Clips Round-up for 10/9/12
The Obama campaign announced over the weekend that the campaign and DNC raised $181 million in September, a record for the cycle, putting them just $53 million shy of $1 billion raised for 2012. Mother Jones, WSJ, Politico, NYT.
A new investigation by the Washington Post finds that, "73 members of Congress who have sponsored or co-sponsored legislation in recent years that could benefit businesses or industries in which either they or their family members are involved or invested."
A great op-ed from a small business owner in Portland on how big money may help big business--but not anyone else: "For years, large corporations, financial institutions and wealthy individuals have lobbied legislators to enact policies that increase big business's share of the pie and made it harder for small businesses like mine to compete and make a living."
Finally, if you're in Manhattan, this looks like a great event tonight: "While people are familiar with super PACs, few know the extent of spending and political activity by social nonprofits. Our panel debates questions of disclosure, restrictions and other possible rules in this new world of fundraising."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Sunlight: When is a political ad not a campaign ad? Federal judge decides for FEC
"The murky rules around electioneering ads may have gotten slightly less unclear this week, but not thanks to the Federal Election Commission."
NYT: The cacophony of money
New York Times editorial calling for a constitutional amendment ends, "That’s the reason this unlimited money is so corrupting: win or lose, it binds lawmakers, corporations and special interests ever closer."
WaPo: Congressional ethics committees protect legislators, critics say
Are the House and Senate Ethics committees doing their job? Public Citizen's Craig Holman: "The House Ethics Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee are structured in a way to protect incumbents rather than to discipline them. Members are overseeing each other, and they make sure that nothing comes back to haunt them.”
AP: AG candidates back fight for state campaign laws
Some bipartisanship in Montana: "Candidates for attorney general say they would continue the legal fight to preserve Montana campaign finance laws amid several challenges."
Democrat and Chronicle: Campaign reform should be next on Albany's to-do list
Yup: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators should pledge to make this the last such election. Campaign finance reform should be a top priority for any post-election legislative session."
USA Today: Two steps forward, two steps back
Public Citizen's Lisa Gilbert on the FEC's unwillingness to take action on disclosure: "With a deadlocked commission, it's clear that we can't count on the FEC to enforce our nation's campaign finance laws. So we must turn to other agencies, as the problem of dark money in our elections is the domain of many."
Forbes: The Election's 40 biggest billionaire donors (and why the Kochs are missing)
Who are the top billionaires funding the election (of donations we know about)? Forbes provides a list.
CRP: CRP Collaboration With INN and Others Produces Rare Look at Wealthy Donors' Range of Giving
So who's giving big money at both the state and federal level? CRP, INN, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics have this report.
NYT: New super PACs alter landscape for House races
On small, focused super PACs going after a select few house members. David Donnelly, on Friends of Democracy PAC, "We don’t have the kind of budget to go in with million-dollar TV buys. We think that’s a blunt instrument, where we can go in with a scalpel.” USA Today.
CBS: Behind the closed doors of Washington lobbying
CBS went "behind closed doors" of Washington lobbying, with this helpful explainer: "There are two components to successful lobbying: Access, and money - donations from lobbyists and their clients to Members of Congress. While it's illegal for Members to cast a vote in exchange for campaign contributions (that would be bribery), there's plenty of walking right up to the line."
Roll Call: Members' PACs test unregulated spending
This is interesting: "Long a staple of Member-to-Member campaign giving, leadership PACs are now so ubiquitous that more than three-quarters of all lawmakers in Congress have them, and their influence is growing. Once criticized as a means of skirting campaign contribution limits, leadership PACs are now testing the more controversial waters of unrestricted money."
NYT: Romney and GOP make inroads in Silicon Valley
"When President Obama makes his latest foray into Silicon Valley on Monday, he will face a technology industry more engaged than ever in the wheeling and dealing of Washington, and much more forthcoming with its political contributions — including, generously, to his rival, Mitt Romney."
NYT: Buying the election?
Joe Nocera on all the money flooding into our elections. "In Congress we see it every day. A congressman gets on an important committee, begins to raise money from the companies that care about the committee’s issues — and, suddenly, the congressman is writing legislation the company wants."
Wall Street Journal: Goldman turns tables on Obama campaign
"Prompted by what they call regulatory attacks on their business and personal attacks on their character, executives and employees of Goldman Sachs have largely abandoned Mr. Obama and are now the top sources of money to presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican Party." NYPost.
Daily Beast: The illegal-donor loophole
Improbable foreign small donor fundraising scheme? Eh, this story was better in 2008. A bit more from Rick Hasen, who adds: "It is profoundly ironic that these Republican leaning groups are claiming that there needs to be better disclosure of contributions to the Obama campaign under $200, while at the same time the Republican leadership in Congress has opposed even fixing the gaping holes in our existing campaign finance disclosure laws."
