Public Campaign - maine en Maine Citizens for Clean Elections Board President, Alison Smith, Honored by YES Magazine <p>Late last month, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections Board President, Alison Smith, was honored by YES Magazine as one of their <a href=""><strong>"Breakthrough 15" for 2011</strong></a>. Smith has been a longtime ally of Public Campaign, and key advocate for the state's Clean Elections Program.</p><p><strong>From the YES Magazine announcment:</strong> "We will need people like Alison Smith, who was a stay-at-home mom when she began volunteering and eventually became a leader in a campaign that revolutionized election financing in Maine, providing public money to turn middle- and working-class people into competitive candidates for office."</p><p>The landmark Maine Clean Elections program has been a huge success since voters passed it into law in 1996. First implemented in the 2000 election cycle, the program has become a staple of the political culture in the state, with more and more people from all walks of life using the system. The law remains <a href=""><strong>hugely popular with voters</strong></a>, and is used by overwhelming majorites of both major parties.&nbsp;</p><p>Due to recent court decisions, the system has come under attack in recent years. Public Campaign continues to work closely with Smith and on-the-ground activists to ensure that the popular law remains on the books. With advocates like Smith helpng lead the way, we're confident that we can keep elections in Maine about voters, not big money donors.</p><p>Public Campaign profiled Smith in 2010. Check it out <a href=""><strong>here</strong></a>.</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file pdf"><a href=" Insights MCCE_Spring 2011 FINAL-1.pdf" class="pdf">Critical Insights MCCE_Spring 2011 FINAL-1.pdf</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>Smith has been a longtime ally of Public Campaign, and key advocate for the state's Clean Elections Program.</p> </div> </div> Alison Smith maine Maine Citizens for Clean Elections YES Magazine Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:37:34 +0000 John Papagiannis 458207 at Clips Round-up 8/15/2011 <p><span style="font-family: Calibri,Verdana,Helvetica,Arial;"><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections<br /> <a href="">Boycott campaign donations!, by Joe Nocera</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Nocera writes about Starbucks CEO George Schultz idea to boycott campaign contributions. "The fundamental problem is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is re-election. The lifeblood of their re-election campaigns is political contributions."<br /> <br /> <a href=""><strong>Citizens rise up in Maine</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Nice: "At least 68,000 Maine residents signed a petition to repeal a recent law that prohibited Election Day voter registration."<br /> <br /> <strong>Congress/2012<br /> <a href="">Supercommittee members have busy fundraising schedule</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>More from the Hill on super committee fundraising. Mentions the open letter on fundraising and transparency. Craig Holman: "These fundraisers are going to bring in a huge amount of cash because everyone who cares about the budget, which is everyone, will contribute to these lawmakers. It is exceedingly troublesome.”<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Poll: Voters want super committee members to end fundraising, provide transparency</a> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Voters really want super committee members to do the right thing and stop fundraising and provide transparency while they work.<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Murray gets heat as she readies to co-chair debt panel</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href=""></a><br /> </span></span>McClatchy runs a wire story on Patty Murray heading up super committee. Nick Nyhart: "Senator Patty Murray may be a fine senator, but putting Senate Democrats' leading fundraiser in charge of a committee that will see a lobbying push like never before sends the wrong message to the American people."<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">K Street prepares for super panel season</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Nothing to see here folks! My favorite part: "Those concerns, however, have had little resonance among lawmakers or leadership. To set special rules for the super committee on fundrasing would imply that existing rules don’t sufficiently insulate policy deliberations from political pressure. So, the parties go on."<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Renacci goes to bat for transparency</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Freshman Rep. Jim Renacci gets a plug in his hometown newspaper for his work on pushing transparency in the super committee<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Patty Murray, pork queen, by Michele Malkin</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Michele Malkin takes on Patty Murray's selection for the super committee. Me: "“It really sends a bad message to the American people when you’re the chief fund-raiser trying to come up with this balanced approach to deficit reduction."<strong><br /> </strong><br /> <a href=";ref=politics"><strong>A businessman in Congress, helping his district, and himself</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>NYT looks at Darrell Issa and his habit of doing things in Congress that help is own wallet. "In Mr. Issa’s case, it is sometimes difficult to separate the business of Congress from the business of Darrell Issa."<br /> <strong><br /> </strong><a href=""><strong>Congressman keeps eye on leadership</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></strong></span>Looking at the fundraising prowess of freshman Rep. Steve Womack. Nick Nyhart: "If you want to get ahead among your peers in Washington, being able to raise money is a huge asset. In fact, it is a requirement in leadership you are expected to raise a threshold amount."