Clips Round-up for 10/15/12
Happy 3rd Quarter FEC Filing Day to one and all!
Politico: "at least $134 million in ads, mail, phone calls and other political spending this election have come from tax-exempt groups that said they didn’t plan to spend money on political campaigns, according to a POLITICO analysis of records filed with the IRS and the Federal Election Commission, as well as news reports and press releases."
On Friday, campaign finance watchers reacted to Vice President Joe Biden's remarks about the "abomination" of outside spending during the debate with Paul Ryan. Public Campaign's Nick Nyhart: "The real abomination is the degree to which big money has become the driver of American politics. The real question is what each presidential team would do about it."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
WaPo: Congressional ethics need stricter police
Post editorial on the recent Post series on lawmakers benefiting financially from bills they support: "These sorts of activities are legal, and many members of Congress offer plausible explanations for why their actions shouldn’t concern voters. But The Post’s findings should not make anyone comfortable."
Charleston Gazette: Citizens United an attack on democracy
Op-ed in West Virginia from former WV Secretary of State and former state Republican Chairman Hike Heiskell: "Considerations of the common good, medical care, Social Security, national defense, the deficit, the right to bear arms, environmental regulations on coal, abortion, collective bargaining -- none of these will matter if our democratic processes become totally subverted by the Big Money that was turned loose on us by the Citizens United decision."
AlterNet: Over 1000 people spell out "Dump Citizens United" on San Francisco beach
Want to see 1000 people fighting Citizens United? Then check out this pic.
Boston Globe: Brown backed letter on behalf of compounders
Sen. Scott Brown and a handful of colleagues signed a letter to the DEA backing the compound drug industry. The CEO of the New England Compounding Center held a fundraiser for Scott Brown six weeks later. Brown's defense: "I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of fundraisers." Hundreds and hundreds, huh?
Sun-Times: Report: Jackson allegedly improperly used campaign money to decorate home
"U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s campaign finances are the subject of a federal probe after the congressman allegedly improperly used campaign money to decorate his home, according to a new report." Roll Call.
Boston Globe: Mitt Romney donors gathering in New York next week with series of luminaries
The Romney campaign will hold its second retreat for its big bundlers in New York City this week, featuring special guests Donald Trump and Dennis Miller. Big Romney super PAC donors Charles Schwab and Harold Hamm will participate in a panel as well. NYT.
Roll Call: Ethics zeros in on Reyes
"The House Ethics Committee today confirmed that it is looking into unspecified ethics violations by Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), but the case may be related to charges that he used his office to enrich himself and family members." TPM.
WaPo: Romney tries to bury Obama in ads
"Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his allies are banking heavily on a high-risk, high-reward media strategy in the final weeks of the campaign, hoping that burying President Obama in ads will give them a crucial edge on Election Day."
WaPo: Venders finesse law barring "coordination" by campaigns, independent groups
Romney campaign and Crossroads can't coordinate - but they can hire the same vendors who use the same employees to do the work. "But it is a fuzzy line that separates the campaigns from groups such as Crossroads and the super PACs that have sprung up in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court decision that allowed unrestricted corporate spending on campaigns. And the 2012 campaign, with its surge in spending from independent groups, offers many examples of how little the law actually prohibits when it comes to 'coordination.'"
Miami Herald: David Rivera defends himself in TV interview
Embattled Rep. David Rivera gave a weird interview this weekend, defending himself from all the ethics/campaign finance allegations against him. You can watch it here.
Politico: Kerry's daughter launches super PAC
"The daughter of Mass. Sen. John Kerry — whose own presidential aspirations were hit by an outside spending blitz — is launching a super PAC. Alexandra Kerry is launching We The People, a super PAC which will raise money to put pro-Obama ads made by amateur filmmakers on television..."
The Hill: Ryan steps-up for cash-strapped "mentor" Tommy Thompson
"Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took a break from the presidential trail to fundraise for Tommy Thompson on Sunday afternoon — a show of loyalty as his hero fights for his political life."
Bloomberg: Brown-Warren pact undone as outside groups see loopholes
"Independent political groups are finding ways around the pledge by Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to keep outside money out of their hard-fought U.S. Senate campaign." Mailers, robo-calls, and canvassing.
Politico: How Wall Street made Paul Ryan
Calling him an "industry darling," Politico notes: "Paul Ryan may be best known for Washington budget wonkery, but it was also his Wall Street ties that fueled his meteoric rise from Hill staffer 15 years ago to vice presidential nominee today."
Bloomberg: Secret cash moves its way through US nonprofit daisy chain
"Noble’s political activity sheds light on a Cayman Islands- style web of nonprofit front groups and shell companies that are increasingly being used to protect the identities of donors who want to get involved in politics in big ways without leaving a trace."
Huffington Post: Obama campaign says it surpasses 4 million donors
"President Barack Obama's campaign says it has surpassed 4 million donors, a record for a presidential campaign." They put an infographic together for it, noting that this means "1 and 75 Americans owns a piece of this campaign."
Boston Globe: Democracy for sale
Former Congressman Jim Leach in the Globe: "When I first ran for public office, the joke was that no smart candidate should ever argue with those who buy ink by the barrel, the press. Today, a not-so-funny corollary is that a smart candidate should never argue with those who buy ads by the bushel."
AP: Ryan appearing at GOP fundraiser in Atlanta
"Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will travel to metro Atlanta to raise money for Mitt Romney's campaign. Ryan is scheduled to appear Oct. 24 at the Cobb Energy Centre." Yes, the battleground state of Georgia two weeks before the election.
In These Times: Koch Industries sends pro-Romney mailing to 45,000 employees while stifling workplace political speech
"In a voter information packet obtained by In These Times, the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president." Related, the other brother, "William Koch, Billionaire Koch Brother, Accused Of Imprisoning Executive."
McClatchy: The Kochs' quest to save America
Charles Koch gave a rare interview to McClatchy.
Daily Commercial: Morse family donates $1.7 million to GOP super PAC
"Billionaire developer H. Gary Morse, who along with his immediate family members has contributed nearly $900,000 to a super-political action committee supporting Mitt Romney, has given almost another $800,000 to that group by way of a handful of companies he manages or operates in The Villages."
Sunlight: One week's outside political spending: $100 million
"Less than a month before Election Day, with voters already beginning to head to the polls in many states, outside spending to influence campaigns up and down the ballot is on a consistent upward trend, topping the $100 million mark in one week for the first time."
NYDN: New Yorkers are super for super PACs
"A new analysis by Common Cause/New York to be released Monday shows 10 of the country’s 39 donors who gave at least $1 million to super PACs are from New York. "
Detroit News: Romney super PAC spending $1.5M in advertising
"Restore Our Future, the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, will pump $1.5 million in advertising in Michigan in the final month before the presidential election."
Houston Chronicle: Obama vs. Romney: The Houston money machine
"Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign raised nearly twice as much money in the greater Houston area than that of President Barack Obama - most of it from wealthier upscale communities - but more people overall contributed to the president's re-election, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of campaign contributions."
Huffington Post: David Axelrod: "I am concerned about the money"
Axelrod at a 92 and Y event in NYC: " Of the challenges President Obama's re-election campaign is facing, Axelrod highlighted his concern about the unprecedented amount of money being spent this election year, calling it a serious issue not just for Barack Obama, but for the country."
Sunlight: Americans for Tax Reform drop $2 million in one day
"Dark money group Americans for Tax Reform just dropped close to $2 million to influence competitive House races," assisting Bilbray, Tipton, Hayworth, and Bill Johnson and opposing Barrow and Critz.
Baltimore Sun: Maryland's wealthy dig deep to give to super PACs
The Baltimore Sun looks at the big givers from wealthy Marylanders to super PACs.
Roll Call: DCCC outraised NRCC in September
"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee in September. The DCCC raised $15.3 million to the NRCC’s $12.4 million. The DCCC ended September with $26.4 million in cash on hand, while the NRCC had $29.5 million in the bank." And the NRCC went up with $6M in ads on Friday.
NaJo: Pro-George Allen super PAC gets $1 million donation
"A super PAC formed to help return Republican George Allen to the U.S. Senate in Virginia has received an infusion of $1 million from Texas homebuilder and major GOP donor Bob Perry."
WaPo: Marriott is mainstay for Romney campaign
Longtime Romney friends--and super PAC donors--the Marriotts are also benefiting from Romney with hotel stays by the campaign.
CRP: Conservative super PAC finds voice through small donors
"Restore America's Voice PAC, a super PAC that opposes President Barack Obama, raised nearly $1.6 million between July and September, with about 85 percent, of that cash coming from unitemized donors (individuals giving less than $200), federal documents filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission show."
WaPo: Chamber ad attacks Maine independent Senate candidate Angus King
"With GOP candidates struggling in some key states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doubling its effort to boost the Republican candidate in Maine’s three-way Senate race with another advertisement against former governor Angus King and a slight nod to also helping the Democratic nominee."
Politico: Baldwin raises $3.4 million third quarter
"Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin took in just under $4.6 million for her campaign during the third quarter of 2012, a campaign source tells POLITICO, an impressive fundraising performance that puts the Democratic congresswoman on solid financial footing for the final weeks of the race." In Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly raised $1.5M--half of what his opponent Richard Mourdock raised.
MPR: Michele Bachmann raises $4.5 million in third quarter
"Michelle Bachmann's re-election campaign raised more than $4.5 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, more evidence that the three-term Republican Congresswoman remains among the most prolific fundraisers in Congress" and has $3.5M in the bank.
Reporter Herald: Loveland residents protest PAC entry into City Council election
I love this story from Colorado: "More than a dozen protestors held signs in opposition to a $8,244 contribution from the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors to Loveland City Council candidate Dave Clark's campaign for Ward 4."
Buzzfeed: LGBT group admits casino paid for Maryland mailing
"The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has admitted — after months of secrecy — that Penn National Gaming paid for a summer mailing that sought to mobilize supporters of Maryland's marriage equality bill against a gambling expansion measure in the state."