the Internal Revenue Service to tighten standards for election spending by nonprofit groups, advocates for campaign finance reform may have finally provoked the agency to make a change." LA Times, HuffPost.
TPM: Justice Department investigates Pennsylvania voter ID law
Ohh: "The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has launched a formal investigation into whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities, TPM has learned." And ProPublica provides, "everything you've ever wanted to know about voter ID laws"
Reuters: We need to make campaign finance a civil rights issue
Leo Hindery: "Before we as a nation succumb to the complete abandonment of fairness and balance in our election process, we need to stop the bleeding. Institutional investors, policymakers and voters alike should demand administrative policies, legislative action and voluntary steps by corporations to dramatically limit corporate political spending."
Roll Call: Blue chips mull move to K Street
Who's on K Street's wish list? Kate Ackley tells us. Lobbyist recruiter: "Anyone who’s doing either taxes or health care is walking gold. They are the most desirable animals in the forest and will be in the future."
Sunlight: Businesses give $33 million to super PACs
"Businesses have given more than $33 million to super PACs since the beginning of this campaign cycle, according to a Sunlight analysis of campaign finance reports. Trade unions gave at least $15 million in the same time period."
WaPo: How super PACs are saving Mitt Romney
"Republican-aligned super PACs and other outside conservative groups have spent more than $144 million on general election ads in swing presidential states, a huge outlay of cash that has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to not only combat but exceed heavy early ad spending by President Obama."
Politico: Solyndra players at Obama fundraiser
"Among the guests at President Obama’s fundraiser Monday night was Steve Westly, a venture capitalist and 2008 bundler who warned the administration in 2010 about its investment in Solyndra, the failed solar company that received $535 million in federal loan guarantees."
Spokesman Review: Both presidential campaigns head to Sun Valley for high-dollar fundraisers
"The presidential campaign is on its way to Idaho, with both the Republican and Democratic candidates planning major fundraisers in Sun Valley - within a two-day span."
Seattle Times: Obama to visit Seattle for Tuesday evening fundraisers
"President Obama will again tap the Eastside for cash Tuesday, attending a pair of evening fundraisers in Hunts Point and spending the night in Seattle."
KTLA: Mitt Romney in SoCal for fundraisers
"Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney returned to Southern California on Monday for a series of fundraisers." He's reportedly raised $10 million out there.
The Hill: Rep. McCarthy says colleagues lack spine to take on the NRA
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy on guns, the NRA, and money: "“A lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have a spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money."
Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Jim Renacci reverses course, says he returned campaign money at issue in FBI probe
Rep. Jim Renacci, weeks after another candidate did the same, returned campaign cash under investigation by the FBI. But, he only did it because he was getting hammered for it (not because it was the right thing to do, I guess): "Renacci wrote that he gave back the money sooner than planned to 'take that tool from your hands" and deprive her of a campaign issue.'"
The Hill: Lobbyists, GOP get cracking on "embryonic" energy platform
"GOP lawmakers, aides and an array of energy industry lobbyists huddled at Republican National Committee headquarters Monday to lay the groundwork for the party’s official energy platform at August’s national convention."
Roll Call: Behind the scenes, Norm Coleman raises cash
A great look at Norm Coleman's work for American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund. "As chairman of both the AAN and its affiliated super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, Coleman has been on the vanguard of raising and spending unrestricted money in the post-Citizens United era. He has the ear of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as a top foreign policy adviser to the former Massachusetts governor."
Roll Call: Bundlers give to both parties
"Candidates and party committees continue to rely on an elite network of lobbyists to bundle campaign contributions."
Mlive.com: Super PAC money enters Republican U.S. senate primary as group slams Pete Hoekstra
"A political action committee calling itself Prosperity for Michigan has spent $215,000 on anti-Pete Hoekstra commercials in the Grand Rapids television market, marking the first outside money to come into the Aug. 7 Republican primary."
Politico: Major PAC hitting Senate swing states
"The Democratic independent expenditure group Majority PAC is lauching a new round of ads in several Senate battleground states, strategists familiar with the group's plans tell me."
Mother Jones: Meet the front group leading the right against taxing the rich
Is the NFIB really the voice of small business, or just another front group like the US Chamber?
Politico: AFP's in a bind over Nevada rules on donor details
Oops: "But when AFP decided to wade into a Nevada Senate primary in June, it might have triggered a state law that could open its donor list to the public."
Bloomberg: Lawyers raking in cash as campaign spending hits record
"The five law firms specializing in presidential campaigns have been paid $50 million since 1999 by candidates, political parties and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending. As candidates forgo taxpayer campaign financing, which imposes spending limits, and dedicate unlimited sums to their races, the rate of payment is accelerating."
Dayton Daily News: Secret groups target Ohio Senate race
"Outside groups such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS are pumping millions of dollars into U.S. Senate races including Ohio’s, raising complaints among Democrats that independent, secretive PACs are distorting the election process with a seemingly unlimited flow of money from groups that do not have to disclose their donors."
PCAF Tumblr: Bouncy houses
Politico points out an Eric Cantor fundraiser tonight that features, "batting and pitching cages, arts & crafts, face painting, bouncy houses, live music and much more."
NYT: Cuomo is editing his years at state Attorney General
"Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, already drawing attention for its focus on secrecy, has now begun editing his record as New York attorney general, sending aides to the state archives to remove key documents from public view."
AP: Gov. Deal pays $3,350 to settle ethics charges
"Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal agreed Monday to pay $3,350 to settle three ethics complaints filed against him over his 2010 gubernatorial campaign."
Times Union: Lobbyists in swing of things at political golf fundraisers
"Summer in an election year means one thing — the political fundraising circuit has moved from Albany's clubs and restaurants to some of the finest golf courses around the state."