<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Perry offers perks to donors who raise generous funds</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Want to receive a VIP pass to the Republican convention next year? Offer to become a "Patriot" for Rick Perry and raise 500k for his campaign.<strong><br /> - <a href="">And he's going to need those folks to raise money outside of Texas</a> <br /> <br /> <a href="">Rick Perry super PAC raises issues of coordination, collusion</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Interesting story on all these Perry super PACs: "The connections that these groups have to Perry's inner circle, however, are raising serious questions about their supposed independence and the appearance of collusion."<br /> <strong><a href=""><br /> Blame for financial mess starts with corporate lobby, by Steve Perlstein</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Do read this Perlstein column about our economic mess and the influence of Wall Street money. <br /> <br /> <strong><a href="">Power to the corporations!, by Maureen Dowd</a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span></strong>Maureen Dowd takes on Mitt "Corporations are people" Romney. Oh, snap: "[N]ever has the traditional Republican doctrine been so succinctly explained."<strong><br /> -<a href=""> Katrina vanden Heuvel rounds up her top reactions to Romney's statement</a> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span><br /> <a href="">Mitt Romney's million-dollar "mystery donor" points out gigantic loopholes in campaign finance laws</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>The Republican newspaper in Mass. editorializes on Mitt's secret donors: "Anyone who would argue that all in campaign finance is just fine and dandy need look no further than the case of the million-dollar mystery donor."<br /> - <a href=" "><strong>And Michael Winship looks at Romney's work and network of contributors</strong></a> </span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Calibri,Verdana,Helvetica,Arial;"><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><a href=""><strong>Texas's K Street roots move behind Perry</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>What did Rick Perry say in his announcement speech? Something about America isn't broken, Washington, D.C. is broken? "A number of former aides to Texan lawmakers and Lone Star State natives who are now prominent lobbyists in Washington plan to back Perry."<br /> <br /> <a href=""><strong>GOP presidential hopefuls' New York fundraising</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Might need a subscription to see this: "Republican presidential hopefuls have collected nearly $2.5 million from New York donors, according to the latest available campaign finance filings. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has received an astonishing $2.1 million of that, or more than 85% of the haul."<br /> <br /> <strong><a href="">Romney's wealth endures but conflicts persist</a><br /> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href=""></a><br /> </span></span></strong>"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal wealth — up to $250 million — survived the nation's economic crisis, according to figures released Friday. But his pledge to sell off interests that conflict with his GOP stances did not extend to some investments in a family charity."<strong><br /> <br /> <a href="">Stop coddling the rich, by Warren Buffett</a></strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Warren Buffett writes in the Times - tax us! "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."<br /> <br /> <a href=""><strong>Power to rate beats trying to influence</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href=""></a></strong><br /> </span></span>Eliza Carney writes on the ratings agencies and how their influence comes not from their influence peddling, but just from their power over businesses. <br /> <strong><br /> Other/States<br /> </strong><a href=""><strong>Big spenders should be unmasked</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></strong></span>The AZ Republic wants transparency of secretive political groups popping up in the state. "The public has a right to know who those big spenders were. Unfortunately, we have little clue either because of exploitable quirks in election law regarding disclosure or because of lax enforcement."<strong><br /> </strong><br /> <a href=""><strong>Christie's courtship of business pays off in corporations</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Big biz is happy with Chris Christie and are rewarding Republican committees handsomely. <br /> <br /> <a href=";or=tn"><strong>Tom DeLay files appeal brief</strong></a><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /> </span></span>Tom DeLay has filed an appeal to overturn his corruption conviction. </span></span></p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>A round-up of news clips for August 15, 2011.</p> </div> </div> campaign donations corporations lobbyists maine Rep. Issa Rick Perry Sen. Patty Murray Super Committee transparency Mon, 15 Aug 2011 14:16:56 +0000 John Papagiannis 300299 at The Chronicles of Money, Politics, and the Lockout That Didn't End This Week <p>Here's a round-up of Public Campaign and Public Campaign Action Fund's work for the week of July 25-July 29, 2011.</p> <ul><li>"Special interests control Washington." Giving voice to what everyone already knows (but few actually say), longshot Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer <a href=""><strong>nails it again</strong></a> on the Colbert Report (here's <a href=""><strong>part two</strong></a> of the interview).</li></ul> <ul><li>Self-serving much? Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) seeks to eliminate potential competition by <a href=""><strong>calling for an end</strong></a> to Clean Elections for gubernatorial candidates.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul> <ul><li>Brinksmanship as a fundraising weapon. Some members of Congress are <a href=""><strong>using the debt ceiling debate</strong></a> to help fill the campaign coffers. It would be a shame to let a good crisis go to waste.</li></ul> <ul><li>They say that records were meant to be broken. And this one will be every four years. Open Secrets released their <a href=""><strong>in-depth analysis</strong></a> of campaign spending in the 2010 mid-term elections, and surprise, surprise, it shattered the previous record. Public Campaign Action Fund offered <a href=""><strong>this take</strong></a> on the record spending.</li></ul> <ul><li>Dare I say, the more important "lockout"?...The NFL lockout ended on Monday, but the lockout affecting nearly every American continues in the halls of Congress. Public Campaign offered this <a href=""><strong>blog post</strong></a> on how we all lose when the people's voice is locked out of the political process.</li></ul> <ul><li>How do you ensure a friendly congressional hearing? Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has a simple answer. <a href=""><strong>Invite the folks</strong></a> who help fill your campaign warchest to testify.</li></ul> <ul><li>Decisions, decisions...which billionaire do you side with? It sounds overly simple, but when we're talking about members of Congress, all you have to do is <a href=""><strong>follow the money</strong></a>. </li></ul> <p>Be sure to keep up with all the latest news on money-in-politics. Here's a <strong><a href="">link</a></strong> to our daily clips.</p><p>And check out this week's edition of <a href=""><strong>VoterFile</strong></a>, the Public Campaign Action Fund bi-weekly newsletter.</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>A round-up of Public Campaign and Public Campaign Action Fund's work for the week of July 25-July 29, 2011.</p> </div> </div> 2010 Buddy Roemer campaign spending Gov. Paul LePage maine NFL lockout Open Secrets Rep. Jim Jordan special interests Fri, 29 Jul 2011 15:23:26 +0000 John Papagiannis 270666 at Clips Round-up for 6/28/11 <div><strong>Other McComish stories:</strong></div><p>As you know, the Supreme Court released its decision yesterday throwing out the trigger fund provision of the Arizona Clean Elections Act. We have compiled a fairly extensive list of statements from organizations, elected officials, news, and other reactions to the decision. We'll continue to update it:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a>.&nbsp;</p> <div>Org statements:</div> <div>- Public Campaign and Common Cause:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></div> <div>- Brennan Center:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></div> <div>- Public Citizen:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></div> <div>- Campaign Legal Center:&nbsp;<a title=";view=article&amp;id=1388:june-27-2011-supreme-court-strikes-down-arizona-public-financing-law-&amp;catid=63:legal-center-press-releases&amp;Itemid=61" href=";view=article&amp;id=1388:june-27-2011-supreme-court-strikes-down-arizona-public-financing-law-&amp;catid=63:legal-center-press-releases&amp;Itemid=61">;view=article&amp;id=1388:june-27-2011-supreme-court-strikes-down-arizona-public-financing-law-&amp;catid=63:legal-center-press-releases&amp;Itemid=61</a></div> <div>- PFAW:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></div> <div>- CREW:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></div> <div>- Democracy 21:&nbsp;<a title=";SEC={91FCB139-CC82-4DDD-AE4E-3A81E6427C7F}&amp;DE={2F55A5C7-4493-4A24-A5F1-A805262D355E}" href=";SEC=%7B91FCB139-CC82-4DDD-AE4E-3A81E6427C7F%7D&amp;DE=%7B2F55A5C7-4493-4A24-A5F1-A805262D355E%7D">;SEC={91FCB139-CC82-4DDD-AE4E-3A81E6427C7F}&amp;DE={2F55A5C7-4493-4A24-A5F1-A805262D355E}</a></div> <div>- League of Women Voters:&nbsp;<a title=";ContentID=17590" href=";ContentID=17590">;ContentID=17590</a></div> <div>- Justice at Stake:&nbsp;<a title=";newsID=10945" href=";newsID=10945">;newsID=10945</a></div> <p>- Main Street Alliance:&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a></p> <p>There was a lot more yesterday, but probably best to go to&nbsp;<a title="" href=""></a> to look through everything and stay updated.</p><div><a href="">Congress needs Fair Elections Now, by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)</a></div> <p>Rep. Chellie (D-Maine) has this op-ed in The Hill today criticizing the decision but noting that Fair Elections remains a viable option. "In Monday’s decision, the Supreme Court once again showed it is more concerned with protecting the money over the many, but that doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and give up on efforts to make Congress more accountable to those who elected us."</p> <div><div><a href="">The First Amendment, upside down</a></div></div><p>New York Times editorial: "The ruling left in place other public financing systems without such trigger provisions, including public financing for presidential elections. It shows, however, how little the court cares about the interest of citizens in Arizona or elsewhere in keeping their electoral politics clean."</p> <div><div><a href="">Public finance ruling leaves a silver lining</a></div></div><p>USA Today editorial: "So the big news from Monday's ruling wasn't that the Arizona law was struck down, but that the majority said it had no interest in killing public financing altogether. For anyone fed up with government going to the highest bidder, that's reassuring." You could also read the opposing view from the "first amendment group" the Center for Competitive Politics, but eh.