Clips Round-up for 9/4/12
It's convention time in Charlotte this week, and there are plenty of things to do. Politico: "Unlimited-money Democratic outside groups striving to keep within in shouting distance of big GOP outfits like the Karl Rove-conceived Crossroads groups are banking on help from a A-list liberal pols and celebrities like Jessica Alba and culinary legend Alice Waters." And on the perks donors are getting there.
From the NYT: "Rules are rules, and President Obama’s scrupulous restrictions on lobbyists have exiled them to the fringes of the convention in Charlotte, N.C. Just how far away? About six blocks." The Hill, Roll Call, Politico.
AP: "Democrats flocking to their national convention will spend this week hobnobbing in Charlotte, N.C., with lobbyists, special interest groups and wealthy donors, just days after Republicans hosted their own party of all political parties in Tampa, Fla."
Roll Call: "In setting out to pay for a $37 million 'people's convention' with low-dollar citizen donations instead of big corporate checks, Democrats have either embarked on a fool's errand, a bold experiment or both." Los Angeles Times.
The Democrats also released their party platform last night. Here's the section on money-in-politics (hint: it's the opposite of the Republican platform). It begins: "Our political system is under assault by those who believe that special interests should be able to buy whatever they want in our society, including our government. "
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Politico: Mitt Romney's campaign finance evolution
Dave Levinthal runs down Mitt Romney's evolution on campaign finance. Though, the 2002 support for public financing was more about him coming up with a way to pay for a system the voters approved.
NYT: A fight for fair courts
The West Virginia Supreme Court will hear a case today about the state's public financing system for judicial campaigns, with Brennan Center arguing that last year's SCOTUS decision to throw out trigger funds should not apply to judicial elections. "As the Supreme Court has recognized in other cases, including a major 2009 case from West Virginia that involved a litigant’s outsize judicial campaign spending, preserving public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is essential." More from WV Metro News.
HuffPost: Karl Rove's donor plan could run afoul of IRS, congressional report suggests
Interesting: "A new report from Congress' nonpartisan research arm suggests that the Internal Revenue Service won't have much patience with the argument from groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS that the ads it buys shouldn't be counted as political campaign activity."
WaPo: Ohio ordered to restore weekend early voting in judge's ruling
"A federal judge ruled Friday that Ohio must allow in-person voting on the weekend before the presidential election, a victory for Democrats who claimed Republican efforts to close down early voting were aimed at discouraging voters most likely to support President Obama." Analysis from Rick Hasen. AP on "late court decisions may impact 2012 election."
Politico: Source: Romney camp said it raised $100 million in August
"Mitt Romney raised $100 million in August, his campaign told bundlers last week in Tampa." This would be the third month in a row that Romney/Romney Victory hit the $100M mark.
LAT: $119 million and counting: Track groups' spending on 2012 race
"'Super PACs' and other outside groups have reported spending more than $119 million on the presidential campaign since Mitt Romney unofficially clinched the Republican nomination in early April, a sum that underscores the profound impact independent political groups are having on the 2012 presidential race." The LA Times also has a new outside spending tracker.
Businessweek: How Karl Rove's super PAC plays the senate
More from inside last week's Crossroads fundraiser, including details on Senate plans. After speaking, Sen. Marco Rubio: "closed with a joke: 'Did I break any laws, in that speech?' he asked, to applause."
Washington Times: Taxpayer funding for campaigns all but dead
"President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on at least one way to reduce federal spending: Both candidates have decided to forgo public funds to finance their campaigns."
ABC: Obama reports 3.1M donors, tops '08
"President Obama has amassed a donor base of 3.1 million Americans in his bid for a second term, surpassing his total from four years ago, Obama campaign officials announced today." Here's an infographic from the campaign.
WaPo: Swing states beware: It's the latest attack of the nonstop attack ads
"Federal candidates and their supporters are gearing up to unleash up to $3 billion worth of advertising and other expenditures over the next nine weeks, drowning battleground areas in political ads and setting loose legions of canvassers aimed at getting out the vote on Nov. 6."
Roll Call: House Ethics will review Robert Andrews' use of campaign funds
"The House Ethics Committee announced today that it will continue investigating whether Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) misused campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, but it will do so without forming a formal investigative subcommittee." WaPo.
Bloomberg: Obama touts financial law as Romney takes banker's checks
President Obama's strong support for Dodd-Frank--and attacks on Romney's desire to repeal it--is bad for his fundraising on Wall Street.
Reuters: Romney campaign begins accepting donations by text
As expected: "The U.S. Republican presidential campaign said on Friday it was launching a system to accept campaign donations by text message." 2 million have given $25 or less.
NBC News: Ryan heads west on week-long fundraiser trip
Paul Ryan is heading west this week that will be "largely -- though not entirely -- focused on fundraising." Utah, California.
NYT: Scott Brown and Karl Rove have a chat
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Karl Rove were spotted chatting at the RNC last week. Also last week, Businesweek reported that Rove showed ads for the Mass. Senate race at a Crossroads fundraiser. That would, obviously, go against the outside spending agreement there.
NYT: A House Speaker proves a mighty fundraiser
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a fundraising machine.
Roll Call: Chamber asks Congress to revive crackdown on online privacy
The Chamber is once again pushing internet piracy legislation: "The powerful business lobby, perhaps the biggest supporter of controversial legislation intended to stem online piracy, is at it again."
NYT: Ohio unions battle conservative super PACs for votes
On unions and super PACs: "Whether the labor movement and its vaunted ground game can counterbalance this flood of money and media is a question that few political observers can answer. But many believe that how this matchup plays out could determine who wins several crucial battleground states, including this one."
HuffPost: House Democrats hit new fundraising record
"A day after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a $6.8 million fundraising haul for August, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Monday that they have something to celebrate too: their single best day of online fundraising in history."
WaPo: NY congressman’s reliance on rabbi as rainmaker leads to embarrassing associations, FBI probe
On Michael Grimm's ties to a troublesome rabbi: "Now, that fruitful association has turned into a big headache for the Staten Island Republican — one involving allegations of illegal donations, a bizarre blackmail claim and potentially embarrassing associations with people in the pornography business."
WaPo: Could Rehberg's comments about lobbying hurt in Montana Senate race?
"When the word 'lobbyist' is tossed around on the campaign trail, it is rarely in a flattering context. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) knows this. His Senate campaign has gone after Sen. Jon Tester (D) for accepting more direct campaign contributions from lobbyists...But now, Democrats could turn the lobbyist argument against Rehberg, following the revelation earlier this week that the Republican praised the industry in a speech last fall."
Gloucester Times: Tierney calls out Tisey on "Young Guns" PAC
"Congressman John Tierney, D-Salem, locked in tight race to hold on to his 6th District seat for a ninth term, is calling on Wakefield Republican Richard Tisei, the former state Senate Minority Leader who is challenging him, to return nearly $1 million in campaign help from a national Republican Super PAC.