Clips round up for 11/2/2012
Tom Hamburger at WaPo: "It is no accident that much of the record spending in this year’s election, now funding an avalanche of last-minute ads across the country, comes from groups with a strong interest in shaping federal tax rules. Tax reform is likely to be at the top of the agenda for the next Congress. And the topic ranks as the No. 1 concern of the business groups that have dominated independent spending in this election."
And Sunlight Foundation reports that through November 1, $213 million has been spent by "dark money" groups, with 81% of that going to help Republicans.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Roll Call: OCE sent three cases to ethics panel in third quarter
"The Office of Congressional Ethics sent three new cases to the House Ethics Committee for further investigation in the third quarter, according to a report released Wednesday."
HuffPo: Supreme Court's theory of "independent" outside money is no longer operative
Public Citizen's Taylor Lincoln: "In Citizens United, the court decided to permit unregulated outside spending by corporations and other entities that are not connected to candidates because it assumed such expenditures would be 'independent' and, therefore, not potentially corrupting. To borrow an expression from the Watergate era, which led to our modern campaign finance rules, the court's assumption is 'no longer operative.'"
KQED: Arizona group poses challenge to California campaign disclosure laws
" It's uncertain whether voters will learn before Election Day who's behind an Arizona group's $11-million contribution to two California ballot measure campaigns. But the court case seeking disclosure of the donors has turned into a crucial test of California’s campaign finance system."
NH Business Review: Q&A with campaign finance reformer John Rauh
A Q&A with Americans for Campaign Reform's John Rauh
NYT: Campaigns brace to sue for votes in crucial states
Let's hope it doesn't come down to this: "Thousands of lawyers from both presidential campaigns will enter polling places next Tuesday with one central goal: tracking their opponents and, if need be, initiating legal action. It will be a kind of Spy vs. Spy."
Politico: Rahm dials unions for Priorities USA contributions
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been calling labor unions over the past week and making a forceful case that they contribute six-figures and up to President Barack Obama’s super PAC, multiple sources tell POLITICO."
CNN: Mitt Romney thanks major financial backers
"In between campaign stops, Mitt Romney Thursday joined a conference call to thank his campaign's major financial boosters, CNN has learned."
Post-Standard: Florida Republican money flows to Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum, she gives it to charity
Ann Marie Buerkle supporters getting desperate: Florida Republican donors tried giving money to the Green Party candidate, who was too smart for that, and donated the money to charity.
McClatchy: Mitt Romney, Benjamin Netanyahu share donors as well as friendship
Following up on the recent Haaretz report on this: "More than half the people who gave money to Netanyahu’s re-election campaign are Americans who’ve also donated to the Romney campaign or the Republican Party in the United States."
Politico: House GOP names incumbents in need
The NRCC leaked a memo to the press yesterday telling big donors/super PACs where they should send cash.
TPM: Mysterious super PAC dumps nearly $1M into Senate races
Getting around disclosure before the election by taking money after the October 17th pre-general report: "A mysterious super PAC formed in mid-October has dumped close to $1 million into Senate races in Montana and North Dakota and likely won’t have to disclose its donors until after Election Day."
Sunlight: Outside spending group defends Republican outsiders
"In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, an outside spending group with ties to two infamous negative campaigns against Democrats has launched efforts to rescue two Republican Party outcasts."
Sunlight: Mysery PAC drops $1.7 million before revealing Adelson connection
"A super PAC that deliberately disguised its connection to Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson emerged from the shadows to drop nearly $1.7 million in a single day this week to oppose President Barack Obama's reelection, one of a series of money bombs in a week where outside spending threatens to top $200 million."
Politico: GOP spends big to save Mourdock
"About $4 million is being spent across the airwaves in the final week of the campaign to bolster Mourdock."
CRP: Car dealers help drive auto industry cash to Romney
Driven by dealerships: "So far this election cycle, Mitt Romney has received about $2.5 million from individuals and political action committees connected to the automotive industry and giving contributions in the form of $200 or more."
NaJo: Scandals aren't always enough to topple lawmakers
"[Jesse] Jackson is one of many scandal-plagued lawmakers likely to return to Congress; for these lawmakers it almost feels like they couldn't lose an election no matter how hard they tried." Vern Buchanan is another.
Sunlight: Conservative columnists' anti-Obama ad backed by unknown donors
Wait, Dick Morris has a super PAC? Yes, and they got some last minute cash they don't have to disclose before the election.
NaJo: VoteVets' final push in Senate races: $1.25M
"With less than a week left until Election Day, liberal-leaning VoteVets Action Fund is pouring $1.25 million worth of ad buys into three states."
Sun Chronicle: Bielat charges Kennedy campaign with campaign finance violations in congressional race
"Republican congressional candidate Sean Bielat is raising questions about what his campaign calls potentially illegal campaign finance coordination between the campaign of Democrat opponent Joseph Kennedy III and federal and state Democratic party organizations."
The Nation: Through the back door, a late money surge for Akin
"Big-dollar donations from outside groups and the national party dried up for Representative Todd Akin after his heinous remarks about 'legitimate rape' But now, with only days before the election, the faucet has suddenly been turned back on." NYT.
Bangor Daily News: Republican super PAC makes late effort to boost dill
"A super PAC controlled by Republicans is making a late effort to boost Cynthia Dill, the Democratic candidate for Maine’s U.S. Senate seat, in an attempt to divert progressive support from independent former Gov. Angus King."
PoliticsPA: NYC Mayor Bloomberg super PAC hits Freed on Guns
"A super PAC founded and funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending over $250,000 to boost Democratic Attorney General hopeful Kathleen Kane."Also spending $2.35M to beat Rep. Joe Baca in CA and $730k for Bob Dold in Ill.
CPI: "Right-to-work" group gave Montana nonprofit $300,000
"A secretive nonprofit group that wants to nullify Montana’s campaign finance laws received a $300,000 donation from an anti-union organization aligned with a Colorado furniture executive, an Internal Revenue Service document shows."
Bradenton Sun: Florida Gov. Rick Scott not likely to extend early voting hours
"Citing long lines, a former Miami Beach state senator, the Florida Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters of Florida urged Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday to extend early voting. But don’t expect the effort to go anywhere."