</p> <div><a href="">The surprisingly good news in the Supreme Court's new decision on the Arizona campaign finance law, by Rick Hasen</a></div> <p>Rick Hasen lays out why the decision could've been worse. "Yet today’s decision brings three pieces of unexpected good news to those of us who believe that reasonable campaign finance regulation is not only constitutional, but essential to prevent corruption and ensure fairness in our democracy."</p> <div><a href="">Supreme Court issues limited campaign finance ruling</a></div> <p>Several folks quoted in this Politico article.</p> <div><a href="">Matching funds: what the court didn't touch, by Zephyr Teachout</a></div> <p>Public Campaign Action Fund board member Zephyr Teachout writes for the New York Times, "Perhaps the most important part of the McComish opinion is what it doesn’t do."</p> <div><div><a href="">Supreme Court sides with the rich and powerful</a></div></div><p>From New Jersey, the Star-Ledger editorializes: "Make no mistake: This is an activist court. And increasingly, one that presents a tangible danger to our democracy."</p> <div><a href="">High court cut bad part of law</a></div><p>The Arizona Republic editorial, always a bit bullish on Clean Elections, writes "Those things that Arizona's Clean Elections campaign-finance law seems to do pretty well, such as free up candidates from the burdens of fundraising, it can continue to do. And that's a good thing."</p> <div><a href="">U.S. Supreme Court endorses Connecticut campaign finance law</a></div> <p>"A much-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court elections decision Monday had the effect of endorsing a key portion of Connecticut's campaign finance law, but failed to address unresolved disputes over two other parts of the law."</p> <div><a href="">Maine Clean Elections law will need full review</a></div><p>The Portland Press Herald writes that yesterday's decision means Maine Clean Elections deserves a full review going forward.</p> <div><strong>Congress/2012</strong></div> <div><a href="">Florida Congressman defies critics on rail project</a></div> <p>On Rep. John Mica's (R-Fla.) effort to build a "61-mile commuter rail project that the federal government ranks as one of the least cost-effective mass transit efforts in the nation," the Times writes, "But skeptics question whether Mr. Mica’s real goal is to give a taxpayer-financed gift to CSX, the freight rail giant and a generous Mica campaign donor."</p> <div><a href="">On Obama, Wall. St shows a reluctance to commit</a></div> <p>While Wall Street donors are playing coy about whether they plan to support Obama in 2012, a lot of them will--it's optics (on both sides).</p> <div><a href="">Obama pushing behind scenes to win over big-dollar donors</a></div> <p>"President Obama and top White House aides are waging a behind-the-scenes push to win over skeptical big-dollar donors — whose early money is needed to help fund a dramatic summertime expansion of his battleground-state machinery."</p> <div><a href="">Democrats take aim at business tax breaks</a></div> <p>Emboldened by Republican support for eliminating ethanol tax subsidies, Senate Democratic leaders are poring over a list of corporate tax breaks and eyeing votes that could put GOP Senators on the spot.</p> <div><a href="">Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid raise money for super PACs</a></div> <p>"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have started raising money for Democratic 'super PACs,' diving into the world of outside groups after condemning this type of fundraising in the most recent election cycle."</p> <div><a href="">Johnson has yet to produce written $10M compensation agreement</a></div> <p>Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) has still not produced the compensation agreement that got some play last week after it was released it came just a little too close to how much he self-funded his 2010 election.</p> <div><a href="">Three ways Democrats could choose to lose in 2012, and what they can do to avoid it, by Drew Westen</a></div> <p>Drew writes, "Hedge fund managers should not be paying 15% taxes on their incomes no matter how big their campaign contributions, when the top 25 of them are earning a billion dollars a year apiece."</p> <div><strong>Other</strong></div> <div><a href=",0,620170.story">Blagojevich on guilty verdict, "I, frankly, am stunned."</a></div> <div>Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 17 of 20 counts of corruption charges lately.</div> <p>- Our response: "Finally a politician is being held accountable for his actions." <a title="" href=""></a></p> <div><div><a href="">Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell at latest Koch brothers summit</a></div></div><p>"Two prominent Republican governors – Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Rick Perry of Texas – mingled with other GOP notables and some of the wealthiest conservative donors in the country at the annual summer retreat organized by the Koch brothers that began Sunday near Vail, Colo."</p> <div><a href="">NC House GOP leader defends caucus fundraiser</a></div><div>North Carolina legislators are barred from fundraising during the legislative session, but they're on a month long break so the GOP is doing one-- a big loophole, according to Bob Hall.</div><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>Clips Round-up for 6/28/11</p> </div> </div> Arizona campaign finance Clips Common Cause Connecticut Fair Elections Now Act florida gop Harry Reid Koch Brothers maine maine clean elections matching funds McComish v. Bennett Nancy Pelosi New Jersey north carolina PACs President Obama public campaign Rod Blagojevich U.S. Supreme Court Wall Street Tue, 28 Jun 2011 14:35:35 +0000 213872 at Clips Round-up for 6/7/11 <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections</strong><br /> <a href="">Why the 2012 election will be the most expensive ever<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></a><br /> "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."