Daily Media Links 11/1: Millions pouring into tight Senate races, Obama campaign website accepted real donation from fake ‘Osama bin Laden’, and more…

In the News

Roll Call: Rules of the Game: Lessons Learned From First Post-Citizens United Presidential Race  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
“Money actually breaks up old monopolies, makes more ideas heard, makes more voices heard,” said Center for Competitive Politics Chairman and Co-founder Bradley Smith, another former FEC chairman. He added that outside groups “ought to be participating. There’s no reason why the debate should be limited to what candidates and parties want to talk about.” 

Associated Press: Judge: N.D. ban on Election Day campaigning violates free speech rights
BISMARCK — A federal judge on Wednesday barred state and local prosecutors from enforcing North Dakota’s ban on Election Day campaigning,  saying the century-old restriction violates political speech rights.

Volokh Conspiracy: May a State Ban Electioneering on Election Day?
By Eugene Volokh
The statute — which by its terms applies to flyers, yard sign, speeches, newspaper editorials, and a vast range of other speech — has apparently been largely or entirely unenforced, but the North Dakota Solicitor General nonetheless defended the law, arguing it was (1) content-neutral, (2) served the interests in preventing “election day intimidation tactics,” preventing “dissemination of false or misleading information on election day” (when there’s little time to respond), and “establishing a definite close to electioneering” so that “all voters have the same information to make their decisions, whether they vote at 9 a.m. or 4 p.m.,” (3) and was “narrowly tailored” to those interests.  


Court Rules North Dakota Campaign Ban Unconstitutional 
Calling the law “clearly invalid,” a federal judge in North Dakota today ruled that the state’s 100-year-old ban on election-day campaigning is unconstitutional.  

Independent groups

American Tradition Partnership: ATP Responds to Frontline’s False Claims
ATP has not been allowed to see the documents to assess their authenticity, but has been able to confirm that some of the documents are not ATP-related but instead are connected with other clients of an ATP consultant or an independent  mailshop owned by the same consultant’s wife. 
“It would be very interesting to know just how several media outlets were able to view stolen documents in the custody of the Montana Commission on Political Practices but no attempt was made to return them to their owners,” said Ferguson. “This looks to be just another example of corruption at the Commission and by the political establishment, who are enraged that the public are being told the truth.”

The Hill: Outside cash trumps candidates’ in half a dozen tight races 
By Kevin Bogardus and Megan R. Wilson
Outside spending groups are making their presence felt in several tight House races, in some cases spending more than the candidates on the ballot.  

Washington Post: Head of Crossroads GPS once a McConnell aide, now his political ally 
By TW Farnam
After more than a decade working side by side, the two men rarely talk these days. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Steven Law, his trusted former aide, remain a powerful combined force in Washington.  

NY Times: Billionaires Going Rogue 
If there is one rule of thumb governing campaign finance regulation, or the lack thereof, it is that the consequences of any changes in the system are unpredictable.  

Roll Call: Total Cost of Election Will Exceed $6 Billion, Group Predicts  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
The total cost of the 2012 elections will exceed $6 billion, according to new projections released today by the Center for Responsive Politics. 


LA Times: Judge clearing path for campaign finance probe into Arizona group 
A state judge in Sacramento appears ready to side with California’s campaign finance watchdog in its effort to unmask the donors behind the Arizona nonprofit that donated $11 million to state campaigns earlier this month.  

Candidates and parties

Daily Caller: Obama campaign website accepted real donation from fake ‘Osama bin Laden’  
By David Martosko
A Jerusalem journalist writing for a conservative website reported Monday night that he was able to make two small financial contributions to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in the name of the late terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.    

Washington Post: Millions pouring into tight Senate races 
By Paul Kane
With the Senate majority potentially in the balance, tens of millions of dollars have poured into more than a dozen states for the final push in an unusually large cluster of competitive races.  

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