14 Jan 1/14/16 Clips – Ted Cruz’s secret loan, Cuomo calls for reform, and Wheel of Fortune
As Ted Cruz began criticizing Donald Trump’s "New York values" this week, the Times reported yesterday that Cruz’s "we liquidated everything to run for Senate" story has some problems and a little added New York ~value~:
"A review of personal financial disclosures that Mr. Cruz filed later with the Senate does not find a liquidation of assets that would have accounted for all the money he spent on his campaign. What it does show, however, is that in the first half of 2012, Ted and Heidi Cruz obtained the low-interest loan from Goldman Sachs, as well as another one from Citibank. The loans totaled as much as $750,000 and eventually increased to a maximum of $1 million before being paid down later that year. There is no explanation of their purpose."
The error was "inadvertent" the campaign says, as not disclosing a six-figure loan from your wife’s Wall Street bank in the heat of a contentious Texas primary often is. He wants the FEC to tell him how to fix it.
And the next time someone says this election cycle shows "money doesn’t matter," send them this story: "The state of Florida is putting thousands of children with heart defects at risk, a group of cardiac doctors say, because of a change in policy that came after Tenet Healthcare contributed $200,000 to Florida Republicans."
NYDN: Gov. Cuomo, in ‘State of the State’ address, unveils fourth ethics reform package since taking office
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again called for ethics reforms and public financing in his State of the State Address yesterday (he tweeted about it too).
Citizen Action’s Karen Scharff: "A comprehensive approach to reform, like the Governor proposed, centered around public campaign finance, is the only way to restore public trust and restore democracy."
Center for Public Integrity. NYT editorial.
Huffington Post: The President Heard Us
Small Plant Institute’s Frances Moore Lappe and Democracy Matters’ board member Adam Eichen have this piece on the State of the Union: "He has heard the growing cry of the 85 percent of us who want big changes (with almost half of us wanting a complete rebuild!) in how America funds elections.’
American Prospect: Is Obama Finally Getting Real on Money in Politics?
A good roundup of reactions to Obama’s SOTU remarks on money in politics. It ends, "But for most reform advocates, an Obama executive order to force disclosure on federal contractors would go a long way toward salvaging his otherwise tarnished reputation as a champion of change." Ruth Marcus: " Where has this guy been for the past seven years, especially on the issue of campaign finance reform?" The Intercept.
Common Cause: President Obama’s Plan To Fix Our Politics
Common Cause expands on his comments with actions Obama can take to follow up on his comments.
In his speech in Nebraska yesterday, President Obama said, "we have to end the crazy amounts of money, much of it hidden, that’s in our political system right now." Right now, with the stroke of a pen, he could reveal some of that hidden money.
NBC News: With Three Weeks To Iowa, Top GOP Donors Remain on The Sidelines
"Of the five top donors who spent more than $100 million dollars combined in 2012, only two have pledged their support to a candidate this election cycle. And only five of the top ten Republican donors have picked a candidate. There is no evidence that the other high-dollar donors have placed their bets."
AP: PACs, candidates bet on morning shows, ‘Wheel of Fortune’
"Political groups are flooding the airwaves during popular game shows, including ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ as well as local news and network morning shows as they try to influence presidential primary voters, according to an analysis by The Associated Press."
It seems weird to me that the conclusion of Jeb’s donors is "money doesn’t matter" instead of "maybe he’s a bad candidate."
Wall Street Journal: Republicans and Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street
This story isn’t necessarily about money in politics, but anything about Wall Street and politicians always is a little bit: "Wall Street is confronting a presidential election unlike any it has seen: One in which the banking industry is denounced by candidates on the left and the right."
New York Times: Ted Cruz Starts to Crack G.O.P. Establishment’s Wall of Opposition
Maybe the Goldman news will even help him here! "That even traces of détente have appeared between Mr. Cruz and the party’s traditional power brokers this early illustrates how thoroughly unpredictable the Republican race has been — and that, for major political donors, it can be safer to hedge one’s bets in such a volatile environment."
Frank Luntz reports that the biggest moment for Democrats in his focus groups during the State of the Union was during the money-in-politics section (maybe a sign that Democratic candidates should talk their reform platforms more going into Iowa).
Al Jazeera: The wealthy are ruining American health care
Demos’ Sean McElwee and Vijay Das: "Nowhere is that clearer than in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which exemplifies how very wealthy political donors impair access to health care.”
Washington Post: Jeb Bush’s leadership PAC is trolling Donald Trump. Again.
Charlie Spies, whose 2012 super PAC for Mitt Romney was recently fined $50,000 by the FEC, sends another letter about Trump’s possible FEC violations.
Sure. RT @alivitali: Trump says if he had a Super PAC it’d be the "biggest super PAC ever created." But alas, he says he’s self-funding.
NBC News: Trump Falls Short of $2M Weekly Ad Spending Goal in Latest Buy
Ha: "Remember Donald Trump saying that he would spend $2 million a week on ads? It looks like that didn’t last."
In its endorsement of Bernie Sanders, The Nation writes, " We must turn to each other, not on each other, Sanders says, and unite to change the corrupted politics that robs us all. His campaign’s funding reflects this commitment, spurning the support of corporate super-PACS and relying instead on millions of grassroots donors."
Washington Post: Clinton attacks produce windfall of campaign cash for Sanders
"Sanders’ underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic frontrunner, coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015."
A new ad from Marco Rubio’s super PAC begins, "Jeb Bush, after spending millions on his train wreck campaign."
CNN: Super PAC making phone calls for Cruz to close
"A super PAC placing voter contact calls to back Ted Cruz in the early voting states has decided to shut down."
The Intercept: Senator Kay Hagan Promised to Take On Special Interests, Now She Works for Them
"Former Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., who lost her seat in the most expensive Senate race in history in 2014, has taken a job at lobbying powerhouse Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. After losing her seat, Hagan said in speeches that the biggest problem in America today is the dominance of big money, noting that the wealthy and special interests have come to control the political process through lobbyists and Super PACs."
Bloomberg: Wall Street’s Straight Man in Washington
Anti-gay New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) heads an important financial services subcommittee and the money he should get as chair of a powerful of a "money committee" may be in jeopardy because of those views.
Post-Dispatch: Blunt has $5 million in campaign coffers, Kander $2 million
"Sen. Roy Blunt entered 2016 with a more than 2-1 advantage in campaign cash over his Democratic rival Jason Kander, according to year-end financial statements released Wednesday by the two campaigns. "
USA Today: Manitowoc group takes aim at Citizens United
In Wisconsin: "A Manitowoc group known as United to Amend is teaming with state and national organizations to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission."