23 posts tagged campaign finance
“I am personally of the belief that money plays a much more important role in what is done in Washington than we believe. I personally believe that when campaigns spend the kind of money they’re now spending — this race, I understand, Ted Kennedy will spend about ten million dollars to be reelected. He’s been in 32 years. 10 million dollars — I think that’s wrong. And that’s not his own money, that’s all from other people, and to get that kind of money, as an incumbent you’ve got to cozy up to other people — all of the special interest groups that can go out there and raise money for you from their members — and that kind of relationship has an influence on the way that you’re going to vote. […]
These kinds of associations between money and politics, in my view, are wrong. And, for that reason, I would like to have campaign spending limits. […] I also would abolish PACs.” - Multiple Choice Mitt, 1994
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), left, introduced legislation Friday aimed at removing corporate cash from politics by amending the constitution to outlaw corporate money in elections. Cleverly named Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED), the law would reverse Citizens United.
Suzy Khimm: I understand this amendment was directly inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Tell me more about how this all came to be.
Ted Deutch: One thing that’s been clear throughout the protests all across the country is that people are tired of a political system that they believe doesn’t respond to their needs, that doesn’t reflect the interests of the American people, and that caters to the corporations that have occupied Washington for far too long. […]
SK: So corporations don’t have any right to participate in elections? Why should they be treated differently than, say, labor unions or nonprofit organizations ? Unions also benefited from Citizens United, but, as I understand it, they wouldn’t be affected by your amendment.
TD: Corporations that are formed for the purpose of earning profits do not have the constitutionally protected rights that natural citizens have. They should not spend their corporate dollars, Treasury dollars to influence outcome of elections.
[As for unions and nonprofits], the amendment gives Congress the authority to create a campaign finance system that ultimately is fair across the board . . . that gives the government back to the people. The amendment specifically reverses Citizens United in making clear that for-profit corporations shouldn’t be spending money on elections. Any other group of people, group of individuals, is going to be in same position as they are now.
SK: If there’s such overwhelming support for these kind of changes though, why not wait for the legal system to come to that conclusion?
TD: [Justice] Stevens vehemently disagreed with the position of the court, legal scholars across America have disagreed . . . but there is every reason to believe the Supreme Court may well continue down this path and move beyond Citizens United and allow corporations to contribute to candidates directly. I don’t believe the American people should wait to see if this is the direction that the Supreme Court goes. We ought to act now. It’s what the framers of the Constitution and people across America understand. [read more]
The 12 lawmakers appointed to a new congressional supercommittee charged with tackling the nation’s fiscal problems have received millions in contributions from special interests with a direct stake in potential cuts to federal programs, an Associated Press analysis of federal campaign data has found.
The newly appointed members - six Democrats and six Republicans - have received more than $3 million total during the past five years in donations from political committees with ties to defense contractors, health care providers and labor unions. That money went to their re-election campaigns, according to AP’s review.
Supporters say the lawmakers were picked for their integrity and experience with complicated budget matters. But their appointments already have prompted early concerns from campaign-finance watchdog groups, which urged the lawmakers to stop fundraising and resign from leadership positions in political groups. [read more]
In other news, the sky is blue. The above news should be no surprise, yet it’s important to know who’s giving money to whom. It’ll be interesting to see what money rolls in now that they’re on the super committee.
OpenSecrets, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, is always a great site for checking out campaign contributions.
[From top, left to right: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX); Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI); Rep. Fred Upton, (R-MI); Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ); Rob Portman (R-OH); Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA); Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA); Sen. Max Baucus (D-T); Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA); Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA); Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Photo credit: LA Times]
Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation.
Democrats received the majority of News Corp. contributions (51%) while Republicans followed close behind (49%).
Read the Sunlight report here.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign filed complaints Wednesday accusing Republican Governor Scott Walker and 10 wealthy contributors of 24 violations of state campaign finance law.
A review of Walker’s campaign reports covering his last gubernatorial election period from July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2010 shows 10 contributors, including a donor Walker later chose as his state insurance commissioner, exceeded the $10,000 maximum that each was allowed to contribute to the campaign during the period.
In addition to the complaint against Walker’s campaign, the Democracy Campaign also filed complaints against each of the 10 contributors for exceeding the $10,000 limit on contributions they were allowed to give the governor during an election period. Finally, four of these contributors also were accused in complaints of violating the $10,000 annual limit in 2010 on campaign contributions an individual is allowed to make to all state and local candidates and political committees.
click through to see a table of donations and timing.
“One of the hallmarks of Obama’s 2008 fundraising operation was its small-dollar donors, with $500 million of the $750 million he raised coming from the Internet. There were 6.5 million online donations made, and 6 million of them were for $100 or less, with the average Internet contribution at just $80.
The Obama operation set a goal of recruiting 450,000 donors in the second quarter and were already over 490,000 as the midnight deadline approached on June 30. (Remember: campaigns set public goals they know they can meet and exceed; it’s a classic bit of playing the expectations game.)
The senior ranks of the 2012 reelection effort know that the campaign’s low-dollar fundraising will be closely scrutinized for signs of whether the grass-roots fervor Obama was able to elicit in 2008 is still around.”
[Above: President Obama at a Democratic fundraiser. Credit: Charles Dharapak/AP]
The Sunlight Foundation’s John Wonderlich, on the proposal to make federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups.
Two Democrats - Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO) and Sen. Steny Hoyer (MD) - openly oppose this proposal.