Daily Media Links 5/14: Trolling for Dirt on the President’s List, Politicians of all stripes hate the Citizens United decision, and more…


Wall Street Journal: Trolling for Dirt on the President’s List
By Kim Strassel
Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”  
About a week after that post,  a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically,  Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces,  as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.

Wall Street Journal: The President’s Hit List 
If Mr. Simpson and Democrats really favor disclosure, then surely Mr. Simpson should disclose who is paying him to rummage through the personal lives of opposition donors. Someone should also ask the White House, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee if Mr. Simpson’s chop shop is on their payroll and if they approve of such tactics. Does Mr. Obama think the lifestyles and divorce records of campaign donors should be fair political game?  

Independent groups

Roll Call: U.S. Chamber Launching Targeted YouTube Ad Campaign  
By Kate Ackley
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on pace to spend upward of $50 million on voter mobilization this campaign cycle, has launched a YouTube advertising campaign targeting residents of seven Congressional districts. More ads in other districts are likely on the horizon. 

Columbus Dispatch: Politicians of all stripes hate the Citizens United decision 
By Joe Hallett
That force was the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a so-called “super-PAC” funded by Leo Linbeck. The right-wing Houston millionaire spent $400,000 against Kaptur, ironically aiding left-winger Kucinich. Linbeck’s goal is to defeat long-serving incumbents from both parties.  


Associated Press: Judge refuses to dismiss John Edwards charges
A federal judge refused to throw out campaign corruption charges against John Edwards on Friday, meaning the former presidential hopeful will have to present his case to a jury.

Politico: Clinton echoes in John Edwards defense 
The former North Carolina senator and two-time presidential candidate’s lawyers are set to begin their defense starting Monday — he’s accused of having money paid to aid his mistress that amounted to illegal campaign donations. But Edwards’s team has already turned to many of the same arguments used by the last prominent Southern Democrat in deep legal trouble stemming from an extramarital affair: contending that prosecutors are fundamentally on a crusade to punish a sexual dalliance and are delving into a matter best left to the man’s family and his God.   

The Atlantic: John Edwards Dreamed of Being a Supreme Court Justice
By Jen Doll
Add this to John Edwards’ many aspirations: Supreme Court Justice. Government prosecutors rested their case against the onetime presidential contender, now on trial for campaign finance violations, Thursday. As this trial goes, it was a relatively tame day: No Rielle Hunter testimony, no talk of love or bromances. According to The News & Observer’s Anne Blythe,”Prosecutors wrapped up Thursday with some of the driest testimony of the past three weeks, as two FBI agents discussed pages of phone records, invoices, bank statements and credit card bills. A former Edwards supporter also testified about the trial lawyer’s dreams of higher office – possibly even an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.”  

Candidates and parties

Wall Street Journal: Democrats’ Fund Taps Corporate Donors for Convention
But through a special fund, convention planners are accepting millions of dollars in corporate contributions to help pay for many of the activities outside the convention hall—as well as some expenses directly related to the event. Donors include Wells Fargo WFC +0.36% & Co., Bank of America Corp. BAC -1.95% and Duke Energy Corp., DUK -0.32% all significant employers in Charlotte, N.C., where the convention will be held in early September.  

Capital New York: ‘Barak On Broadway’ gets return engagement
Barack Obama will be joined by Bill Clinton for a fund-raiser at the New Amsterdam Theater on June 4.  


The Hill: FEC to Congress: Expand ban on personal use of political committee funds 
By Rachel Leven
The ban would stop individuals from using political action committee (PAC) funds “to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign or duties as a holder of Federal office,” the FEC states in the legislative recommendations it approved this week.  

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