13 Jul July 13, 2015 Clips – Fundraising reports rolling in, Congress loves Taylor Swift, and the fireworks lobby
Members of Congress will continue their Love Story with Taylor Swift this week as they hold at least 19 fundraisers at her two Washington, D.C. concerts, making sure there’s no Bad Blood between the lobbyist donors and their kids they bring along.
With Gov. Scott Walker set to announce his presidential campaign today, the AP notes, “He begins his 2016 presidential bid with at least $20 million to spread his message, raised by two outside groups not subject to campaign finance donation limits, according to sources with direct knowledge of the fundraising operation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss private fundraising strategy.” The Center for Public Integrity with other facts.
The Intercept: “Somebody’s going to own this government. It ought to be us, not Wall Street.
The second part of Jon Schwarz interview with Rep. John Sarbanes about money in politics and his Government by the People Act. “The issue is where that money comes from. And if it comes from a small group that has a chokehold on the process, you’re going to get bad results.”
Politico: After Aaron Schock scandal, Congress weighs crackdown
“House leaders are considering sweeping changes to Congress’ reimbursement requirements in the wake of the Aaron Schock scandal, including forcing lawmakers to provide more detailed documentation about how they spend taxpayer money and disclosing those details to the public.”
New York Times: Voting Rights Legacy of the ’60s Heads to Court as North Carolina Law Is Tested
Good luck to our friends in North Carolina, fighting the good fight this week: “A federal trial opening in Winston-Salem on Monday is meant to determine whether recent, sweeping changes in the state’s election laws discriminate against black voters.”
Patch: Activists light up bridge, say Ayotte won’t #getmoneyout
Nice: “People For the American Way and other campaign finance reform supporters joined the Seacoast Overpass Light Brigade to hold boxes with LED light letters over the South Willow Street Bridge in Manchester on July 10, 2015, to spell the message ‘Ayotte Won’t #GetMoneyOut.'”
Rep. Keith Ellison talks about campaign finance in his latest podcast.
Brennan Center for Justice: How a Pro-Regulation Decision Is Good for Business
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy has this piece on last week’s decision upholding the ban on government contractors donating to federal candidates and parties. “Thus, had the court gone the other way, it would have been open season for sitting Congressmen, Senators and even Presidents to start the shake down of federal contractors for contributions. These are the type of payments that should make an honest businessman’s blood boil since they have nothing to do with the quality of the service or the merits of the work.”
Huffington Post: The Campaign Everyone Should Be Talking About – No, Not Hilary’s
I love this piece by a guy volunteering this summer on the Maine Clean Elections ballot initiative:
“That is why I have come to Maine to volunteer this summer, because Mainers will not let a government of, by and for the people degenerate to a government of, by and for the money — a plague to which Washington politicians have irrevocably succumbed.”
With fundraising reports due to the FEC this week, it’s a good time to share this email with your friends, family, and frenemies.
With fundraising reports due to the FEC this week, it’s a good time to remind folks that Senate candidates aren’t required to file electronically. They print out hundreds-page long reports and mail them to Washington so they can be uploaded as unsearchable PDFs. It’s a ridiculous, anti-transparent, money-wasting process that could easily be fixed with this bipartisan legislation.
Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker welcomes Scott Walker to the race.
Washington Post: The universe of 2016 fundraising
“Therefore, we thought it might be helpful to create an analogy for the sums that have been raised and to present it graphically. So we created the 2016 Universe.”
Politico: Marco Rubio reports raising $12 million
“Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign reported raising $12 million through the end of June, placing him third in the GOP money race behind former Gov. Jeb Bush and fellow Sen. Ted Cruz. His leadership PAC reported raising an additional $1.2 million. Including a super PAC and nonprofit supporting him that together raised $32 million, Rubio’s total financial support weighs in at $45.2 million.” We’re including leadership PACs in fundraising totals now? AP.
Politico: Jeb to donors: You’re not done
Nice story on Jeb’s donor retreat and I like that folks felt like they had to leak this detail: “All of them were careful, sources said, not to talk about the Right to Rise super PAC, which Bush spent the first six months of the year raising money for but is now, as an official candidate, prohibited from coordinating or communicating with in any way.”
Boston Globe: A new crop of backers are hosting Clinton fund-raising galas
Interesting: “Nearly half of the roughly 70 hosts listed for fund-raising parties Clinton has attended are either new fund-raisers for Clinton or new to the world of presidential politics, a Globe review of records released by the campaign shows.” Also, she’s spent about 75 hours attending these events so far.
Washington Post: Rand Paul’s presidential campaign raises $7 million
“Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign has raised $7 million since its launch in April. The overwhelming majority of Paul’s contributions came through small-dollar donations.”
CNN: Rick Perry super PACs raise nearly $17M
A $6 million donor to Rick Perry’s super PAC is his campaign’s finance chairman, and the CEO of an energy company whose board Rick Perry sits on. The rest of the $17M is rounded out by a $4 million donor and a $5 million donor. Washington Post. Super PAC spox to Politico: “It looks like we’re going to have the resources to help Gov. Perry compete.”
