Clips Round-up for 8/14/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Bloomberg: New York's AG probes nonprofits' political spending
"Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, is investigating whether non-profit groups known to be active in politics are spending more than permitted by tax rules to influence the elections in November."
MoJo: Obama has attended, on average, one fundraiser every 60 hours while running for president
On Obama's 200th fundraiser since filing for re-election: "Put another way, that's an average of one fundraiser roughly every 60 hours for Obama."
Center for American Progress: Big business taking over state Supreme Courts
Important new report from CAP on judicial elections: "In state courts across our country, corporate special interests are donating money to the campaigns of judges who interpret the law in a manner that benefits their contributors rather than citizens seeking justice."
AP: Host for Romney event is a convicted cocaine dealer
Oops: "Mitt Romney held a campaign event Monday evening at a Miami juice shop owned by a convicted cocaine trafficker."
PCAF: Paul Ryan heading to Las Vegas for fundraiser with Sheldon Adelson
That didn't take long! "On Tuesday, Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), will become the latest Republican politician to meet with billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson." He was raising money in Denver last night.
WBUR: Melons, squash cash: a million dollar donor sprouts
"Amy Goldman is best known as the author of lavish books about heirloom tomatoes, squash and melons. Now Goldman is trying to cultivate a second term for President Obama. Goldman wrote a check for $1 million to a pro-Obama superPAC — and gave another million to the political arm of Planned Parenthood."
NaJo: First Look: API's party may feature the Romneys
The American Petroleum Institute's convention party may get a special guest or two--the Romneys. (There is a rumor that API's president could be Romney's chief of staff, if elected)
Roll Call: Retirees shower Paul Ryan with contributions
Janie Lorber looks into the "retirees" category at CRP, finding "Ryan has drawn nearly $400,000 from retirees this election cycle, dramatically outperforming most House lawmakers."
WaPo: For oil driller Harold Hamm, Bakken boom brings billions and a chance to dabble in politics
The Post looks at oil billionaire, and major Romney backer, Harold Hamm. "While super PACs are supposed to be independent, the former cotton picker has also become a member of Romney’s energy advisory team"
NYT: Ryan has kept close ties to donors on the right
New York Times on Paul Ryan's close ties to conservative donors--he has even attended the Koch retreats: "Less well-known are Mr. Ryan’s close ties to the donors and activists who have channeled Tea Party anger into a $400 million political machine, financed by a network of conservative and libertarian donors that now rivals, and occasionally challenges, the Republican establishment behind Mr. Romney." Reuters.
NYT: Scrutiny for casino mogul's frontman in China
A deep-dive by the NYT at Shel Adelson's casino business and investigations. One fun tidbit: He called Tom DeLay while China was bidding for the Beijing games to urge him to squash a House resolution condemning China's human rights record. "Mr. DeLay called and told Mr. Adelson he was in luck. The resolution was stuck behind a series of other bills."
ProPublica: Two dark money groups outspending all super PACs combined
"Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show." Thats $60 million in undisclosed donors, too.
Mother Jones: Romney super PAC set to unload its biggest ad buy ever
"Restore Our Future, the weirdly named super-PAC devoted to electing Mitt Romney president, will spend $10.5 million on ads this week attacking President Barack Obama in 11 battleground states."
iWatch: Outside spending helps make Wisconsin Senate primary a tossup
On today's primary in Wisconsin: "But thanks to $3.4 million in spending by outside groups and an ongoing ideological divide within the Republican Party, Thompson may not even make it through Tuesday’s primary, much less win the general election."
Politico: 60 Plus Association targets Ohio, Florida
The 60 Plus Association is going up with ads in Ohio and Florida. It's a non-disclosing group, but good to remember it historially has pharma ties and is part of the Koch network (it's own kind of 60 plus association?).
Wisconsin Public Radio: John Boehner to host fundraiser for Rep. Ribble
"Wisconsin's 8th district U.S. representative is getting a fundraising boost from the Speaker of the House. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be the featured guest at a $1,000-a-plate event in Appleton this weekend." This is part of Boehner's 47-event, 13 state tour to help raise money for House members.
CRP: Super PACs utilize secretive nonprofits to hide funding in Pennsylvania, Utah
"Two super PACs focused on a handful of races and advised by the same lawyer-lobbyist have kept most of their donors' names secret by drawing nearly all of their funds from tax-exempt groups that don't have to say where their money comes from."
Detroit News: Congressional panel was set to probe McCotter case
"The Office of Congressional Ethics began an inquiry into U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's office after he was kept off the primary ballot in a petition signature scandal, according to sources familiar with the investigation."
Politico: Game of Thrones author knocks GOP
George R.R. Martin does not like voter suppression! "“It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.”