Clips Round-up for 8/13/12
On the announcement that Rep. Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney's running mate, news outlets quickly published stories about Ryan's fundraising and special interest ties. Public Campaign Action Fund has a roundup--ties to a convicted felon who tried to build an Indian casino, insurance industry donors who would benefit from his Medicare plan, lobbyists, Tom DeLay, and more.
Bloomberg: "Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, is one of the top political fundraisers in Congress, with backing from the employees of banks and insurance companies that would benefit from his actions on financial regulation and Medicare."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
WV Record: Federal judge temporarily blocks W.Va. PAC contribution cap
"A federal judge has temporarily blocked West Virginia's $1,000-per-election cap on contributions to political action committees that act independently of candidates or parties."
WaPo: Election Day impersonation, an impetus for voter ID laws, a rarity, data show
"A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent."
WaPo: When is a contribution not a bribe?
Good piece from Robert Barnes on the Supreme Court needing to provide more clarification to courts on what constitutes a bribe. "But the debate over 'the line where a campaign contribution becomes a bribe,' especially relevant in a year when campaign spending has become a paramount issue, shows no signs of fading away."
Mother Jones: 250 years of campaigns, cash, and corruption
A timeline from Mother Jones: "The history of money in American politics is one of shady characters and a dramatic battle between the forces of reform and influence that goes back more than 250 years before the birth of the super-PAC."
PCAF Blog: President Obama reaches 200th fundraising events
With 5 fundraisers in Chicago on Sunday, President Obama crossed the 200 mark. In fact, he has held 203 since filing for re-election.
Chicago Tribune: Obama collects $4 million in his hometown for re-election bid
"President Barack Obama zig-zagged across town Sunday, basking in a belated birthday serenade from campaign donors — and collecting as much as $4 million for his re-election bid from hometown backers."
USA Today: NASCAR CEO to chair luncheon for Mitt Romney donors
"An invitation to prospective Romney donors for a $2,500-a-plate luncheon has been distributed with NASCAR CEO Brian France and his wife, Amy, as event chairs."
WaPo: Dems and GOP burn through $300M in ad spending, concentrate in swing states
$343 million: money that has spent on the presidential race since early April, with half in just Ohio, VA, and Florida.
Politico: GOP fundraising plans heat up for Tampa
A rundown from Politico of some of the fundraising events planned for the GOP convention.
Huffington Post: Celebrity donor phone numbers released by conservative group
"Grassfire Nation, an anti-Obama group, emailed its supporters with the telephone numbers of a number of Hollywood figures on Friday. The message was also posted on the group's website with the numbers redacted."
Hollywood Reporter: Inside Warner Brothers CEO Barry Meyer's fundraiser with moguls and Michelle Obama
"Wrapping up her second Los Angeles fundraiser Sunday, Michelle Obama wowed the Hollywood crowd at the Los Angeles home of Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer, who urged action to keep the president in office."
Roll Call: Rep. Michael Grimm failed to disclose privately funded trip
Oops: "Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) failed to report a privately financed trip he took to Cyprus last August and also didn’t list it as a gift on the first two iterations of his annual financial disclosure form, disclosing it only after the president of the sponsoring group was arrested on federal corruption charges." NYT.
NYT: Campaign steps up its attacks on negative ads by a pro-Obama super PAC
"Mitt Romney’s campaign on Friday sought to take advantage of a backlash against negative campaigning by President Obama’s allies, even as it tried to deny what new polls suggest — that the full-throated assault on Mr. Romney’s character may be working." The ad--about the woman dying from cancer--has yet to air anywhere on TV.
LATimes: Democrats and labor part ways for convention
"But with less than a month to go before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., many unions that have been steadfast donors are now declining to fork over their cash."
Capitol Column: Chris Rock to candidates: I wish we didn't have to stoop to this level
Chris Rock is no fan of our current campaign finance system: "I wish both guys could only spend the same amount of money and let the best man win."
National Journal: AFL-CIO's super PAC strategy
"This presidential election cycle will be different for major unions like the AFL-CIO because super PACs will allow them to use money to target campaigning to non-union workers. The organization's president Richard Trumka said recently that the union opposed the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision because 'we think it's corrosive to the system, but since it's there, we'll use a small part of it.'"
The Hill: Super PAC spends $5.5 million in support of GOP young guns
"YG Action Fund, a super-PAC started by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), is spending $5.5 million in 12 House districts over the next few months to support candidates considered Young Guns." $5 million of the group's donations this year has from Shel and Miriam Adelson.
NYT: Senate primary in Connecticut sets experience against money
"It may take a lot more than concierge-quality, one-on-one politics for [Chris Shays] to prevail in the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday against the former wrestling executive Linda E. McMahon, who since 2010 has spent roughly $65 million on two races for the Senate and has blanketed the state with advertisements while he has barely been on the air. "
San Francisco Chronicle: Democracy falling prey to big money
Robert Reich: "Who's buying our democracy? Wall Street financiers, the Koch brothers, and casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, among others. And they're doing much of it in secret. It's a perfect storm - the combination of three waves that are about to drown government as we know it."
Buffalo News: Big money, big questions in the era of super PACs
Priorities USA's Bill Burton and Restore Our Future's Carl Forti are both from Buffalo, it seems.
Roll Call: FCC database creates headaches for TV stations in battleground states
"A Federal Communications Commission plan to make television stations disclose how many political ads they have sold is creating administrative headaches for network affiliates in battleground states that deal with a dozen or more campaigns or political groups in a single market."
AP: Group pulls political ad after Heitkamp calls it false
Crossroads news from ND: "A group says it will stop airing a television ad that is critical of North Dakota Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp’s record as attorney general."
Omaha World Herald: New campaign finance rules needed
"Now that the Nebraska Supreme Court has found the state’s campaign finance law unconstitutional, state leaders should draw up new rules that require full disclosure of donations to candidates and spending by their campaigns."
AJC: Ralston to propose total lobbyist gift ban
"House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, will propose next year a full ban on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, delighting ethics advocates and worrying some lobbyists."