Clips Round-up for 8/6/12
Good piece in Roll Call on lobbyists and the conventions: "The sluggish economy, new restrictions on contributions and anti-corporate sentiment has zapped the fun out of the Republican and Democratic national conventions for political players."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Journal Star: Nebraska Supreme Court overturns campaign finance law
The Nebraska Supreme Court threw out the state's partial public financing law on Friday, a follow up to SCOTUS's McComish decision.
Palm Beach Post: Big money campaign donations should not be kept secret
"Now that the Supreme Court’s foolish Citizens United decision in 2010 has banned any meaningful caps on political donations, however, Republicans favor secret political donations by entities that don’t want the public to know who is paying for the attack ads."
Roll Call: Groups object to disclosure rules
Drama over the STOCK Act continues: "As Congress on Thursday clarified language in a new financial disclosure law to make it apply to spousal assets, a group of high-level federal workers and four organizations representing government employees sued to block the implementation of the law, arguing it violates their right to privacy."
NYT: Voter fraud and manipulation of election rules
Rick Hasen, who has a new book on "voter fraud," has a piece in the New York Times this weekend: "Pointing to a few isolated cases of impersonation fraud does not prove that a state identification requirement makes sense. As with restrictions on absentee ballots, we need to weigh the costs of imposing barriers on the right to vote against the benefits of fraud protection."
Mother Jones: IRS: Toothless. FEC: "Thoroughly broken"
"The tale is a familiar one in the campaign finance world, illustrating the slow-moving, scattershot nature of justice when it comes to political money. The Federal Election Commission, the nation's top election cop, is gridlocked by ideological differences. The IRS, whose role includes policing nonprofits, moves at a glacial pace, and traditionally investigates a small sliver of groups under its watch."
WaPo: Romney raised $101.3 million in July
Romney and the RNC Victory Committee raised $101.3 million in July.
HuffPost: Koch Brothers, GOP mega donors, help bankroll religious conservative's 2012 efforts
Peter Stone looks at the conservative religious groups getting big money this year to influence the election, like Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition. "Propping up this trio of right-leaning organizations are several of the country’s wealthiest conservatives. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and John Templeton Jr., who runs a family foundation, are offering financial support, as are organization that receive funding from the billionaire Koch brothers, according to two GOP fundraisers familiar with the separate operations of the three groups."
NYT: Record spending by Obama's camp shrinks coffers
What has $400M bought? "President Obama has spent more campaign cash more quickly than any incumbent in recent history, betting that heavy early investments in personnel, field offices and a high-tech campaign infrastructure will propel him to victory in November."
Buzzfeed: What Romney's big money means
And an interesting take from Ben Smith: "The tradeoffs, ultimately, are between money and time, money and message; and while the gimmicks and grandiosity that come with small-dollar fundraising shouldn't be ignored, Romney's politically difficult summer does say something about the cost of the big money."
WSJ: Sands probed in money moves
More on Sheldon Adelson's troubles: "Federal authorities are investigating whether Las Vegas Sands Corp. and several of its executives violated money-laundering laws by failing to alert authorities to millions of dollars transferred to its casinos by two Las Vegas high rollers, according to lawyers and others involved in the matter." And Tom Edsall writes, " At a minimum, Romney could tell us how he reconciles the values he says he stands for with the basis on which Adelson’s fortune is built."
Daily Beast: Adelson vs. Romney
"Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a major contributor to Mitt Romney’s election effort, is pressing the Republican nominee to come out for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, a major Republican donor and associates of Adelson and Romney tell The Daily Beast."
Talking Points Memo: Romney camp: Obama opposes special treatment for service members
Some real shamelessness from the Romney campaign this weekend with a false attack on Obama and voting rights: "The Romney campaign doubled down on its opposition to an Obama campaign lawsuit over early voting rights in Ohio Sunday. After initially falsely accusing the Obama campaign of trying to keep members of the military from voting, the campaign on Sunday contended that Obama opposes special treatment for service members."
Hartford Courant: Obama looks to Connecticut for campaign cash
"Obama is set to return to the state Monday, but this time, there will be no stadium speeches before the sign-waving masses. Instead, the president will visit Fairfield County for a few hours in search of millions of dollars to replenish his campaign's depleted war chest."
NYT: Outside cash in Missouri could be a national model
On the prolonged attack on Sen. McCaskill by outside groups Americans for Prosperity, Crossroads GPS, and the US Chamber: "The sustained campaign could become a textbook for future efforts in a new era of anything-goes campaign financing, both Ms. McCaskill and her opponents say. "
Sacramento Bee: Romney rakes in more than $1M at Reno fundraisers
"Mitt Romney raked in more than $1 million at a series of fundraisers at a Reno gated community, drawing a group of protesters who decried the influence of money in politics."
Politico: The ligher side of raising cash
"Slay a dragon for Ron Paul? Cash for car repairs? Raffle for a semi-automatic assault rifle? Welcome to the frontier of campaign fundraising, where gimmicks rule as even the most staid candidates seek better opportunities to cut through the media clutter and raise record amounts of cash."
Politico: Stop rigging the system against small business
Elizabeth Warren op-ed: "Washington politicians line up 10-deep to claim they support small businesses, but they avoid talking about a harsh reality: The system is rigged against small business. These owners can’t afford armies of lobbyists in D.C., but the big corporations can. It’s those armies of lobbyists that create the loopholes and special breaks that let big corporations off the hook for paying taxes. While small businesses are left to pay the bills."
WaPo: Campaigns drown supporters with fundraising emails in the race for cash
Notice an uptick in fundraising emails? "But political strategists from both parties warn that campaigns must be careful to avoid alienating their most devoted followers with an endless tide of fundraising e-mails. Almost by definition, those who receive the most donation requests have also given to the campaigns already and, in many cases, are annoyed at being pestered for even more."
PCAF Blog: Food for thought (and govermment contracts)
The RNC kept up the "you didn't build that" attacks Friday by delivering a "you didn't bake this" cake to the DNC, but as we point out--they should be careful--over the weekend Romney was the guest of a man who is the chairman of a company that has received $1.4 billion since 2000 for food contracts for the military.
Crain's Chicago: Big names in business close wallets to Obama this time
"Scores of Chicago executives who previously backed President Barack Obama are keeping their wallets closed or opening them only for Mitt Romney this time around."
YNN: Slaughter criticizes Brooks about fundraiser with Boehner
John Boehner was in New York this weekend fundraising for Republican House candidates.
NPR: Not always clear who's funding political-related ads
Peter Overby on big donors and disclosure. "But then the question is, are these issue ads really about issues? Or do they amount to a secretly funded, permanent campaign?"
Politico: Larry Craig: Airport trip was official business
"Former Republican U.S. Sen. Larry Craig aims to fend off a federal election lawsuit against him by arguing his infamous July 11, 2007, Minneapolis airport bathroom visit that ended in his sex-sting arrest was part of his official Senate business. Craig is hoping to avoid repaying $217,000 in campaign funds the Federal Election Commission claims he misused to defend himself."
Boston Globe: Inquiry urged into Tierney disclosures
"Officials with three nonpartisan open-government groups said this week that the House Committee on Ethics should investigate whether US Representative John F. Tierney was required to publicly disclose more than $200,000 that his wife received while managing a bank account with money that came from her brother’s illegal gambling business."