23 Jul 7/23/15 Clips – Calling on candidates to endorse a reform agenda, Jeb Bush was a lobbyist, and more
Today, Every Voice and 11 other national organizations are releasing Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda, a comprehensive policy platform to empower people in politics that we’re asking presidential candidates to endorse.
Presidential candidates serious about changing the “culture” in Washington should agree to it, campaign on it, and prioritize its implementation if elected.
Every Voice President David Donnelly: “Presidential candidates on both sides have been talking a big game about money’s influence in politics, but without a concrete plan of action, voters will just tune them out. This set of principles offers popular commonsense policies that, if enacted, would go along way to raising the voices of everyday people in the political process and restoring trust in our democratic institutions.” Common Cause has this page up.
It has been sent to every declared presidential campaign and groups will be following up with them over the next month. These candidates will also face bird-dogging on the issue in New Hampshire and Iowa. Hit me up if you have any questions.
Washington Post: Man who landed gyrocopter at Capitol rejects 10-month deal
The feds want Doug Hughes, the man who flew a gyrocopter onto the Capitol lawn to protest money in politics, to go to prison for 10 months (about 1.5 times the six months Jeb Bush spent flouting the law during his non-candidacy). Doug has rejected that offer.
I asked FEC Chair Ann Ravel about tech plans for the agency at the Brennan Center/NYCCFB/CED conference yesterday and she said of FEC.gov: “the website is going to continually improve. I promise you.”
Roll Call: Campaign Finance Loophole Inserted in Spending Bill
“Senate appropriators folded into a draft spending bill a provision long sought by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that would relax campaign finance coordination rules between candidates and the political parties.”
Politico: Americans uneasy with new campaign finance rules
This is not surprising at all: “Just one in 10 Americans feels that the post-Citizens United campaign fundraising climate has improved the presidential election process, according to a new Monmouth University survey out Wednesday.”
Ted Cruz held a hearing yesterday on his terrible idea to force Supreme Court Justices to face retention elections.
Common Cause: IRS Should Quickly Issue, Vigorously Enforce New Rules for Political Nonprofits
“President Obama correctly declared that the ‘real scandal around the IRS right now is that it has been so poorly funded that they cannot go after these folks who are deliberately avoiding tax payments.’ And he was right in labeling the laws governing nonprofit political spending and social welfare activity as ‘crummy’ because they ‘didn’t give people guidance.'”
Democracy 21: Reform Groups Urge Senators to Co-sponsor and Support Leahy Bill, the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act
“In a letter sent today to Senators, reform groups strongly urged members of the Senate to support AND CO-SPONSOR the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act introduced today by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), which would essentially shut down individual-candidate Super PACs.”
A huge congrats to our friends at the Center for Responsive Politics for winning the Knight News Challenge: “The award will enable CRP to vastly expand the amount of information available to voters on politically active nonprofit organizations that don’t disclose their donors’ identities.” Their work is critical.
NHPR: Where Primary Campaign Dollars Are Landing in New Hampshire
“Roughly 30 percent of total candidate spending in New Hampshire so far this year has gone to the state party, and it came as a single, $100,000 expense: Hillary Clinton’s purchase of the party’s so-called ‘voter file.'”
Politico: Jeb Bush’s reform myth
Long-time Florida reporter Marc Caputo has this on Jeb taking up the reformer mantle: “But his eight-year record shows he often stood by appointees who were mired in scandal or mismanagement until long after damaging revelations emerged, and in only three reported instances clearly fired agency heads — including one in the wake of a sexual harassment allegation, and another who was implicated in a kickback scheme.”
Politico: Jeb Bush’s fundraising relies on big city support
“While Jeb Bush focuses his time on the first primary and caucus states, he’s raising a great deal of his money from big cities like Dallas, Houston and Miami, and traditional Democratic coastal power centers like Washington and New York.”
#TBT to this 1982 quote by Bob Dole, then chair of the Senate Finance Committee: “When these political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government. It is making it much more difficult to legislate. We may reach a point where if everybody is buying something with PAC money, we can’t get anything done.”
The Guardian: Scott Walker, first Alec president? Long ties to controversial lobby raise concern
“When Scott Walker strides to the podium to deliver the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) in San Diego on Thursday morning, it will not be just another campaign stop. It will also be tacit recognition of the Republican presidential candidate’s relationship with one of the nation’s most controversial and powerful lobbying networks.” Editorial cartoon in Wisconsin on Walker’s ill-advised desire to kill the Government Accountability Board. Editorial on the subject.
