Clips Round-up for 9/28/12
The New York Times broke the story yesterday that George Soros wrote a $1 million check to Priorities USA Action and two $500,000 checks to Congressional super PACs. While he had not contributed yet because of his opposition to the Citizens United decision, Soros wrote, he has become 'appalled by the Romney campaign, which is openly soliciting the money of the rich to starve the state of the money it needs to provide social services.'" Mother Jones, Washington Post, Politico.
Yesterday, Public Campaign Action Fund and Friends of Democracy PAC released a briefing book for candidates on money in politics. It has messaging, polling, policy solutions, how to respond to attacks--almost everything one would need to run on a money in politics platform. It's also a good resource for advocates, even if you're not running for office!
Want to make some art about money in politics? unPAC has the contest for you! "Channel your inner Shepard Fairey to create an iconic image that confronts the role of big money in politics and inspires political action."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Miami Herald: Gary Johnson sues FEC for $750k
"Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's campaign has filed a federal lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission, claiming the agency is unlawfully holding back public funds."
Roll Call: Watchdog groups urge House leaders to fill vacancies on ethics board
"Eight government watchdog organizations today urged House leaders to fill four soon-to-be-vacant seats on the Office of Congressional Ethics' board of directors." The Hill.
TPM: Wisconsin Supreme Court doesn't take up voter ID cases, leaving law on hold
Good news: "The Wisconsin Supreme Court declined a request to take up two voter-I.D. cases on an accelerated basis — thus leaving in place, for now, rulings that have kept the law frozen and not applicable to the upcoming general election."
Roll Call: Super PAC assails super PAC, big money
Roll Call on the Friends of Democracy PAC. "In the latest example of do-gooders using big money to fight big money, a super PAC is advising candidates how to rebuff super PAC attacks and how to score political points by assailing unrestricted campaign spending."
Mother Jones: Rove's Crossroads GPS Attacks Elizabeth Warren in New Robocalls
So, mail and robocalls aren't included in the outside spending agreement: "Crossroads GPS, the dark-money nonprofit group co-founded by Karl Rove, is running robocalls in Massachusetts attacking Democratic Senate candidate and progressive favorite Elizabeth Warren."
Tampa Bay Times: Friends of Vern Buchanan pleads guilty to campaign violations
"In a stunning development just weeks before the November election, one of U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan's longtime friends and another man pleaded guilty Thursday to making illegal campaign contributions."
HuffPost: Barack Obama must thank small donors for fundraising lead
With fun chart: "Obama for America, the official campaign committee, has raised $157 million more than Romney for President through the end of August. Remove the small donors, and that lead shrinks to only $14.7 million." Jonathan Alter on small donor fundraising.
WBEZ: The case against David Rivera gets weirder
Here's the news in this story: "I'm hanging out in Miami this week, where rumor has it that Speaker of the House John Boehner is putting the squeeze on Florida U.S. Rep. David Rivera to drop out of his congressional race."
Consider the Source: $4 billion and counting
On the new FEC analysis of campaign spending and raising.
NBC: RNC cuts ties with firm over voter registration allegations
ACORoh wait: "The Republican National Committee has fired a controversial consulting firm it was paying millions of dollars to conduct voter registration in five battleground states, NBC News has learned."
Tennessean: Paul Ryan raises $1M in Knoxville
Paul Ryan spent yesterday in the battleground state...Tennessee...raising money yesterday.
Boston Globe: Mitt Romney expected to bring in $7.5m during Boston area fundraisers on Friday
"Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is expected to bring in $7.5 million during fundraisers Friday night in the Boston area, making it the biggest Massachusetts fundraisers he’s had and providing him with fresh funds at a key moment in the race."
HuffPost: Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney fundraising in head-scratching states and cities
or, as Sam Stein wrote: "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are in the midst of a fundraising swing that is taking them to some unexpected locations that appear to have limited electoral significance."
Courier-Press: Last month's fundraiser here raises $1M plus
Indiana: "Last month’s fundraiser for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Steven E. Chancellor’s northwestern Vanderburgh County home raised more than $1 million for Romney’s campaign."
Sun Times: Michelle Obama in Chicago: Election ‘closer than the last one’
"In the multi-level Lincoln Park home of one of the biggest political donors in America, first lady Michelle Obama implored a crowd of about 200 people on Thursday not to take anything for granted."
PCAF: Tommy Thompson raising money from Big Oil
"On Wednesday, as Wisconsin Senate candidate and former governor Tommy Thompson (R) was forced to defend statements he made about turning Medicare into a voucher program similar to what was proposed in the Paul Ryan budget he has supported, he was scheduled to attend an 'oil and gas industry luncheon' in Washington, D.C—an industry whose billions in subsidies were spared in the same budget."
Politico: Miriam Adelson defends the family name
"Days after Sheldon Adelson told POLITICO's Mike Allen that he believes government investigations of his international casino business are politically motivated, his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, makes essentially the same charge in a Daily Caller op-ed." There is, of course, another explanation for these investigations.
ProPublica: Dark money poured into New Mexico Senate contest
"Dark money groups flooded Albuquerque’s airwaves in August, aiming to sway a hotly contested U.S. Senate race by making more than half the political ad buys on top TV stations."
The Hill: Obama super PAC launches $1.25M radio push
"The super-PAC supporting President Obama's reelection and one of the largest public sector unions announced Thursday a new radio campaign that uses comments secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fundraiser to bash the Republican nominee."
Politico: DeMint makes nice, sends $100,000 to NRSC
"South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint — who has repeatedly clashed with his party’s leadership over political tactics and primary candidates — quietly transferred $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee last week, the latest move to soothe internal Senate GOP tensions ahead of the fall campaign."
NaJo: How the Hollywood bill, farm bill, and pets go together
"What in the world does Hollywood's lobby have to do with the farm bill? The answer is simple--it's pets. The pets of movie extras, to be precise."
FireDogLake: SuperPACs More Effective Downballot Than in Presidential Races
David Dayen responds to Chait on super PACs not really mattering: "But this only works when you have a free spending candidate on the other side. That’s usually not the case in downballot races, where resources are more constrained. A Democratic House candidate up against a SuperPAC onslaught won’t fare as well as a well-heeled Obama campaign."
AP: Arizona panel OKs settlement with GOP candidates
"The three Republican candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission will each return nearly $10,000 in public campaign financing under a settlement approved Thursday."