Clips Round-up for 6/7/11
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Why the 2012 election will be the most expensive ever
"The 2012 elections are shaping up to be the priciest in history, with the political parties and ostensibly independent 'outside group' gearing up to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars, most of it on political advertising, much of it from donors whose identities will never be known."
Rep. Weiner admits tweeting lewd photo of himself
I promise the only reason I'm including this story is because Pelosi has called for a House Ethics investigation into the matter.
Romney's money men (and women)
"As he ramps up his 2012 presidential bid, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) has been actively recruiting major donors who did not support him four years ago — with impressive results."
Breakfast for Richard Lugar
Sen. Lugar is holding a fundraiser tomorrow with several defense contractors. I wonder if S. 1100, a bill to get around any order from Obama to require contractor disclosure, will be discussed.
Dems struggle over swipe fees
"A fight raging in the Senate over credit card swipe fees could come to a head this week, pitting two Democratic camps against each other: populists vs. Wall Street supporters."
Dem-leaning lobby shops see influx of foreign clients
"Several Democratic firms have aggressively moved into the business of lobbying for foreign governments since the election of President Obama."
The Pentagon budget's stealth earmarks
Congress made a big show of banning earmarks, but buried deep in defense budget is a provision "that would funnel more than $650 million from the MFET back to representatives' pet projects."
Democrat or Republican, national party committees reap campaign riches from registered lobbyists
"The Democratic National Committee has a policy against accepting donations from registered lobbyists, but the other national party committees appear all too happy to take lobbyists' money."
A better way to fix lobbying
The Brookings Institution has a new paper on how to fix the perception of "corruption" in lobbying: "The Library of Congress should create a website that will become the de facto online forum and clearinghouse for all public policy advocacy."
Ethics reform, warts and all
Looks like Gov. Cuomo will release an ethics package today. It will include a new ethics panel to oversee legislative and executive branches and require more disclosure on personal finance.
- And the Times editorializes: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/opinion/07tue1.html
Clean Elections system works
A bipartisan duo of former Maine lawmakers write: "But there is one proposed change that we agree should not be made by the 125th Legislature, and that is the repeal of the Maine Clean Election Act."
Russell Pearce group may be violating state law
"A national fundraising effort to fight the recall against Senate President Russell Pearce may be running afoul of state campaign-finance laws."
Political payback? GOP donors enjoy huge tax breaks
A Florida tax break will knock about $28 off the average homeowner's tax bill in Palm Beach County, "But for some of the state's biggest companies, including several that helped power last year's GOP political campaigns, the tax cut will yield tax savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars and maybe even more than $1 million for a few."