Texas Tribune: Perry Super Donor: We’re Not Hedging Our Bets
An interview with one of Rick Perry’s big super PAC donors: “We’re not splitting the baby. We’re all in for Perry.”
AP: Bush blasts ‘swarms of lobbyists’ but once registered as one
“Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush complained about “swarms of lobbyists” who hold sway over Washington, but he has accepted campaign donations from lobbyists, turned to some for advice and was once registered as a lobbyist himself.”
NJ Advance: N.J. Dems seek to force Christie to repay 2016 travel costs
“State Senate Democrats are pushing legislation seeking to prevent New Jersey taxpayers from having to pick up the tab for State Police security costs while Gov. Chris Christie campaigns for the Republican nomination for president.”
Winston-Salem Journal: GOP presidential candidates outraising Dems in N.C.
“If the 2016 presidential race for campaign money were a team sport, the Republican field would have a wide lead over the Democratic field in North Carolina but would trail in the national arena.”
The Intercept: Lobbyists Fundraising for Clinton, Bush, Rubio and Kasich Are Coworkers
“The leading Democratic candidate and at least three major Republican candidates are all relying on members of the same lobbying firm to help them raise presidential campaign cash: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.” What do you think the water cooler conversation is like?
This editorial cartoon offers dark money groups as a mean-looking shark.
New York Times: Chris Christie Donor List Includes High-Profile Names
“Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey released a list on Wednesday of dozens of Republican donors and business executives who will raise money for his presidential campaign, seeking to demonstrate that he will have the financial wherewithal to compete in the party’s crowded field.”
ABC News: Donald Trump Has 487 Job Titles And Everything Else We Learned About His Finances Today
It’s unclear from his personal financial disclosure form if Donald Trump is in fact worth $10 billion, but what is clear is someone is buying water with his name on it: “Trump’s own personal brand of bottled water — called ‘Trump Ice’ — brought in $280,000.” Politico.
Donald Trump’s response to criticism from Rick Perry was to post this picture of the two of them in Trump’s office with this caption: “@GovernorPerry in my office last cycle playing nice and begging for my support and money. Hypocrite!”
The Hill: Exclusive: Trump threatens third-party run
Donald Trump says if the RNC is mean to him during the primary he might launch a third-party run. “The RNC has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy.” Fair-haired boy?
NJ Advance: N.J. lawmakers already raising money for 2016 elections
“Long before they know who they’re running against, New Jersey’s U.S. House members are filling their campaign coffers for next year’s election.”
WMUR: Voters sour on Guinta after campaign finance controversy
Brutal poll for Rep. Frank Guinta, who has been mired in controversy over illegal campaign contributions: 44% of his constituents think he should resign and just 5% of likely voters in his district, yes 5%, say they’ll vote for him for re-election.
Bloomberg: Where Candidates Stash Their Cash
If you’ve spent any time looking through FEC filings, you’ve seen Chain Bridge Bank. “Chain Bridge, which has about 40 employees, is responsible for more of the hundreds of millions of dollars flooding into the 2016 presidential race than any other bank in the country.”
The Hill: Parties begin quest for convention cash
“Democrats and Republicans are firing up their fundraising machines for next summer’s presidential conventions. After Congress eliminated public funding for the nominating extravaganzas, both parties are under pressure to come up with the upwards of $60 million that will be needed to showcase their 2016 nominees.”
The Hill: ‘Influencers’ poll gives grades to lobby groups
“The healthcare industry might be the most powerful lobbying force in all of Washington, according to a new survey of Washington “influencers” released Wednesday.”
New York Times: Thomas Libous, New York State Senator, Is Convicted of Lying to F.B.I.
He’ll be removed from the Senate and a special election will be called: “State Senator Thomas W. Libous, who became one of the most powerful lawmakers in Albany but had his life upended by cancer and a corruption case, was found guilty on Wednesday of lying to agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who were examining his son’s hiring at a politically connected law firm.”
Plain-Dealer: Appeals court upholds felony conviction for Ben Suarez in campaign-finance case
“A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the felony conviction of direct marketing multimillionaire Ben Suarez for trying to tamper with a grand jury witness during an investigation of his campaign donations to Republican candidates.”
Arizona Republic: Dark-money group subject of new investigation
“The Citizens Clean Elections Commission is investigating whether a political non-profit must disclose its donors. This is the second time this month the same non-profit has come under state scrutiny.”