Clips Round-up for 11/1/12
Um, it's November. Also, here's a picture of Bo Obama next to a pirate version of himself.
Center for Responsive Politics: "The 2012 election will not only be the most expensive election in U.S. history, the cost will tower over the next most expensive election by more than $700 million." LA Times, NYT, CNN
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
SF Chronicle: Arizona donor group must undergo audit
"An Arizona-based nonprofit corporation that made the largest anonymous campaign donation in California history must open its books to state campaign finance regulators for an audit, a judge ruled Wednesday."
Roll Call: Lessons learned from first post-Citizens United presidential race
Eliza Newlin Carney's latest column: "Outside spending by super PACs and politically active nonprofits is surging, sometimes drowning out the political parties. Secret campaign spending has spiked. A small handful of millionaires and billionaires have largely bankrolled these outside groups. And voters are more disgusted than ever."
Gloucester Times: Tierney-Tisei race spotlights dire campaign reform needs
Editorial on the Tisei/Tierney race, saying it shows: "that our campaign finance laws, badly broken for decades, are now in a virtual shambles, thanks in part to the July Supreme Court decision to stand by the so-called Citizens’ United ruling that allows corporations to funnel money at will, without any limits and without publicly naming their corporate leaders into any and all campaigns."
Spokesman Review: "Dark Money" corruptive on elections
Editorial, going off of the PBS report on Montana: "Momentum for shining a light on shadowy campaign groups is growing, but citizens must continue to refute the fiction that they don’t care. Only then can the ultimate victory be achieved: full disclosure of campaign spending in whatever form it takes."
Roll Call: The Phantom commission
Amanda Becker on the Election Assistance Commission: "Its four commissioner spots are vacant. The executive director resigned last year. Its general counsel left in May. It has lacked a quorum to conduct official business for almost two years. Congressional gamesmanship has hamstrung the commission by neither giving it necessary resources nor eliminating it outright."
AP: Billionaires, shadowy outside groups have fueled a pricey election season
"Billionaires, anonymous donors and shadowy outside groups funneled enormous amounts of money into this year’s federal elections, as the cost of the presidential campaign surged past $2 billion and is expected to set a record. Despite grumbling among watchdog groups and even candidates themselves, don’t expect serious changes any time soon."
WaPo: How to spend over $300 million in a matter of weeks
"The two presidential candidates said they had nearly $300 million in the bank for the final leg of the campaign, raising a simple question: What in the world are they going to do with all that money? The answer, of course, is that they are going to spend it — at a rate never seen before in the annals of American politics."
Mother Jones: Mitt Romney would be toast without this man
Andy Kroll profiles Charlie Spies, the head of Restore Our Future: "But this DC lawyer and longtime ally of Mitt Romney's has left his mark on the 2012 presidential race as much as any one political operative could hope to."
WSJ: Romney would limit lobbyist role
Interesting: "Advisers to Mitt Romney would limit the role of lobbyists in transition teams and the White House if the Republican presidential candidate wins next week's election."
PCAF: Billionaire who said wealthy have "insufficient influence" in politics has donated $2.6M to political committees
PCAF's Ken Griffin analysis: "A hedge fund billionaire who said the wealthy have 'insufficient influence' in our political system has donated nearly $2.7 million to federal candidates and committees this election cycle, 50 times what the typical American family makes in a year..."
TNR: Romney's secrecy: did he get away with it?
Alec MacGillis talks about Romney's secrecy, specifically getting away with not releasing his taxes or his bundlers. "In essence, Romney has managed to make it through an entire presidential campaign having openly flouted longstanding norms of disclosure by candidates." If Romney wins on Tuesday, this secrecy sets a bad precedent for future candidates.
NaJo: US Chamber biggest outside spender in 15 Congressional races
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the top non-disclosing spender in 15 congressional races, according to a new analysis by a pair of advocacy groups."
HuffPost: John McCain criticizes Citizens United in Josh Mandel campaigning
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a longtime critic of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, which removed corporate limits on political spending and led to the rise of super PACs. But on Tuesday, he criticized the decision at a 'storm relief' event in Bowling Green, Ohio, with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who has been a huge beneficiary of the spending."
AP: Michael Bloomberg super PAC wades into Florida House race
"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political committee is making its biggest expenditure to date in this year's congressional campaigns, spending $1.1 million for TV ads opposing the re-election of a freshman Florida Republican from the Orlando area." Also California.
Dallas Morning News: Jeb Hensarling attracts campaign cash as he aims to chair House banking panel
"Rep. Jeb Hensarling has raised $2.9 million for his re-election effort, reflecting the widespread expectation that he will chair the House committee that oversees banking and Wall Street next year."
Post-Standard: Super PAC spending on Buerkle-Maffei race tops $4.7 million
"The boost in the final week before Tuesday’s election brings to more than $4.7 million the spending by outside groups on the 24th Congressional District race between Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and Maffei, according to Federal Election Commission records."
Sun-Times: Conservative super PAC back in Walsh-Duckworth race
Outside groups love them some Joe Walsh: "A SuperPAC that has been in and out of the hotly contested 8th Congressional District race says it is back in to support Joe Walsh with a $1 million boost just six days before the election."
Politico: Super PAC funds voter fraud app
Oh brother: "The once-prominent conservative super PAC Winning Our Future is back this Halloween to unveil a trick — or treat, depending on your political persuasion — targeting voter fraud."
Times Argus: Super PAC influence grows, transparency a concern
Vermont: "It’s become the year of the super PAC in Vermont, where the first full election cycle since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision heralded a new, and some say dangerous, brand of political activity."
CRP: Union backed super PAC supports Republicans
"It's no secret that labor unions favor Democrats over Republicans by a significant margin. But one relatively small, union-backed super PAC was formed with the purpose of giving pro-labor Republicans a voice."
USA Today: Super PAC reverses course to help Akin in Missouri
I am SHOCKED by this development: "A Republican super PAC is buying $800,000 of ad time in Missouri to help Rep. Todd Akin in his Senate race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill." The MO GOP is also going up, raising some questions about who's funding it.
Politico: Physicians' PACs lay big money on 2012 races
"Several of the most prominent physician-led political action committees are on track to spend more on the 2012 election than they did in 2008 and 2010."
Roll Call: Ogilvy teams up with tax lobby GDS
"In an effort to rebuild after losing some of its top rainmakers earlier this year, Ogilvy Government Relations has inked a strategic alliance with the boutique tax lobby GDS Strategies."
The Hill: Candy makers use Halloween to try to kill sugar program
"Candy-makers are using Halloween to try to get Congress to kill the U.S. sugar support program."
Daily Freeman: Amedore isn't for Fair Elections
Letter to the editor about a NY State Senate race: "Tkaczyk has clearly stated her support for Fair Elections and promised to be a crucial vote in favor of reform in the closely divided Senate. Amedore has made it clear that he prefers the status quo."
WaPo: In Montana governor's race, Washington interest groups are spending the most
"A half-dozen organizations, all within a few blocks of the White House, have spent more than $7 million in Montana’s gubernatorial race, including the Republican Governors Association (RGA), the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), the National Education Association and several other major labor unions."
Post Bulletin: Outside groups spend big on legislative races
"Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being pumped into southeastern Minnesota legislative races by political parties and third-party groups, according to newly released campaign finance reports. These dollars are being spent on mailers, television ads and radio spots as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of the Minnesota Legislature."