Clips Round-up for 9/14/12
Big story in the Times today on fossil fuel spending on TV ads: "With nearly two months before Election Day on Nov. 6, estimated spending on television ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million this year." The American Petroleum Institute, whose president is rumored to be a possibility for Romney's chief-of-staff, has already spent more than it did in all of 2008.
The Center for Responsive Politics released a great new feature yesterday: "at-a-glance profiles that tie together the many different types of information the Center for Responsive Politics collects on any given organization, including campaign contributions, lobbying expenses and even how many members of Congress invest in a company."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Democracy: The stakeholder strategy
Kent Greenfield, not a fan of the constitutional amendment fight, writes in the Democracy Journal: "While the constitutional effort is defensive and palliative, a campaign to redesign the corporation itself would be affirmative and transformative. To cure Citizens United, we don’t have to amend the Constitution—we need to rethink corporations."
WaPo: Judge temporarily blocks STOCK Act from taking effect for executive branch
"A federal judge Thursday temporarily blocked the government from enforcing a new insider trading law that would require about 28,000 executive-branch employees to disclose details of their financial transactions on the Internet."
The Nation: "Nightmare" Pennsylvania voter ID law revisited in court
Ari Berman's report from the PA Supreme Court hearing yesterday on the state's voter ID law. Rick Hasen has a good roundup on this too. And, is the backlash against these suppression measures working?
PPP: Bullock leads in MT-Gov
Interesting: "Montana's constitutional amendment setting it as state policy that 'corporations are not people' has a wide lead for passage right now with 53% of voters saying they support it to 24% who are opposed."
Reuters: Outside groups funded more than half of pro-Romney ads
Wesleyan Media Project report on ads from 4/26 to 9/8: "Super PACs, or political action committees, and tax-exempt advocacy groups accounted for nearly a third of all the ads aired in the U.S. presidential race..."
Sunlight Foundation: "The most interesting man in the world" fundraiser for Obama
That guy from the Dos Equis commercials? He's holding a fundraiser for Obama next week.
Reuters: Romney energy adviser Hamm exceeded campaign-donation limits
Violating the aggregate limit amount, which I believe there is a court case fighting: "The national energy adviser for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm, made political contributions that exceed Federal legal limits by as much as 41 percent, according to data compiled by Reuters."
PCAF: Mitt Romney's big NYC fundraiser
Speaking of Romney's billionaire super PAC donors, several are co-chairs of a fundraiser he's having in NYC today.
Tribune: Beyonce, Jay-Z join Obama for contest, fundraiser
Did you get that email from Beyonce yesterday about the fundraising contest? Also, Mitt's doing one to name his plane.
CPI: Transparency test: grading the super PACs
Center for Public Integrity has a new report card out on the level of transparency of certain super PACs.
NYT: Warren ad paints her as a fighter, and throws a punch
In a new Elizbaeth Warren ad, featuring a boxing trainer, the trainer says that Scott Brown is "siding with the big-money guys."
Durango Herald: Ethics charges fly in 3rd Congressional district debate
Rep. Scott Tipton's opponent said in a recent debate, “You’ll never get a headline like this when I’m your congressman: ‘Tipton violates House rules.'" Ouch!
The Nation: Mitt Romney, Monsanto man
I have not seen anything on this before--the Nation on Romney's ties to agribusiness giant Monsanto.
California Watch: Bain, Romney's old firm, gives millions to Democrats
"Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney - and portrayed by President Barack Obama's supporters as a gang of corporate raiders - has pumped nearly $4.5 million into Democratic campaigns and causes, public records show."
Daily Caller: Liberal super PAC: calling Republicans racist more effective than criticizing policy
Daily Caller got hold of some audio from a CREDO super PAC staffer, where he suggests using the crazy things Steve King actually says to beat him (instead of just policy).
Huffington Post: American Crossroads runs ad with close-up of woman without her approval
"An American Crossroads ad running in several states features several close-up shots of a Chicago woman now saying that she was never consulted as to whether or not she wanted to participate in the video or endorse its message. "
Mother Jones: The week in dark money
Here's your week in dark money political spending.
NaJo: How many lobbyists are really breaking the law?
That recent study showing lobbyists aren't filing all the right paperwork? Mother Jones isn't so sure.
Roll Call: ALEC office for rent
Is the ALEC office for rent? A real estate filing says so, but ALEC says they aren't going anywhere.
Campaigns and Elections: Whither traditional PACs?
Interesting: "Metrics measuring traditional PACs suggest they continue to play a significant role in funding Democratic House candidates and an increasingly insignificant part of Republican campaign budgets. This phenomenon is directly related to provisions of McCain-Feingold, and may be exacerbated in the future thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling."
The Hill: House to vote on No More Solyndras Act
"The House meets at 9 a.m. to take up the No More Solyndras Act, which is meant to prevent approval of recent applications under a Department of Energy program that awarded a loan guarantee to California solar firm Solyndra." It's unclear when the vote is scheduled for the "No More Subsidies to Highly Profitable Oil Companies Who Fund Our Campaign Act." (Ok, that's not a real bill.)
NJ.com: Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co to leave ALEC
"Global pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co. said today it is leaving the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council — which drafts model bills that are replicated in state legislatures across the country — because of 'budget constraints and policy priorities.'"
Michigan Campaign Finance Network: Lansing lobbyists' spending on record pace
"Lansing lobbyists have reported spending $20.7 million through the first seven months of 2012...That figure is up by 4.5 percent compared to the same period in 2011, which was a record-setting year for state lobbying expenditures."