9/15/14 Daily Clips - Clinton on McConnell, foreign travel, and big primary spending
Every Voice President David Donnelly had a great oped in the Courier-Journal this weekend: "For almost all Kentuckians, the free and open system championed by their senior senator seems closed, corrupt and corrosive to the democratic process."
And I think I missed this Sunlight analysis last week on primary spending. One fact: "We identified the party affiliation of the outside group and the candidate targeted for about $95 million of this spending. Republican-leaning groups outspent Democrats about $59 million to $36 million."
More than $3.1 million has already been spent this year on TV ads in state supreme court primaries and off-cycle elections
HuffPost: Money in Politics and the 'Real' Issues We Face
PFAW's Marge Baker on last week's Democracy for All amendment debate: "Despite the cynicism of beltway reporters and commentators, many of whom failed to see this as anything other a partisan squabble in an election year and a distraction from "real" issues, we know that this is the debate the American people wanted. Steelworkers' Leo Gerard.
HuffPost: Asking the Right Questions on Citizens United
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: "If Republicans want to defend the rights of corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited, secret money in campaigns, then they should say so. But they do not get a free pass to defend unlimited, secret political spending by sidestepping the question and pretending that Democrats are attacking our nation's First Amendment." Free Speech for People's Ron Fein in the Daily Caller on Ted Cruz. The Detroit Free Press is not a fan of the amendment.
Stamford Advocate: Small step forward in ridding politics of Big Money
Nice piece in Connecticut on last week's debate. Public Campaign's Nick Nyhart: ""One of the most significant things about it is that, in an election year, a majority of elected officials decided to put this on their agenda. It means they are conscious of voters. If they believed voters were not interested, they wouldn't have had a vote on it."
WaPo: A Montgomery County campaign finance bill empowers small donors
Nice editorial endorsing movement in Montgomery County, MD to create a small donor public financing system. "In return for declining special-interest contributions of any kind, candidates for local office would be eligible for healthy amounts of public matching funds, provided they could demonstrate broad grass-roots backing from constituents in the form of small checks — $150 or less." Stay tuned for some action on this. On the cost.
Juneau Empire: Begich outlines campaign finance proposals
His opponent has asked for a version of the People's Pledge on outside spending: " U.S. Sen. Mark Begich on Friday proposed changes to federal campaign finance laws, including requiring the top three contributors to candidates or third-party groups be identified in ads."
Wichita Eagle: Don’t politicize election office
Common Cause President Miles Rapoport, a former Secretary of State in Connecticut, has a nice piece on Kansas and the politicization of the SoS office.
Here's video of Bill Clinton ripping into Mitch McConnell at the Harkin Steak Fry this weekend about his speech at the Koch summit, specifically calling out his crazy remarks that the passage of McCain-Feingold was the "worst day" of his political life: "What about 9/11? What about the financial meltdown? What about the farm crisis in the 1970's and what about the middle of the country's manufacturing base hollowing out in the 1980's?" And Honest Gil is going back to KY this week.
WaPo: New Grimes ad goes there: ‘Mitch, that’s not how you hold a gun’
Speaking of Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes' new ad features her shooting a gun.
Politico: Mary Landrieu reimburses feds for plane travel
"Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu sent the federal government a check for more than $33,000 after wrongly charging taxpayers for political travel over a period of 12 years, her campaign announced Friday."
Politico: Memo: Value in anti-Koch attacks
Interesting: "The Tom Steyer-funded outside group focused on climate change has found attacks on the Koch brothers to be effective in key races and with a swath of voters for whom economics are a main driver, according to a memo obtained by POLITICO."
AP: Chemical industry tries to shape regulations
They've also been dropping some money on independnet expenditures: "The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish standards for chemicals used in products from household goods to cellphones and plastic water bottles — but also make it tougher for states to enact their own regulations."
Herald-Leader: Banking industry donates heavily to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr as he champions deregulation bills
Great story on Andy Barr taking a lead role in banking deregulation and banks filling up his campaign coffers in return.
The Hill: Sanders lays out 'Agenda for America'
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was also in Iowa this weekend, offering his "Agenda for America," that of course included money in politics reforms.
New report on foreign-funded travel: "According to a National Journal review of public records—including every lawmaker's financial-disclosure form—members took at least 52 trips in 2013 that were funded by foreign governments. That figure represents a tenfold jump from only a few years ago and twice as many as in 2011, the previous recent year with the most foreign-government-funded trips."
WaPo: Rand Paul to headline GOP fundraiser in swing state of Virginia
"Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plans to help Republicans in the swing state of Virginia fill party coffers at a fundraiser this month."
NYT: Lawmaker Assails Foreign Donations to Think Tanks
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) is concerned about the recent revelations about foreign money going to think tanks, sending a letter that reads: "When a lobbyist comes before an office, it is well known that they are representing a client or foreign government — and under the law they have to disclose it. However, think tanks are supposed to be different; they are considered to be independent sources of information, and their policy recommendations are expected to be in the national interest rather than their special interest.”
USA Today: Pro-Clinton super PAC plans November strategy meeting
"As Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton heads back into Iowa politics Sunday afternoon, a super PAC encouraging her to seek the presidency is planning a big gathering of its top donors in late November."
CRP: American Future Fund Goes to the Islands
This is strange: "A politically active nonprofit that spent more than $25 million on ads to help Republicans in the 2012 elections has stepped into a messy dispute between the government of Puerto Rico and a bank that claims the commonwealth owes it money — not something that fits neatly with the group’s activities in previous election cycles."
Miami Herald: Panel rejects delay in Rivera case, asks judge to set penalties for ethics violation
"Faced with an exodus of his legal team, David Rivera failed to delay a Florida Commission on Ethics case that found he corruptly managed taxpayer money and his own financial disclosure forms as a state legislator."
USA Today: Florida House race shaping up as nasty, expensive
The race for FL-14 is going to be expensive and nasty.
Here's a report from Public Citizen on the success of the "People's Pledge" in the Rhode Island Democratic Gubernatorial primary.
HuffPost: Campaign Finance Reform: Making Gains on the State Level
The Massachusetts Speaker of the House writes for HuffPo: "While federal action is necessary to combat the pernicious effects of furtive spending, it is my belief that states can and should be a part of this effort. This summer, Massachusetts passed legislation to strengthen campaign finance regulations and require super PACS to disclose their funding sources."
The Hill: Perry deserved indictment
Melanie Sloan on Rick Perry: "It certainly serves Perry’s interest to frame the dispute as a referendum on Lehmberg’s poor conduct, but a governor drunk on his own power can break the law and violate the public trust all on his own."
AZ Republic: Bill Clinton will headline DuVal fundraiser
"Bill Clinton will headline a Scottsdale fundraiser Tuesday for Fred DuVal, the Democratic candidate for governor and a former White House staffer under Clinton."
Yahoo News looks at the BuyPartisan app that tells you how partisan your groceries are.
Capital Tonight: Samuels To Cuomo: Put Your $ Where Your Mouth Is
"Democratic activist and donor Bill Samuels is calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to transfer $10 million from his overflowing campaign war chest to the coffers of the state Senate Democrats to help them in their quest to re-take control of the chamber."
Facing South: NC judicial candidates set to spend record sums to get elected
In the first time in a decade, judicial candidates in NC don't have public financing for their campaigns. A good look at what that's meant this cycle.
AP: Groups aiming to help NC legislative Democrats
"Groups in the shadow of traditional campaigns are poised to once again attempt to influence North Carolina General Assembly races through ads and mailers bought with millions of dollars largely from companies and politically-minded organizations."