Clips Round-up for 11/9/12
Friends of Democracy super PAC had a good cycle: "Friends of Democracy, formed to support candidates who favor limits on big money in politics, says that at least six of the eight candidates it supported won their races. A seventh race is headed for a recount with the group’s favored candidate slightly ahead." Jonathan Soros: "In a House environment where not much changed overall, this seems to be a very clear theme that supporters of reform did well and opponents were defeated. Without regard to party, voters are disgusted with the way money flows into politics.”
This may have been lost in all the press this week, but the Senate added six new strong supporters of campaign reform on Tuesday - all six replacing incumbents who have been absent, inactive, or opposed to efforts like public financing.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
The Nation: How the GOP's war on voting backfired
Ari Berman says the attacks on voting rights backfired. Love this quote from an Ohio preacher: "When they went after big mama’s voting rights, they made all of us mad." New York Times does a "room for debate" on voting reform.
American Prospect: It's wrong to say money lost last night
Heather McGhee: "Today, November 7th, the real game begins—when those who purchased a full term of access to their favored candidate begin to exercise an undemocratic advantage over the millions of Americans who merely voted, to shape the laws and regulations that are written for all of us."
Gawker: Montana voters deprive corporations of their humanity
Heh, Gawker takes on the Montana anti-Citizens United initiative.
Billings Gazette: Tester: time to bridge partisan divide and attack nation's problems--including "secret money"
"Tester, speaking in Great Falls shortly after he was declared the winner, said those problems include the federal deficit, taxes, the economy and the tidal wave of 'relentless, secretive political spending' seen in his race and many others across the nation."
Courier-Journal: Citizens really united
Editorial on a constitutional amendment: "This time, perhaps. But citizens, officials and legislatures in a number of states don’t want to gamble on the future and are doing more than wishing and hoping about next time. They are joining a national movement to propose a constitutional amendment to overrule the Citizens United decision." Free Speech for People's Peter Schurman for McClatchy.
NYT: Ethics in play, voters oust incumbents under inquiry
"In races around the country, an unusually large number of lawmakers facing charges of wrongdoing were unceremoniously ousted from their jobs on Tuesday — which is quite rare, because more than 90 percent of the incumbents seeking re-election to Congress typically return for another term."
Sunlight: How much did money really matter on Tuesday?
Sunlight analysis on House races: "It appears that candidate spending may have mattered a bit more than outside spending, especially for Democrats. It also appears that outside spending may have contributed slightly to the vote share, though not to the probability of victory."
The Hill: Axelrod: Elections show PACs "can't buy the White House"
"Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said Thursday that if he were a Republican billionaire who donated to a conservative super-PACs during this election, he would want his money back." Politico.
Courier-Journal: One day after election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hosted fundraiser for 2014 election
Sen. McConnell didn't waste any time, holding his "2014 kickoff" in DC on Wednesday PCAF's David Donnelly: "It seems fitting that Mitch McConnell would have his 2014 kickoff’ at a lobbyist fundraiser in Washington, D.C. – those are the people he spends the most time representing." The fundraiser was first reported by Politico Influence.
NaJo: Does money talk in Congress? In 2012, it screamed
"But from the beginning of the cycle, it was clear that the new order of unbridled money, secretive nonprofits, and super PACs had fundamentally reshaped how American politics is played. Candidates are now less masters of their own electoral destiny than ever, buffeted instead by the whims and wallets of millionaires, billionaires, and special interests."
Mother Jones: Will Republican mega-donors say sayonara to super PACs?
"Rove and his allies are bound to have a bunch of angry rich guys on their case. Which begs the question: Will the Republican Party's biggest bankrollers stick by Rove, super-PACs, and politically charged nonprofits—or do they shut their wallets and move on?"
WaPo: Whither Karl Rove?
"But, that odd moment aside, there is also a broader conversation happening within the Republican party about Rove and whether his time as the unquestioned smartest guy in the GOP has come to an end." But he's playing defense. American Prospect, HuffPost.
Politico: House GOP outside spenders did better
Not all was lost on Tuesday, with the group chaired by former Senator and Hogen Lovell partner Norm Coleman doing ok: "The nonprofit American Action Network and an affiliated super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, went on TV in 19 congressional races during the 2012 general election, according to a CLF official. Of those races, Republicans won 12, lost five and two have yet to be called."
TPM: GOP mega-donor: these super PACs are so secretive!
Foster Friess is not happy: "“You have no idea of the financial structuring of a lot of these outside groups in terms of how much went to the actual delivery of a message,” Friess said, “versus how many dollars were taken off as fees to the people running them.”
Reuters: Obama vs. the super PACs: how the incumbent prevailed
"Millions of dollars were raised and spent, swing states reeled from endless political ads, and now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected, the soul searching begins."
NaJo: Role of "dark money" in Senate races comes to light
Public Citizen report: "About half of the money spent in competitive Senate races this cycle came from groups that do not have to disclose their funders, according to the new report. "
WSJ: How race slipped away from Romney
Some interesting stuff in here about how after the primary, instead of focusing on winning over battleground voters, Romney was forced to spend a lot of time fundraising in all the usual places - California, Texas, New York. "The fundraising marathon reduced his ability to deliver his own message to voters just as the Obama campaign was stepping in to define the Republican candidate on its terms." Alec MacGillis at TNR also looks at this.
Politico: Election over, K Street ready to cash in
"That answer now known, lobbyists are looking forward to the lucrative cocktail of mixed congressional control and massive legislative challenges that affect corporations, unions and special interests on big-ticket items including taxes and defense spending."
CRP: Single-candidate super PACs post mixed record in Congressional races
"Super PACs devoted to supporting or opposing one candidate spent a total of $287.6 million this election cycle, with many of them involved in primary races. Despite spending millions, though, these groups weren't particularly successful in achieving their desired results."
The Hill: Report: NRA shoots blanks this election
"The National Rifle Association (NRA) all but struck out this election in its quest to build a Congress more favorable to gun rights, according to a new nonpartisan report. "
Sunlight: Study: Planned Parenthood gets best return on investment
"The Sunlight Foundation released a report Thursday calculating return on investment for outside spending groups in the 2012 election based on what percentage of their spending went to races that ended up with the desired results. Planned Parenthood's super PAC got the best return. "
NBC News Nation: Conservative super PACs lose big on election day
NYT's Nick Confessore on MSNBC talking about what the big losses mean for super PACs.
HuffPost: Alan Grayson takes on the Koch brothers
He's baaaack: "The Koch brothers and their allies and Karl Rove were able to depress the Democratic vote through outright lies and trickery repeated endlessly through their TV propaganda ads in 2010. But now people are wising up."
CNN: Rubio to headline fundraiser for Iowa governor
I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I started a 2016 section so early: "Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will headline a birthday fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad next week, a spokesman for the governor announced Thursday."
The Hill: GOP rep. has paid little of $500k owed
"Over the last three months, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) didn’t raise any of the roughly $500,000 that the House Ethics Committee has ordered her to pay for violating the chamber’s rules, according to her latest financial filings."
WaPo: DC voters go for integrity
Editorial: "DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA voters showed the door Tuesday to a D.C. Council member who had made a mess of his personal and political affairs. They also gave overwhelming approval to a trio of reforms aimed at improving government ethics. They made clear, in other words, that they are fed up with the scandals that have mired their city."