Politico Influence: Citizens United releasing anti-Obama movie for free
Lots of good stuff in yesterday's PI newsletter, but this stuck out: "A CMAG/Kantar Media analysis found that one in every 10 broadcast TV ad dollars, which translates to $91 million of $897 million, between mid-April and mid-September paid for ads making negative references to the financial services sector or to specific firms."
NYT: The Cancer Lobby
Nick Kristoff column on chemical companies lobbying against reports that their products are carcinogenic. "Let’s be clear. There is uncertainty about toxic chemicals, and it is perfectly legitimate to criticize the Report on Carcinogens. But this effort to defund the report is an insult to science and democracy alike."
Washington Examiner: Romney gets boost in campaign donations following debate
The Romney campaign reports online contributions of over $12 million in less than 48 hours following the debate."
Politico: Obama rakes in $9.5 million on California swing
"President Obama is making six stops in two days, hopscotching through California on a trip expected to net his campaign nearly $9.5 million."
Journal-Sentinel: Ryan fundraiser brings in $2.8 million
"The fundraising event headlined by Republican presidential candidate Paul Ryan Saturday night brought in $2.8 million, according to Jon Hammes, founder and managing general partner of the Hammes Company."
Daily Caller: Maine GOP files FEC complaint claiming illegal coordination between King campaign, super PAC
Basically, a former board member for Americans Elect (who left in June) is a state chair for King's campaign and AE recently began an ad buy to support King.
IBN Live: Indian-Americans raise millions for Mitt Romney's campaign
"Away from the public glare, prominent Indian-Americans supporting Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney are believed to have raised between USD 15-20 million for his presidential campaign.
USA Today: Team Romney asks for money to block Obama
The Romney campaign sent out a fundraising email after Obama's total was announced, saying, "President Obama and his allies will not hesitate to use Chicago-style politics to achieve their goals. We must not let them succeed -- we are not letting them succeed."
Politico: GOP getting boost for House races
"POLITICO has learned that two leading Republican groups, American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, are teaming up to spend nearly $13.5 million in House battles across the country." Former Sen. Norm Coleman is the chair of both and also works at DC lobbying/law firm Hogan Lovells. This should allay some fears that outside groups aren't doing enough for the House.
MTV: Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson sing for President Obama at fundraiser
"Just days after a lackluster debate performance against challenger Mitt Romney, President Obama was back in the spotlight on Sunday during a star-studded fundraiser in Los Angeles dubbed the '30 Days to Victory Concert.'"
WaPo: Reince Priebus: Presidential race ‘isn’t going to come down to money’
Priebus on Obama's September haul: "I think we all understand this race isn’t going to come down to money. This is going to come down to work on the ground."
HuffPost: Watchdog calls Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS ad against Shelley Berkley hypocritical
Ha: "The ads make use of various statements from CREW in an effort to portray several Democratic candidates as unethical, even though Crossroads GPS, itself a frequent object of CREW's disapproval, has previously dismissed CREW as a partisan 'front group' for labor interests."
Miami Herald: Congressman denies investigation--despite prosecutor's email
"Congressman David Rivera has been under investigation for more than a year. And for just as long, Rivera has denied it all, most recently Monday morning on US1 Radio in the Florida Keys where veteran host Bill Becker tried to get Rivera to talk about the cases.
Buzzfeed: Super PAC For Pro-Gay Republicans Spending $200K To Back Bono Mack
A new super PAC funded by Paul Singer and his Wall Street friends is up on the air in California to defend Mary Bono Mack.
NaJo: Rehberg raises $2.4 million
"Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., raised a solid $2.4 million during the third quarter in his Montana Senate contest, narrowly outraising Democratic Sen. Jon Tester."
AP: Murphy says he raised $3 million for Connecticut Senate
"Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy says he raised about $3 million over the past three months for his Connecticut Senate campaign."
NYDN: SI pol’s partner is capo’s good pal
Ok, this isn't necessarily money in politics related, but it's not often you read stories about a member of Congress (Michael Grimm) and his ties to a crime family. NYT.
Boston Globe: Boehner to attend fundraiser for GOP's Tisei
Boehner's fundraising tour continues: House Majority Leader John Boehner is attending a Boston fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Richard Tisei." He's also headed to Iowa.
Star-Tribune: Minnesota business cash fuels Congress race
"Minnesota's major businesses are on track to give more than $20 million to U.S. House and Senate races in the 2012 election cycle, a Star Tribune analysis has found."