Clips Round-up for 10/23/12
In their second debate, Mitt Romney hit President Obama for attending a fundraiser the day after the Benghazi attack. This time, it was President Obama's turn: "And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the — the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable."
Public Campaign Action Fund updated its Pinterest boards yesterday. With this weekend's filings, at least 42 billionaires on the Forbes 400 list have donated $33.4 million to the Romney-aligned Restore Our Future super PAC. At least nine have given $9.7 million to the Obama-aligned Priorities USA Action.
The Caravan of Corruption starts today in New York. Here's a short video of what you can expect.
Sunlight Foundation: "Organizations including corporations, nonprofits, labor unions and political action committees have given more than $167 million to super PACs, about 30 percent of the money donated to them, the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show."
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Politico: Lobbyist group to Romney, Obama: help us change
"The American League of Lobbyists has fired off letters to both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, reminding them that, yes, the profession has a bad reputation, but the league supports a variety of lobbying law changes and reforms."
New Haven Register: New Haven aldermen target Citizens United ruling
"The city’s Board of Alderman has sent a letter to state legislators asking for a state constitutional convention 'to adopt an amendment overturning Citizens United and enacting meaningful campaign finance reform."
Spokesman: Idaho sues to force disclosure of secret donations
"Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa went to court Monday, seeking a court order to make a defiant secret-donations group reveal the source of more than $200,000 spent on statewide campaign commercials backing three controversial school-reform measures."
ProPublica: Did a dark money group that spurred a landmark ruling mislead the IRS?
"A western nonprofit that played a key role in freeing corporate spending on elections nationwide appears to have misled the IRS when it applied for the tax-exempt status that shields its donors from being publicly disclosed."
Times Union: Spending big to take money out of politics
More on yesterday's announcement in NY: "Two New York City-based Super PACs have pledged to spend half a million dollars in a regional state Senate election to make a point that there should be less money in politics."
AP: Super PAC, House spending nearly on par
New Brennan Center report: "A study released Monday finds super PACs and other independent groups dropped about $24.8 million on ads affecting the 25 most-competitive House races. That's compared with about $24.9 million that the candidates' own campaigns have spent on the airwaves." Full report.
Roll Call: U.S. Chamber spending on lobbying continues at rapid clip
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $31.65 million on lobbying during the third quarter of 2012, maintaining a record pace during the current cycle, according to the latest Lobbying Disclosure Act filings."
Roll Call: Conservative nonprofits test labor unions
"Labor unions long legendary for their powerful get-out-the-vote machines face an unprecedented test this year, as unfettered conservative groups spend record sums on campaign ads and newly minted ground operations."
Tulsa World: Romney raises nearly $1 million in September from Oklahoma donors
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised more than $900,000 from Oklahoma donors in September, while President Barack Obama has raised a total of about $1.5 million to put him slightly ahead of his 2008 pace."
NBC News: Hurricane tort king wires another $1 million to pro-Obama super PAC
"A wealthy Texas trial lawyer -- known as the king of hurricane torts -- wired $1 million to the main Super PAC backing President Barack Obama late last week, solidifying his standing as one of the chief bankrollers of Democratic causes in this year’s election."
Mother Jones: Don't speak, I know just what you're bundling
Mother Jones looks at Obama's bundlers.
Roll Call: K Street lobbyists decamp to the campaign trail
"During the next two weeks, Republican and Democratic lobbyists will leave their comfortable offices, tap into their reserve of vacation days, put clients and family commitments on hold and head out to work on the campaigns of former bosses and other favorite politicians."
Miami Herald: Rivera ran campaign, Sternad tells FBI
"Justin Lamar Sternad, whose failed congressional campaign became the subject of a federal grand-jury investigation, has told the FBI that U.S. Rep. David Rivera was secretly behind his run for office, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald have learned." It's all a witch fund, David Rivera says.
The Hill: Campaign season idles K Street
"Election Day can’t come soon enough for K Street. Several of Washington’s biggest shops reported a decline in lobbying revenue this past quarter, a three-month stretch when lawmakers were mostly at home campaigning for reelection instead of working on legislation."
Roll Call: Massachusetts Senate victor likely to claimn edge from Peoples Pledge
On the outside spending pledge: "The victor of the Senate race will be able to plausibly claim that the agreement — with its alliterative royal moniker, the People’s Pledge — was to his or her benefit. What is certain is that it irrevocably changed the contours of one of the most hard-fought races in the country."
AP: Crossroads makes biggest buy yet in Senate races
"A conservative Super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove and an affiliated organization are making their biggest buy yet in this year's Senate elections, with a new round of ads costing $8 million that will target Democratic lawmakers in eight states."
NaJo: House Majority PAC launches seven new ads
"House Majority PAC released seven new TV ads Tuesday, including five in new congressional districts as the House-focused Democratic super PAC expanded the scope of its advertising."
Chicago Business: Romney plans big Chicago fundraiser weekend before the election
"Mitt Romney's campaign for president is holding a big-bucks fundraiser right here in Chicago the Friday before the presidential election."
NaJo: McConnell fundraising in Indiana Senate race
"Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell heads to Indiana on Monday to help raise money for Republican Richard Mourdock what's become an increasingly competitive Senate race. "
Sunlight: Two Midwest states targets of gun violence and the NRA
"Two states struggling with gun violence this fall, Wisconsin and Michigan, also have been targeted for campaign expenditures by the National Rifle Association."
Superior Telegram: Millions flow into Northern Wisconsin congressional race
"The race to unseat Wisconsin’s two freshmen Republican congressman is drawing millions of dollars, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Although the incumbents have raised twice as much as their challengers, the Democrats are racking up impressive amounts too."
Sunlight: Man behind Allen West super PAC remains secretive
"It remains unclear why Richard H. Roberts, a New Jersey physician, contributed $1 million to help one member of Congress in south Florida, freshman Republican Allen West, win reelection."
WaPo: Dilemma for DC stations: So many political ads, so little airtime
"Faced with an unprecedented flood of commercials for candidates and causes, Washington’s TV stations have had to get creative to fit them all in. Some are trimming their regular programming to squeeze in a few more ads, and some are adding more news at other hours."
Norwalk Citizen: State's heavy campaign donations carry political clout
"It doesn’t have the political clout of its neighbor New York, but Connecticut, for its size, is a political fundraising powerhouse that has pumped more than $73 million into races nationwide this election, according to a Hearst Newspapers analysis of 2012 campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission."
Daily Herald: Gambling interests send lawmakers campaign cash
In Illinois: "With state lawmakers in coming months poised to consider a tough, possibly final, vote over whether to expand gambling in Illinois, casino and horse racing interests with roots in the suburbs are giving thousands of dollars to candidates on both sides of the issue."