Clips round up for 8/30/2012
Yesterday during a reddit AMA, President Obama called for a constitutional amendment and reiterated his support for DISCLOSE and banning lobbyists from bundling contributions. As HuffPost points out, this isn't necessarily news--Jim Messina said Obama supported the amendment in February--but Obama bringing it up does add more weight. Politico.
And CRP reports that outside spending is way, way up: "Our running total of outside spending shows the extraordinary growth we've seen so far in 2012, with independent expenditures topping $280 million (not counting parties) -- that's nearly three times the total for all outside spending at this point in 2008."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
WaPo: GOP plank in 2012 platform wants to leave campaign spending alone
WaPo writes on the 2012 GOP platform on campaign finance. Nick Nyhart: "“It is a complete endorsement of the increased role of big money in politics." ThinkProgress.
WaPo: Mega-donors lavished with attention at convention parties
"Away from the populist-tinged events of the regular Republican convention is a far more exclusive set of gatherings tailored especially to the billionaires and other well-heeled donors who have become a defining presence in the 2012 elections." Dirk van Dongen, a lobbyist bundler for the campaign: “They are very, very conscious of who has been there for the governor. We get appropriate recognition. The mood is very enthusiastic.” And Josh Silver in HuffPo on "Conventions: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy."
NYT: Super PACs and party stalwarts mix in Tampa
"Tucked away amid the parties, speeches and junkets on Wednesday was a private breakfast briefing thrown by Restore Our Future." And: "As donors exited, a Restore aide, mindful of a reporter taking notes outside, encouraged guests to hide their name tags under their jackets." WSJ, USA Today on American Action Network's Fred Malek
ABC News: Romney party yacht flies Cayman flag
Haha: "Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands." The yacht was called Cracker Bay. And more seriously, Sheila Krumholz on these bundlers: "He is the first nominee in 12 years to withhold these names...The public needs to know who these people are because thy are the one's who stand to gain the most from a Romney presidency" LA Times.
Mother Jones: David Koch, just one of the guys at the convention
What's David Koch up to in Tampa? Let Mother Jones tell you. And Politico reports: "a number of operatives in Tampa told POLITICO that David Koch’s presence as a delegate from New York here sent a strong message that the Kochs’ expanding political operation is becoming a more reliable adjunct of the Republican Party."
LA Times: Money is on the unofficial agenda at the Republican National Convention
"Barred from coordination with political campaigns, super PACs and GOP-aligned nonprofit groups have no official role in the proceedings. But through huddles with donors, discreet meetings with fellow operatives and the occasional public event, the groups have maintained a subtle but pervasive presence in Tampa."
Politico: The hunt for behind-closed-door money
Nice profile of Sunlight Foundation and Public Citizen work at the conventions: "While the rest of the world’s eyes are trained on the convention floor, Sunlight is homing in on private meetings organized for big donors and exclusive events funded by lobbyists, corporations and fundraisers that aren’t open to the public."
Public Integrity: NRA goes after Democrats in contested Senate races
"The NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s new ads, released Monday, attack the records of Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who are both running for U.S. Senate — and Federal Election Commission filings indicate Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is the next target."
Politico: Money can't buy wins in Senate races
"For all of the carping about the outsize impact of spending on elections, a pack of Republican Senate nominees this year has proven that money isn’t everything. In six of the most hotly contested GOP primary contests this cycle, the best-funded candidate lost."
Intelligencer: With money to burn, Fitzpatrick won't limit spending
Saying the cost of election was "out of control," Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick "Two and a half years ago, when he decided to make a run against Congressman Patrick Murphy for the 8th District job that was once his, Mike Fitzpatrick had a challenge for the incumbent: Limit spending on the 2010 campaign to $1 million apiece. Not this time.
Miami Herald: As FBI and questions swirl, Marco Rubio keeps distance from "Nixonian" pal David Rivera
On the ongoing David Rivera saga--and his friendship with Marco Rubio: "And Rubio, who still owns a Tallahassee house that was almost foreclosed upon when Rivera suggested they stop making their monthly payments, is keeping his distance." And new questions popping up.
NYT: Judge to toss out changes in Florida voter registration
"A federal judge said on Wednesday that he planned to block provisions of a Florida measure that made it harder for organizations to register voters in the state." Editorial on Texas redistricting decision.