Clips Round-up for 9/7/12
Paul Blumenthal at HuffPost had a great story yesterday on President Obama's promises and support for reform before the White House and what has happened since. "If anything, however, the opposite has happened. The four years of Obama's presidency have featured some of the biggest rollbacks of the campaign finance regulatory regime created in the wake of the Watergate scandal. And Obama's own actions, or lack thereof, are partly to blame."
And if you missed it, Rep. John Lewis gave a powerful speech on voting rights early last night at the convention. "They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the vote. The Republican leader in the Pennsylvania House even bragged that his state’s new voter ID law is ‘gonna allow Gov. Romney to win the state.’ That’s not right, that’s not fair and that is not just.”
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Harvard Business Review: How campaign finance reform could save business
An interview with Russ Feingold for the Harvard Business Review.
The Atlantic: Obama's chance to keep his reform promises
Professor Lessig's latest: "By returning to his reformist roots, Obama could not only rally his disappointed base; he could also begin to split sensible Republicans from their blundering leaders. And if he gets enough of these Republicans, this election could well give the President the mandate he needs to bring about real reform."
HuffPost: We need to make campaign finance reform a civil rights issue
Leo Hindery: "Thus, we now need to add to FDR's list the civil right of all Americans to fair elections, with limits on large anonymous contributions. Every American citizen deserves an equal voice, the right to know who is influencing his representatives, and an end to corporate political contributions that work against a fair and inclusive society."
Reuters: No new dislosure in sight for money groups before election
"Political advocacy groups pumping millions of dollars into the U.S. elections are about to circumvent a court-ordered deadline on Friday that opponents had hoped would rein them in and shed light on their secret backers."
USA Today: Democratic super PACs fight to close fundraising gap
"As President Obama and political luminaries exhorted convention delegates to fight for his re-election, a parallel campaign unfolded this week at the Democratic National Convention to reach another constituency: wealthy donors who can write big checks to Democratic super PACs."
PCAF Tumblr: Obama's speech
President Obama touched on the issue of $$ in politics briefly last night: "If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: the lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election, and those who are making it harder for you to vote." He also said, later in the speech, "If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election."
ABC News: Democrats trash lobbyists in speeches, but party with their cash
"Inside the Democratic convention hall in Charlotte this week, the lobbyists and special interests took a rhetorical beating from the party that has tried to carry the mantle of Washington reform...But outside the hall, lobbyists and their friends in Congress were the toast of Charlotte, just as they had been in Tampa during the Republican convention." Bloomberg.
Politico: Terry McAuliffe: "I'm not focused on super PACs"
"McAuliffe, a powerhouse fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, said he was focusing on raising money for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and candidates in Virginia, where he is openly weighing a 2013 gubernatorial bid."
WaPo: Big shot donors packed like sardines
One impact of moving from the stadium to the aren, the big donors had less space: "If you look around the Time Warner Cable Arena above the electric blue ticker circling the convention floor, you can see a whole lot of VIP suites packed to the rafters with people."
Politico: Super PAC launches $2M ad buy against House Dems
"The YG Action Fund is launching nearly $2 million in television advertisements in Democratic-held districts Monday, the super PAC’s first buy of the general election." (The Adelsons have donated $5M to the group, making up most of the money they've received)
TPM: Romney camp to air 15 new ads in 8 battleground states
"Mitt Romney's campaign released 15 new television ads on Friday morning, contrasting President Obama's economic failures with Romney's plan to create jobs."
Sunlight: Texas-sized lobbyist bundler shuns Democratic super PACs
"Democratic super PACs and other outside political groups will be deprived of the party's most generous 2010 bankroller this election: Donor and bundler extraordinaire Ben Barnes is repudiating the outfits that don't provide full financial disclosure."
Oklahoman: Romney fundraiser is set next week on Oklahoma City
"A private fundraising reception for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney featuring his wife and former first lady Laura Bush is scheduled for Monday at an Oklahoma City residence."
The Nation Romney: adviser leads a new effort to channel millions of undisclosed bank money into the election
Lee Fang digs into the story this week about the American Bankers Association plan to spend millions in secret money on the elections this year, noting that the head of the group is a Romney adviser. Demos.
Newsday: Romney at Nassau fundraisers Sept 13
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be on Long Island next Thursday for back-to-back private fundraisers in Oyster Bay, with tickets costing from $2,500 to $50,000."
Patch: Paul Ryan speaks at Beverly Hills fundraiser
"Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan spoke at a campaign fundraiser in predominately Democratic Beverly Hills Thursday evening in his first visit to Southern California since Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate."
Burlington Free Press: Vermont Republican party serves as bank for Romney fundraiser
Why is Vermont getting so much Romney money? "Instead, the money is being parked in the Vermont party’s account by a joint fundraising entity called Romney Victory Inc. until a decision is made on where to best spend the funds to help Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s win his bid for the White House."
LA Times: Democrats target two GOP congressman from California with TV ads
The DCCC is hitting Reps. Denham and Bilbray. They accuse Bilbray "of cozying up to special interests, alleging he has 'raised thousands from Big Oil' and other interests he once lobbied for."
Birmingham News: Rep. Aderholt pays $13,000 fine for campaign finance errors
"U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt's campaign paid a $13,000 penalty for filing several years of inaccurate campaign finance reports, according to documents recently released by the Federal Election Commission."
CRP: Trump fails to put his money where his mouth is
CRP is just asking for trouble with this fact-check: "After reviewing the data on OpenSecrets.org, we have to conclude that the claim is hard to verify, but the most recent reports show that Trump, who has emerged as one of Mitt Romney's most vocal supporters, hasn't been putting his money where his mouth is."
Boston Herald: Super PAC unloads on Tierney for kin scandal
"A Republican super PAC is unleashing a blistering TV ad today, suggesting U.S. Rep. John Tierney is being less than truthful about his family’s involvement in an offshore gambling operation."
Roll Call: K Street to Congress: Pass Russia trade bill
"Congress may still be in recess, but the lobbyists at the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and five other groups are not waiting until next week to press their case for swift passage of a trade bill dealing with Russia."