Daily Media Links 2/24

In the News

The Economist: The hands that prod, the wallets that feed 
Quotes Brad: Far from usurping the democratic process and narrowing voters’ options, super PACs are actually adding to them, argues Bradley Smith, another former FEC commissioner. 

KPCC: Can Super PACs benefit the electoral process?
Bradley A. Smith, Chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and author of the article “Super PACs level the playing field,” joins the show to discuss how Super PACs could benefit the electoral process.  

Independent groups

NPR: Understanding The Impact Of Citizens United 
James Bopp is the lawyer who first represented Citizens United in the case that ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations and unions could give money to political committees active in election campaigns. That decision and subsequent lower court decisions have led to SuperPACs, which allow corporations, unions and individuals to make unlimited contributions, pool them together, and use the money for political campaigns.  

The Guardian: How far can Russ Feingold push campaign finance reform?
Let’s hope the former Democratic senator’s new job as Obama campaign co-chair means Super Pacs’ days are numbered 


ABC News: Will Supreme Court Reconsider Citizens United? Two Justices Hope So
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg knows an opportunity when she sees one. 

Baltimore Sun: In the presidential campaign, money talks 
Think money doesn’t talk? Try telling that to this year’s GOP presidential hopefuls, whose fates are more than ever tied to a handful of wealthy donors who bankroll the super PACs that raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash on their behalf. Campaign finance reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission this week showed that just 23 big donors contributed $53 million to the super PACs supporting Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. That was more than the total amount raised by all the candidates’ campaigns combined, where the limit on contributions by individuals is just $2,500.  


TPM: Nancy Pelosi And Colbert Discuss DISCLOSE Act, Contraception
Pelosi’s measure is aimed at increasing transparency in election spending. If a business or wealthy individual is going to pour millions of dollars into an election, Pelosi said, “the public has a right to know by whose authority is this coming to them.”  

Colorado –– Denver Post: Secretary of State Scott Gessler rewrites Colorado Campaign Finance Rules
Secretary of State Scott Gessler adopted a full rewrite of Colorado’s campaign finance rules Wednesday, a move critics say is outside of his authority and will allow big money to dominate elections. 

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.