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Rep. Weiner admits tweeting lewd photo of himself<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> I promise the only reason I'm including this story is because Pelosi has called for a House Ethics investigation into the matter. <br /> <br /> <strong>Congress/2012</strong><br /> <a href="">Romney's money men (and women)<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "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."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Breakfast for Richard Lugar<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> 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.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Dems struggle over swipe fees<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "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."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Dem-leaning lobby shops see influx of foreign clients<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "Several Democratic firms have aggressively moved into the business of lobbying for foreign governments since the election of President Obama."<br /> <br /> <a href="">The Pentagon budget's stealth earmarks<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> 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 &nbsp;projects."<br /> <a href=""><br /> Democrat or Republican, national party committees reap campaign riches from registered lobbyists<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "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."<br /> <br /> <a href="">A better way to fix lobbying<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> 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."<br /> <br /> <strong>Other</strong><br /> <a href="">Ethics reform, warts and all<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> 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.<br /> - And the Times editorializes: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> <br /> <a href="">Clean Elections system works</a><br /> 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."<br /> <a href=""><br /> Russell Pearce group may be violating state law<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "A national fundraising effort to fight the recall against Senate President Russell Pearce may be running afoul of state campaign-finance laws."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Political payback? GOP donors enjoy huge tax breaks<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> 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."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The round up of news clips for June 7, 2011.</p> </div> </div> 2012 Clean Elections Clips Dick Lugar DNC ethics maine Mitt Romney New York Tue, 07 Jun 2011 20:12:39 +0000 179841 at Clips for June 3, 2011 <p><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections</strong> <br /> Transparency efforts by corporations undermine Chamber's anti-disclosure stance<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> "But many of the companies affiliated with the Chamber have extolled the values of disclosure and already publicly reveal their donations voluntarily."</p> <p>Reports: John Edwards facing indictment today<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Annnnddd...looks like we'll see an Edwards indictment today.</p> <p>About that precedent<br /> <a href=""></a><strong></strong><br /> The NYT editorializes on the Virginia judge's decision to revisit his decision to allow direct corporate contributions to candidates. "A re-do is clearly called for."<strong></strong></p> <p><strong>Congress/2012</strong> <br /> Mitch McConnell slams EPA during speech to coal group<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> McConnell talked some smack about the EPA at a a coal industry event. This article notes that McConnell has received big bucks from coal over the years</p> <p>The bank lobby steps up its attack on Elizabeth Warren<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Great piece from Ari Berman on Wall Street's attack on Elizabeth Warren and the campaign cash involved.&nbsp;</p> <p>Obama campaign revs up money machine<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> The Obama campaign is hoping to raise $60 million by the end of the second quarter.&nbsp;<br /> - And that'll <a href="">include a fundraiser</a> at the Broadway production of Sister Act!&nbsp;</p> <p>Hensarling fundraises off government contractors<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Rep. Hensarling, opponent of the govt contractor transparency, held a fundraiser with gov't contractors yesterday. Me: "I wonder if Hensarling discussed his concern about the influence of money in our political process with the government contractor lobbyists handing him money this morning."</p> <p>Vern Buchanan's former employees named among those donations were refunded<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Vern Buchanan, who swears he had nothing to do with his former company getting fined by the FEC, has returned some donations to employees of the company.</p> <p>Haley Barbour's oil industry ties<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Gov. Haley Barbour complained in a hearing that Democrats were just demagoguing on oil subsidies. From his election, PAC, and RGA presidency, he's helped raise millions in cash from the industry.</p> <p>Donal Trump out of race, but not his money<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> "Trump continues to toy with the 2012 spotlight, but there’s a less visible role in which he stands to make a serious impact: as a major donor to candidates at all levels."</p> <p>Questions for Palin<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Karen Finney writes about the legal and ethics problems of Palin's PAC-sponsored vacation</p> <p>Bauer leaving, Ruemmler in as White House counsel<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> White House Counsel Bob Bauer is leaving to be Obama's lawyer on the campaign</p> <p><strong>Other</strong> <br /> Tenn. opens door to corporate political donations<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law in Tennessee that will allow direct corporate contributions to candidates. A victory for all those down-trodden corporations.