Cincinnati Enquirer: John Kasich raises $11.5 million for White House bid
“John Kasich’s presidential operation raised $11.5 million in May and June — enough to back up the credibility of his likely White House bid, but an amount that trails the bank accounts of other 2016 operations that started fundraising earlier.”
Columbus Dispatch: Kasich jumps into the murky waters of modern fundraising
“For example, Kasich’s soon-to-be super-PAC, New Day for America, is headed by Matt Carle, who ran the governor’s re-election campaign last year after serving as his legislative lobbyist. Also with the group are two other close Kasich associates: his 2014 deputy campaign director, Jeff Polesovsky, who helped run his second-term inauguration, and former state-GOP political director Dave Luketic.”
Politico: Lincoln Chafee fundraising: Barely a blip
Lincoln Chafee found at least one wealthy donor to support his campaign: himself. “He loaned $364,000, in addition to what he received from donors, giving his campaign about $329,000 in cash on hand.”
AP: Challenge for Jeb Bush: How to spend $114 million
“Jeb Bush has shattered political fundraising records with a $114-million haul in the first six months of the year, an extraordinary total designed to instill a sense of shock and awe into his Republican competitors. Now Bush and his allies have to figure out how to spend it.”
New York Times: The Best Way to Vilify Hillary Clinton? G.O.P. Spends Heavily to Test It
American Crossroads is spending a lot of money asking white people how they can attack Hillary Clinton effectively.
MSNBC: Clinton camp on Bush’s fundraising: It should scare you
On Jeb’s $100M, “Hillary Clinton’s campaign is sounding the alarm, even as allies see a potential silver lining in Bush’s haul.
Bernie Sanders, in a speech last week: “And it is no accident that Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates, who take huge amounts of money from the wealthy and powerful, come up with an agenda that represents the wealthy and the powerful.”
USA Today: New PAC defends doctor embroiled in Medicare fraud lawsuit
“A Florida cardiologist under federal scrutiny for his high Medicare billings appears to have a new weapon on his side: a political action committee aimed at defending him against government ‘bureaucrats’ and ‘money-hungry whistle-blowers.'”
National Journal: New Fireworks Lobby Faces Challenges After High-Profile Incidents
“A string of high-profile injuries and deaths during the Independence Day holiday has renewed focus on fireworks safety. And with Washington considering a major update to rules on the industry, fireworks companies are looking for new lobbying muscle in D.C.”
Washington Post: A year after rocky merger, Patton Boggs aims to re-establish K Street dominance
“A year after Washington’s preeminent lobby shop Patton Boggs was acquired by Squire Sanders, the firm is trying to re-establish its dominance on K Street under new leadership and a new corporate structure.”
Concord Monitor: Frank Guinta did not address FEC violations in his first town hall since findings were released
The last question scandal-plagued Rep. Frank Guinta received at a town hall meeting this weekend: when are you going to resign? (He didn’t respond).
Washington Post: Ex-Va. governor McDonnell loses appeal of corruption convictions
“A three-judge federal appeals court panel on Friday unanimously affirmed the public corruption convictions against former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, thoroughly rejecting each argument from the onetime Republican rising star and declaring that it had “no cause to undo what has been done.”
AP: NC Election Board Member’s Firm Worked for Target of Probe
As the law firm he worked for represented the target of the investigation: “For 17 months, a member of the North Carolina Board of Elections appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory demanded regular updates about the confidential investigation into $235,000 in political contributions to the campaigns of the governor and dozens of other elected officials.”
New York Times: Trial to Begin for Thomas Libous, New York Senator Whose Son Was Convicted
In New York: “Now, Mr. Libous, whose district includes Binghamton, faces his own federal corruption trial stemming from that investigation, which begins on Monday in Federal District Court in White Plains.”
NY Daily News: Democrats loaded with campaign cash heading into big election year
And more from the Empire State: “With more than a year left before the crucial elections to determine which party will control the state Senate, the Democrats are in their best financial position in years.”
Topeka Capital Journal: Brownback operatives seeking donors for campaign debt
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s “campaign-finance operatives are reaching out to potential donors in a bid to pay down debt lingering from the 2014 election as well as legal fees.”
Center for Media and Democracy: Four Ways ALEC Tried to Ruin Your State This Year
“Here are some of the worst policies ALEC legislators tried to push into binding law in state legislatures this year, so far.”
Las Cruces Sun-News: Advocates seek to implement public financing of candidates in Las Cruces elections
“A proposal to create Las Cruces’ first ordinance to allow for public campaign financing in municipal elections is set to be discussed by city councilors Monday.”
World-Herald: As cost of running for state office increases, some say it’s time for a fresh look at campaign spending
In Nebraska, where a public financing system for statewide candidates was repealed two years ago: “A sharp escalation in the cost of running for public office in Nebraska warrants another look at public financing of campaigns and restrictions on campaign contributions, say representatives of a political watchdog group.”