Daily Media Links 4/23: Liberals should leave our First Amendment alone,Struggling Obama super-PAC asks Clinton for help, and more…

Independent groups

Washington Examiner: Liberals should leave our First Amendment alone
The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment has long been understood to protect the political speech of the American people, individually and in groups, from government interference. But today’s Democrats, evidently upset that there is too much political speech going on in the election process, think it is deficient and want to change it. And this is not merely a back-bench effort, but one supported by the Democratic leadership, in the person of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  

Daily Caller: Amendment could strip press freedom in effort to curb corporate political spending, 
By Steven Nelson 
Although she isn’t one of the 25 co-sponsors, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday her support for amending the Constitution to prevent corporations from “oozing slime into the political system.”    

The Hill: Struggling Obama super-PAC asks Clinton for help 
By Cameron Joseph
Priorities USA, a super-PAC focused on reelecting President Obama, has asked former President Bill Clinton to help them pick up the pace on fundraising. 

Politico: Shadowy super PAC spent big in March 
By Abby Phillip
The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super PAC that has targeted incumbent members of Congress, raised more than $645,000 in March, federal documents show.   

Politico: Obama super PAC raises $2.5M 
By Dave Levinthal and Kenneth Vogel
Pro-Barack Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, buoyed by the president’s personal blessing, raised more in March than it had in any month previous, new federal records show.   

Politico: Colbert super PAC stumbles 
By Dave Levinthal
In this way,  Americans for a Better Tomorrow,  Tomorrow,  is a super PAC in name only: It’s barely taken advantage of new federal laws it’s designed to mock,  where corporations and special interests may make unlimited donations to overtly advocate for or against political candidates.

CBS News: Pro-Romney super PAC maintains speed 
By Phil Hirschkorn, Laura Strickler
(CBS News) NEW YORK – As the presidential campaign turned toward the general election last month, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney raised three times more money than the super PAC supporting Barack Obama. But the president’s campaign committee ended the first quarter of 2012 with ten times the cash on hand as the Republican challenger’s.  

USA Today: Reports show stealth donors dominate political giving 
By Fredreka Schouten and Christopher Schnaars, 
More than $8 out of every $10 collected during the first three months of this year by two conservative groups associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove,  for instance,  went to a non-profit branch that does not have to reveal its donors. The two groups have surpassed the fundraising of the candidate their spending will help the most — Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney.


Slate: John Edwards Goes to Trial 
By Daniel Politi
The former presidential hopeful who saw his personal and professional life fall apart over the last few years will go to trial Monday to defend himself against charges that he used illegal campaign contributions to hide an affair. The prosecution claims Edwards used almost $1 million in illegal donations to hide not only an affair with Rielle Hunter but also the child they had together, reports Reuters.  

The Nation: Conservatives Defend John Edwards on the Eve of His Trial
By Ari Melber
John Edwards’s trial for campaign finance violations begins Monday. Government prosecutors will build on their unusual theory from last year’s indictment—which charged that the Edwards campaign should have treated payments to the candidate’s mistress as official campaign expenses. Many election law experts criticized that idea as an unprecedented overreach,  and in a sign of how this prosecution is scrambling the politics that came before it,  the conservative National Review just published a spirited editorial defending Edwards against the charges.


NPR: Campaign Finance Disclosures Mark A Turning Point 
We have a new look at the fundraising contest being waged by President Obama and apparent Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their campaign committees filed monthly disclosures Friday night at the Federal Election Commission — as did superPACs that are active in the presidential contest.  

Candidates and parties

Associated Press: Obama enjoys 10-1 financial edge over Romney
President Barack Obama’s re-election effort enjoyed a 10-to-1 financial edge over Republican rival Mitt Romney last month, out-raising the former Massachusetts governor by millions as Obama stuffed more than $104 million into his campaign war chest.   

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