</p> <p>Bill would allow Maine gubernatorial hopefuls to raise more cash<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> "A Republican-backed proposal introduced this week would allow Mainers to write bigger checks to their favorite candidates for governor."</p> <p>Texas senator seeks veto of his own ethics amendment<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> A Texas Senator realizes that his amendment to an ethics bill was a poorly written over-reach and should be vetoed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Blagojevich, on stand, replies "yes," he's a liar<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> LOL, Blagojevich.</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The morning clips for June 3, 2011</p> </div> </div> Clips Jeb Hensarling John Edwards maine Sarah Palin Tennessee Fri, 03 Jun 2011 13:43:41 +0000 Adam Smith 171731 at Clips Round-up for 5/17/11 <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections</strong><br /> <a href="">Let's end the secret money arms race <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></a><br /> Great new piece from The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel on how Democrats need to take leadership on transparency measures and Fair Elections. Public Campaign President Nick Nyhart: "Our country’s biggest problems won’t be solved for the many if the process is fixed by the money."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Panel to review campaign spending legislation<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> A Maine Senate Committee is scheduled to look at some Clean Elections and other campaign finance fixes today.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Super PAC or pack of trouble<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> More details on Jim Bopp's PAC: He wants to serve as a clearinghouse - pushing candidates and parties to channel money to his PAC so he can spend unlimited sums on specific races. And what this is really about: "The legal issues could arise if donors coordinate their donations to Mr. Bopp’s group with candidates before hand, Mr. Gross said."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Business groups to Obama: Drop order on contractor disclosure<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Business groups are so mad about this draft executive order on disclosure that they are using their political influence to make sure the process isn't politicized. <br /> <br /> <strong>Congress/2012</strong><br /> <a href="">FEC clears complaint against Rep. Rivera<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> And the FEC has cleared its complaint against Rep. David Rivera in Florida on illegal coordination. <br /> <br /> <a href="">Chamber, GOP insist they sing from same hymnal<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The fight over the debt ceiling doesn't mean anything - Republicans and the Chamber will still scratch each other's backs. <br /> <br /> <a href="">GOP takes stock of Silicon Valley options<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Wall Street isn't the only place Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is going to woo donors--he's now trying to get some big bucks in Silicon Valley.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Ethanol producer wants to make it easier for corn farmers to fund PAC<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The world's largest ethanol producer "wants permission from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to start an initiative called the POET PAC Cultivator Club, which would allow farmers to contribute to POET PAC at a per bushel rate."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Senate to vote on oil tax bill Tuesday<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Looks like the Senate will hold a cloture vote on ending oil subsidies today.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Mitt Romney's money machine cranks up<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Mitt Romney raised $10 million yesterday.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Bank fight tests Reid's allegiances<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Swipe fees are ratcheting up the rivalry between Durbin and Schumer.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Lawmakers rebuff pleas to return funds from alleged Ponzi shemer<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The receiver for ponzi schemer Allen Stanford is having a hard time getting back his political contributions. "At least 50 members of the House and Senate have either ignored restitution demands or donated some of Stanford’s campaign contributions to charity instead."<br /> <br /> <strong>Other</strong><br /> <a href="">Update on 2012 presidential contenders: state PACs rev up the race<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> New report: "Potential 2012 presidential contenders have been busy building relationships and supporting politicians and party committees outside their home states, particularly in Iowa and South Carolina. They have also raised significant cash via state-level political action committees (PACs)."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Blagojevich trial hears differing views on alleged favors<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> An update on the Rod Blagojevich retrial. "Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich did not want to mix fundraising and governing, a former aide said on Monday, but other witnesses said political donations and government favors were linked."