Clips Round-up 8/2/12
Great press conference yesterday on the House side. Watch Public Campaign Action Fund's Nick Nyhart give his speech after being introduced by Leader Pelosi. Here's how HuffPost summed it up: "The House Democratic leadership stepped out of the Capitol on Wednesday to offer their full support for a package of proposed electoral reforms, including a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision."
And CRP has released its estimated cost of the 2012 election: "The Center predicts, based on data from 18 months of fundraising and spending, that the elections will cost $5.8 billion, an increase of 7 percent from the 2008 cost of $5.4 billion. But outside spending, which is soaring while presidential candidate spending declines, is a wild card that makes predictions tricky."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
NYT: Further review for secret donations
"Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service is, at last, promising to review and consider changing 50-year-old rules governing the limits of political activity for social welfare nonprofits that enjoy exemptions under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code."
Release: Massachusetts becomes seventh state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United
"The Massachusetts House voted late last night by voice vote to pass a resolution supporting an amendment, following in the footsteps of the state Senate’s bipartisan passage of the resolution via a 35-1 vote last week."
PC Blog: Washington Post FEC should encourage text message donations
Washington Post editorialized yesterday on text message donations: "In an election cycle marked by the emergence of multimillion-dollar contributions, everything possible should be done to encourage small-money donors. Such a proposal is now before the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which is being called on to clear the way for campaigns to solicit and receive donations through text message." And the Obama campaign is urging the FEC to move too (BNA-link to PDF).
Mother Jones: Dark money groups gone wild
Andy Kroll on dark money groups and the FEC's inability to do anything about them. "The prime culprit in today's lawless political playing field, watchdogs say, is the FEC." ABC News on the new disclosure rule.
Washington Post: Small group makes big dent on super PAC individual donations, study says
New report from PIRG amd Demos: "Just 47 people account for more than half (57.1 percent) of the $230 million raised by super PACs from individual donors....Just over 1,000 donors giving $10,000 or more were responsible for 94 percent of the money raised." The full report.
CNN: Democratic super PAC reserving $30 million for fall ad time
Priorities USA doing better: "The Democratic super PAC backing President Barack Obama, Priorities USA Action, is significantly ramping up its media spending as it reserves $30 million in broadcast and cable ad time come this fall, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN."
Buzzfeed: Romney taps former Paulson aide, Fannie Mae vet for Bain rehab
Romney campaign is bringing on Michele Davis, a former Paulson aide and registered Fannie Mae lobbyist to navigate the Bain attacks. "She was vice president for regulatory policy at Fannie Mae from 2002 to 2006, and is listed as a registered lobbyist for the troubled and controversial entity — which made a practice of keeping a bipartisan squad of Washington insiders on payroll — in 2004. (Indeed, Mitt Romney attacked rival Newt Gingrich for taking payments from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae's sibling entity.)"
NBC: Foster Friess, former Santorum backer, to trim super PAC donations
"Wyoming millionaire Foster Friess said on Wednesday that he plans to tamp down on donating to Super PACs before the fall election, saying he’d open the spigot more sparingly and selectively across a wider range of candidates and private charities to whom he could give money anonymously."
Politico: Marco Rubio to headline Tampa fundraiser
"Sen. Marco Rubio is throwing a high-dollar fundraiser on the first night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla....The invitation is one of the first circulating on K Street for the GOP convention, which brings many of the party’s largest donors into one place for at least four days."
Roll Call: Ethics panel says Laura Richardson likely broke federal law, House rules
"Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) likely broke federal law and House rules when she required her Hill staffers to perform campaign work and obstructed the House Ethics Committee’s investigation of her actions, according to a statement issued by the committee today." The Hill, WaPo.
Politico: Cutter: Aides forward emails to WH system
"Deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on Wednesday accused Republicans of attacking the Obama White House's record on transparency to distract from Mitt Romney's opacity even as she defended her former colleagues in Washington."
Washington Post: Why attacking super PACs won't work
Oh I don't know: "What all the numbers above prove is that, for all the hue and cry — particularly among Democrats — about how a small group of very wealthy donors are exerting undue influence on the 2012 election via Republican super PACs, that argument shows basically no political traction among the broader electorate."
Bloomberg: Kochs take tip from Soros investing in voter registration
Americans for Prosperity won't just be doing ads this cycle: "It’s a project conceived in envy, as the Kochs watched another billionaire, financier George Soros, underwrite a 2004 Democratic voter-turnout project that operated outside of the official party, said Tim Phillips, AFP’s president."
Politico: Lawmakers kick in $1.5 million-plus to NRCC at meeting
The National Republican Congressional Committee collected more than $1.5 million in checks Wednesday during a closed meeting of lawmakers kick in $1.5 million plus to NRCC at meeting."
San Diego City Beat: Defense contractors aren't giving to Fight 4 America
A super PAC started by former Rep. Duncan Hunter to defend defense spending has raised hardly any money.
Politico: More delay likely in Maxine Waters ethics case
"The House Ethics Committee is moving toward extending the contract for Billy Martin, the outside counsel overseeing the case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), for another six months, according to several sources close to the situation."
Politico: Home health industry to get out the vote
"Home health agencies in more than a dozen states will be asked to take part in a get-out-the-vote effort that could give the sector more political clout while allowing thousands of seniors to participate in the November elections."
Roll Call: Former top Mitch McConnell aide launches lobbying shop
"Lobbyist Hunter Bates, who briefly considered a run for the Congressional seat of retiring Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.), is splitting with the C2 Group and relaunching his own firm, Bates Capitol Group."
AJC: Tea Party notches a big win in T-SPLOST loss
Georgia State Sen. on why the Tea Party doesn't have a lot of clout in the legislature: "If you don't invest money, you're not a true player. Money is what makes the world go around there."