Daily Media Links 9/24: Yes, I donated to Obama, but I didn’t mean to, Congress Exiting to Campaign Leaving Pileup of Issues, and more…

In the News

California Watch: Regulators urged to crack down on donations to bond measures 
By Will Evans 
The Center for Competitive Politics, which advocates and litigates against campaign finance regulations, warned [PDF] securities officials that they are treading on constitutionally shaky ground. Any effort to curtail contributions probably would be challenged in court, said Allen Dickerson, the center’s legal director.  

Virginia Pilot: GOP super PACs hit a crossroads
“You go into this with your eyes wide open. You know that it’s a 50-50 chance at best, ” said Keating,  a former executive director of the Club for Growth. “You’re not going to take something that’s a 50-50 and make it into a slam dunk.”


CSG Colorado Hearing to be rescheduled following election 
By Sarah Lee
“Plaintiff’s requests for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief were consolidated and are set for a full-day trial/hearing tomorrow, Friday, September 21, 2012. Given the unlikelihood proponents of a ‘personhood’ amendment will salvaged for the Colorado state ballot in time for the 2012 election cycle, the impetus for the very expedited timeframe under which this case has been operating has relaxed enough to warrant the more thorough approach afforded by certifying certain important and threshold questions to the Colorado Supreme Court. Accordingly, tomorrow’s hearing is VACATED, to be reset at a later date.” 

Independent groups

NY Times: Montana and Citizens United 
Back in 1935, Montana made party endorsements in judicial elections a crime, an effective good-government measure that kept the third branch largely free of politics and money. Earlier this week, however, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Montana must stop enforcing this time-tested ban.  

CQ: Politicking Under Cover 
By Eliza Carney
Some call it “Dark Money.” Others refer to spending by “Stealth Pacs,” or “Super (c)(4)s,” shorthand for a new generation of politically aggressive social welfare groups that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

Washington Post: Pro-Romney super PAC spent heavily in August 
By Aaron Blake 
The top super PAC devoted to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign spent three times as much as it raised in August, as the GOP nominee’s campaign faced a cash shortfall. 

The Gazette: Obama confidant: Rise of super PACs may diminish role of party faithful, political parties  
When it comes to politics, Heather Gerken believes Cyndi Lauper was right: Money changes everything.  


Wall Street Journal: Soros Resumes Donations to Help Democratic Candidates 
By Brody Mullins
The contribution, tucked into a fundraising report released late Thursday night, is the latest evidence that Mr. Soros’s self-imposed hiatus from election politics may be coming to an end after nearly a decade.  

Candidates and parties

Politico: President Obama flips money script on Mitt Romney 

Mitt Romney was expected to use a billionaire-fueled fundraising juggernaut to crush President Barack Obama’s once vaunted small-donor army.   

Bloomberg: Obama Raises More Than Romney Dependent on Super-PAC Edge 
By Jonathan D. Salant and Greg Giroux
President Barack Obama, buoyed by small-dollar donors and high-tech industry employees, raised more money last month than Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who was boosted by Wall Street contributors. 

Bloomberg: Why Obama’s Money Is Worth More Than Romney’s 
By Francis Wilkinson
But not everyone pays the same price. Due to a surviving remnant of campaign finance regulation, television stations are required to offer candidates advertising time at the “lowest unit rate.” They are not required to do the same for super-PACs or political parties. 

Washington Post: Romney campaign hits a financial snag 
By Dan Eggen
The financial tide has turned against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his key allies, who spent more than they brought in and were outraised by President Obama during the month of August, according to disclosures filed Thursday.  

NY Times: Low on Cash, Romney Tries to Rally Donors for Final Phase 
Mitt Romney entered the final months of the presidential campaign with a cash balance of just $35 million, racing to find new large donors and rally low-dollar contributors in August even while he raised tens of millions of dollars for the Republican Party. 

Bloomberg: Congress Exiting to Campaign Leaving Pileup of Issues 
By Kathleen Hunter
Measured by legislative accomplishments or public approval, the 112th U.S. Congress comes up short. As a path to getting members re-elected Nov. 6, it will be a success for the vast majority of lawmakers. 

LA Times: Yes, I donated to Obama, but I didn’t mean to
By Doyle McManus
Then I noticed the fine print on the store receipt. “Your purchase of Obama campaign merchandise will be a contribution to Obama Victory Fund 2012, a joint fundraising committee,” it said. Uh-oh: The Times, like most newspapers, forbids its staff from donating to political campaigns. What to do?  

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