Daily Media Links 4/5: New Jersey Least Corrupt? Ha, Ha, Who’s Bankrolling the Election? , and more…

In the News

Wall Street Journal: New Jersey Least Corrupt? Ha, Ha 
by Paul Sherman and CCP Academic Advisor David Primo
For starters, the study never actually defines what it means by corruption. Instead, the risk of corruption is defined by the presence or absence of certain laws—such as strict campaign-finance limits and lobbying disclosure—that good-government groups promote. But without a working definition of corruption, it is impossible to determine whether these sorts of reforms are the appropriate remedy.  

Independent groups

NY Times, Campaign Stops: The Virtues of the Super PAC 
by Ross Douthat
With the Republican primary season winding down, it’s time to celebrate two heroes of participatory democracy, two champions of the ordinary voter, two men who did everything in their power to make the ballot box matter as much as the fundraising circuit.  
I speak, of course, of Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess.  

Comedy Central: Colbert Introduces Trevor Potter “Easy” Button

Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Super PAC Keeps Heat On Rick Santorum Through April 24 
by Paul Blumenthal
The super PAC supporting Mitt Romney isn’t giving up its relentless assault on Romney’s chief primary opponent, Rick Santorum, even after Tuesday night’s clean sweep in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The group, named Restore Our Future, has spent $479,114 across the five states voting on April 24, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.  

Fox Business: Who’s Bankrolling the Election? 
by Gerri Willis
Unions make up 12 out of the 20 of the all-time biggest donors to national political campaigns since 1989. That’s according to the Federal Elections Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics. And,  the single biggest donor in the 2010 elections was the American Federation of State,  Country and Municipal Employees. In other words,  public sector workers paid by your taxpayer dollars are using those tax dollars to watch out after their own interests. In other words,  making sure that the pension money,  perks and pay keep right on flowing to the public sector.


Washington Times: Obama’s faulty grasp of our Constitution
by David Lambro
What’s this business about “unprecedented” if the court should strike down Obamacare? That’s what the court has done in countless cases throughout our history – striking down laws that violate the Constitution – from Marbury v. Madison in 1803 to anti-free speech laws in campaign finance reform.  

CBS News: Appeals court fires back at Obama’s comments on health care case
by Jan Crawford
(CBS News) In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.  

Corporate Governance 

USA Today: Column: Shareholders should know about political donations
by Drew Cohen
As the 2012 election season heats up, campaigns have been soliciting donations to fuel what many expect to be the most expensive election cycle in U.S. history. Unbridled by the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which prohibited restrictions on corporate political contributions and gave rise to a new form of political committees known as Super PACs, corporations have doled out millions of dollars targeted at electing or defeating federal candidates.  

Tax financing

HoltzmanVogelJosefiak: Buddy Roemer Has Received Over $285,000 in Federal Taxpayer Dollars to Run For President 
“Federal matching funds” are sometimes referred to as “your tax dollars at work.”  

Candidates and parties

NPR: Do Negative Ads Make A Difference? Political Scientists Say Not So Much
by Shankar Vedantam
Pundits and commentators are forecasting that this fall’s general election will see an avalanche of negative advertising. But as voters gird for the onslaught, political scientists are asking a different question: Will it matter?  

Huffington Post: Barack Obama Signs STOCK Act, Omits Citizens United Comments 
by Paul Blumethal
But the president did not call for passage of the DISCLOSE Act or any fix to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The DISCLOSE Act would plug disclosure loopholes opened up by the Citizens United ruling that led to a massive increase in undisclosed election spending by corporations, unions and wealthy individuals. A previous version of the bill, which received strong support from the White House, nearly passed Congress in 2010 but fell one vote short of clearing a Republican filibuster in the Senate.  

NY Times: Court’s Potential to Goad Voters Swings to Democrats
by Jackie Calmes
For decades,  Republicans have railed every four years against the Supreme Court and its perceived liberal activism to spur conservatives to elect presidents who will appoint like-minded justices. Now strategists in both parties are suggesting this could be the Democrats’ year to make the court a foil to mobilize voters.


District of Columbia –– Washington Examiner: Gray says he’ll weigh campaign finance changes
by Alan Blinder
One day after District residents voted for the first time since federal authorities opened probes into campaign finance practices in Washington,  Mayor Vincent Gray said he’s considering overhauling the rules that govern how political campaigns are paid for in D.C.

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