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Comfy at the top <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Great letter from North Carolina State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird: "As long as campaign contributions continue to allow big business to buy Congress - which was helped immeasurably by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision - we won't be able to change anything. It is distressing and discouraging."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The round up of news clips for May 17, 2011.</p> </div> </div> Clips Congress FEC maine Mitt Romney PACs Press Tue, 17 May 2011 13:49:24 +0000 140267 at Clips Round-up for 5/12/11 <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections</strong><br /> <a href="">Bills would weaken--or eliminate--Maine's Clean Elections Act<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></a><br /> Gov. LePage may have dropped his plans to defund Clean Elections in the budget, but that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. <br /> <br /> <a href="">Did Steny Hoyer really say that?<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Common Cause President Bob Edgar has this piece on The Huffington Post about Rep. Steny Hoyer's (D-Md.) comments on the draft disclosure executive order. "I thought that was the real Steny Hoyer, a principled while pragmatic, get-things-done congressman. The guy we heard from on Tuesday was something else altogether."<br /> - Editorial from the Providence Journal: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> - Op-ed from Tina Dupuy: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> <br /> <a href="">More than 40 percent of Hill staffers say lobbyists wield more power because of Citizens United<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> From Public Citizen: "An informal survey of congressional staffers suggests that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in <em>Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission</em> has left significant numbers of congressional staffers fearing retaliation against their bosses if they act in ways that displease lobbyists."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Lawsuit revives fear of foreign cash<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Ken Vogel provides an update on the lawsuit trying to overturn the ban on foreign nationals donating to political candidates--a special panel of federal district court judges will hear the case today.<br /> <br /> <strong>Congress/2012</strong><br /> <a href="">The demand for campaign cash <span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Public Campaign President Nick Nyhart responds to Rep. Jim Cooper's essay on "fixing Congress." He writes, "The demand for campaign cash increases our elected officials’ dependence on a relative handful of sources for big checks, siphons time away from careful legislating, and leaves out the most important people of all, ostensibly, in a democracy: the voters."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Contractor connections<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> With Chairmen Issa and Graves holding a hearing today on contractor disclosure, here's a rundown of some of the big government contractors funding their campaigns.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Stephen Colbert files FEC request for Colbert PAC<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "Comedian Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night went straight to the Federal Election Commission to ask for an exemption for his new political action committee he said aims to be "a force in the 2012 election."<br /> <br /> <a href="">AT&amp;T and T-Mobile chiefs field skeptical questions on Capitol Hill<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Article on yesterday's hearing on the ATT/T-Mobile merger hearing.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Burr appointment snub to DeMint<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Wow, in a surprise move, the leading sponsor of repealing Wall Street reform did NOT get a seat on the Senate finance committee.<br /> <br /> <a href="">League of Women Voters defends tough new ads<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and the Mass GOP have gone on the attack against the League of Women Voters for their ad criticizing him for voting to gut the Clean Air Act, but they have no regrets. "We chose this time to use a bigger megaphone because the terms of the debate need to be changed"<br /> <br /> <a href="">Haley Barbour's exit frees up 2012 cash<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Barbour's decision not to run in 2012 freed up some campaign money for other candidates.<br /> <br /> <a href="">FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker to join Comcast-NBC<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> An FCC Commissioner that voted to approve the NBC-Comcast merger will now become a lobbyist for Comcast. It's just like Congress!<br /> <br /><strong> Other</strong><br /> <a href="">From lawmaking to lobbying<span style="font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> This story talks about ex-lawmakers turned lobbyists at the statehouse in Nevada. Common Cause’s Mary Boyle: "If you’re eyeballing a job while you’re a legislator, and you’re casting votes on public policy issues, are you doing so in the interest of the public, or to impress a potential employer?”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The round up of news clips for May 12, 2011.</p> </div> </div> campaign cash Citizens United Clean Elections FEC lobbying maine Steny Hoyer Thu, 12 May 2011 13:58:11 +0000 130955 at Clips Round-up for 5/11/11 <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Campaign Finance/Fair Elections</strong><br /> <a href="">New poll: Maine voters overwhelmingly want to keep Clean Elections<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></a><br /> There's a new poll out in Maine, and no surprise, voters don't want the legislature to end Clean Elections.