Clips round up for 8/21/2012
First off, that "FBI is investigating congressman for skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee" story? Yeah, it wasn't about skinny-dipping--it's about the ongoing investigation into Congressman Michael Grimm.
And yesterday was FEC day for presidential campaigns and many PACs. Here's a rundown of the top stories:
NYT: Romney gains huge cash advantage over Obama
"Mitt Romney’s cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of last month." WashPost, LA Times, AP, WSJ, USA Today.
Politico: Pro-Romney super PAC spent more than it raised in July
"The super PAC supporting Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign last month continued its brisk spending, but saw a drop-off from in fundraising — finishing July spending more than it raised." Some interesting donations in this filing last month, including $1M from a company whose subsidiaries have been accused of some massive pollution issues in the US and Peru. Reuters, HuffPost.
Politico: Karl Rove's American Crossroads spends big in July
"The Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads had its best fundraising month of the year in July, pulling in $7.1 million — with $5 million coming from just four donors and their companies." Big donations from Robert Rowling and his companyTRT Holdings (Gold's Gym, Omni hotels), a hedge funder, and Weaver Holdings (which owns a popcorn company used by the Boy Scouts).
Politico: Priorities USA Action fundraising dips in July
"Priorities USA Action spent only $3.3 million in July — $2.6 million of which went toward television, radio and Internet ads savaging Mitt Romney, according to a report filed Monday evening with the Federal Election Commission." Two biggest donations came from philanthropist Jon Stryker and gay rights activist Mel Heifetz. HuffPost.
- Politico: Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer help out Senate Dems super PAC
- Politico: JPMorgan Chase resumes political giving
- HuffPost: DNC raises little, spends big in July
- Roll Call: NRCC outraised DCCC by $2.5M in July
- Politico: Peter Thiel gave $1M to Club for Growth super PAC
- Washington Times: Obama raises $30M from 20,000 families
- Examiner: Record July fundraising for DSCC
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Bloomberg: Larry Norden wading back into a tough public financing fight
"Larry Noble, the go-to guy in Washington on campaign finance issues, will become president and chief executive officer of Americans for Campaign Reform, a group that advocates for a notion that has lost its luster – public financing of elections."
WaPo: Stopping the GOP assault on democracy
Katrina vanden Heuvel's latest on our "shrinknig democracy"--tying voter suppression, less electoral competition, and big money in our elections.
NYDN: Sienna poll: public financing excited NYers more than Paul Ryan
"New Yorkers are, however, somewhat more excited by the idea of public campaign financing, Siena found: Likely voters favor the idea by a 55% - 31% margin. That's up markedly from May, when Siena asked the question (with slightly different wording) and heard back that 40% backed public financing and 36% opposed it." Full poll.
ProPublica: From Citizens United to super PACs: a campaign finance reading guide
"How did we get here? A look at the landmark Citizens United decision and its impact on the 2012 campaign follows."
New Yorker: Schmooze or lose
Jane Mayer takes on the wealthy donors who felt they haven't received significant attention from Obama and what that means for 2012. And she also writes this piece: "On super PACs, did Obama get it wrong?"
Politico: Liberal group targets Koch brothers wiith $500k ad buy
"A liberal non-profit group linked to Harry Reid is launching what it says will be a long-term multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting the conservative Koch brothers."
Politico: Report: NBA gives more money to Romney than Obama
"However, there's a caveat to the data — most of Romney's donations come from team ownership and NBA management. Obama, on the other hand, has the unanimous support of all three players on the list, as well as six coaches. "
HuffPost: Obama 2012 campaign helped by MoveOn, AFL-CIO super PAC alliance
Interesting: "MoveOn.org Political Action, the 7 million-member liberal advocacy group, and Workers' Voice, the super PAC arm of the 12 million-member labor union AFL-CIO, will announce on Tuesday morning a joint get out the vote venture for this and future campaigns."
Boston Globe: Warren, Brown's no 3rd party pledge holds
"Viewers from Florida to Montana have been deluged for months by grainy images of politicians on Wild West wanted posters, cash changing hands in dark rooms, grandmothers losing benefits, and music that might be used to herald an impending shark attack."
FINAlternatives: BlueRidge founder hosts Romney fundraiser
"Hedge fund managers are continuing to back Mitt Romney's bid to oust President Barack Obama in a big way."
The Hill: The Hill's 50th wealthiest lawmakers
"Republicans dominate The Hill’s annual rankings of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers for the second year in a row, with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) retaining the crown as the richest member of Congress."
Fox News: Obama distances himself from super PAC ad in rare press conference
"The president answered a wide range of questions during the 20-minute question-and-answer session, including one about the veracity of a super PAC ad that implied Mitt Romney played a role in the death of a steelworker’s wife."
Politico: Todd Aiken hurt by cash withdrawals
"But the biggest blow to Akin’s floundering campaign came when the Republican Party and a big-spending super PAC threatened to pull away their cash."
Politico: A congressional race for Adelson
"A source confirms to POLITICO that Sheldon Adelson has given a six-figure donation to a new super PAC supporting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who's running for congress as a GOPer against long-serving Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell in New Jersey." That'll will bring him and his wife close to $37M in donations to super PACs and candidates this year.
Midland News: Romney's business approach better for oil and gas industry, officials say
"Oil and gas industry professionals say Gov. Mitt Romney's business experience would help bring a positive transformation to the federal government's approach with regulations and energy sector growth."
Sioux City Journal: Second ethics complaint filed against Iowa congressman
"Republican challenger Ben Lange has hit 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley with a second ethics complaint this month."
WaPo: Activists challenge ruling on signatures
"Activists seeking a November vote to ban corporate donations in the District filed suit Monday challenging a D.C. Board of Elections ruling that they did not have enough signatures, arguing a recount would prove they easily qualify for the ballot."
CPI: Judicial candidates vulnerable to outside spending
Good rundown from CPI on outside spending in state judicial races
Santa Barbara Independent: Move to Amend gains momentum in Santa Barbara
"The Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara hosted a Move to Amend rally at the Paseo Nuevo shopping mall this Saturday to protest the concept of 'corporate personhood,' which currently allows corporations to retain several of the same constitutional rights that individual citizens are guaranteed."