<br /> - And from Maine: "Bottom line is Mainers like Clean Elections" <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> - Another: "Clean Election fund not a piggy bank." <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> <br /> <a href="">Darrell Issa, fighting Obama disclosure, accused of doing donor's bidding<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> We sent letters to six House GOP chairmen yesterday questioning their motives in opposing Obama's executive order. <br /> - &lt;<a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a>&gt; &nbsp;mentions it too: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a>. <br /> - And here's the release and letters: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> - Steny Hoyer isn't pleased about the order: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> <br /> <a href="">Political contributions should be more transparent<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The SF Chronicle says Obama should go for it and sign the transparency order.<br /> - Anchorage Daily News agrees: <a href=""><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>Congress/2012</strong><br /> <a href="">IRS gift tax move could hit new anonymous groups<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> The IRS looks like it's going to start going after the gift tax--which could affect the anonymous spending groups like Crossroads GPS.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Romney focused on outraising--by far--Republican presidential competitors<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Mitt Romney can't be bothered to make friends in early battleground states--he's got money to raise. "The presumed Republican front-runner...has spent his early weeks as an exploratory candidate soliciting pledges in hopes of amassing a war chest that would put him far ahead of his competitors."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Oil industry reaping benefits on massive campaign contributions<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Sayeth the Mercury News editorial board: "This isn't about lowering gas prices. It's about giving campaign donors a return on their investment."<br /> <br /> <a href="">Democrats raising money they oppose<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> "Democrats have railed for more than a year against the landmark Supreme Court decision that unleashed unlimited and undisclosed corporate and union dollars in political campaigns, but now they’re preparing to collect and spend this same money."<br /> <br /> <a href="">American Crossroads supports Jane Corwin in House race<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Republicans, nervous about losing a seat in NY-26, are sending American Crossroads money to try to save it. <br /> - LOL, and the ad is going after the other Republican in the race, Jack Davis (as in Davis v. FEC) as a "millionaire career candidate."<br /> <br /> <strong>Other</strong><br /> <a href="">Bill De Blasio's campaign bungle <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri;"></span></a><br /> Former RNC Counsel Brad Smith doesn't like Bill de Blasio's research on corporate tax avoiders and their campaign contributions. Let's hope readers will make it past today's NY Post cover story on Will Smith's trailer on the set of Men in Black 3 to read this.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <div class="filefield-file "><a href="" class=""></a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>The round up of news clips for May 11, 2011.</p> </div> </div> 2012 Clean Elections Clips disclosure maine transparency Wed, 11 May 2011 13:54:57 +0000 129092 at NEW POLLING: Maine Voters Overwhelmingly Want to Keep Clean Elections Program <p>In a poll <a href="">released today</a> by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE), more than eight in 10 Mainers say it is important to keep Clean Elections on the books in the state.</p><p>The <a href="">polling</a> comes as Gov. LePage released an updated budget package that would gut the Clean Election Fund, creating an enormous shortfall for the 2012 legislative elections; repeal Clean Elections for gubernatorial candidates; and more than triple the private contribution limit for gubernatorial candidates.</p><p>From the MCCE <a href="">press release</a>:</p><p>Jim Annis, a former Republican lawmaker from Dover-Foxcroft said, "Mainers chose in 1996 to lead on this issue. They continue to indicate through this poll that they don't want wall street or big money donors running main street. People want a voice with their elected leaders and they don't feel those with the biggest wallet should be the final voice in the room."</p><p>The Maine Clean Elections program has been a huge success and remains popular not only with citizens, but with politicians as well, with officials who ran under the Clean Elections program now holding 86 percent of the Senate and 78 percent of the Maine House of Representatives.</p><p>You can take action to help save Clean Elections by signing an open letter to the 125th legislature. <a href="">Click here</a> to sign the letter!</p><p><a href="">Click here</a> for the full polling.</p><div class="field field-type-filefield field-file"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd first"> <div class="filefield-file pdf"><a href=" Release - Poll Results May 2011.pdf" class="pdf">Press Release - Poll Results May 2011.pdf</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even last"> <div class="filefield-file pdf"><a href=" Atlantic Poll MCCE report May 2011.pdf" class="pdf">Pan Atlantic Poll MCCE report May 2011.pdf</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-callout-teaser"> <div class="field-item odd first last"> <p>Eighty-two percent of Mainers Want to Keep Clean Elections</p> </div> </div> Clean Elections maine polling Tue, 10 May 2011 14:52:55 +0000 John Papagiannis 127341 at