Daily Media Links 11/2: Romney Would Limit Lobbyist Roles, The Hill’s 2012 Top Lobbyists, and more…

In the News

NPR: In Key Senate Races, Outside Groups Outpace Candidates’ Ad Spending 
David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics and the father of the superPAC, isn’t convinced. “The fact that a race may be competitive when it wasn’t expected to be? I think we should be celebrating that,” Keating says.  


Media Watch: Frontline’s Artificial Monster 
By Sarah Lee
The latest Frontline campaign finance expose, “Big Sky, Big Money”  is little more than an exercise in gotcha journalism and is exemplary of why, according to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of Americans have “little or no trust” in the media. From the first shady visit to a reputed “meth house” where boxes of documents mysteriously turned up that seem to suggest collusion between shadowy groups and candidates in Montana — home, of course, to the recent challenge to Citizens United that was ultimately reversed by The Supreme Court — to the final attempts to confuse a rational “no comment” with a diversionary tactic from a lawyer after presenting him with documents he had never laid eyes on before, Frontline had a clear goal: to convince viewers that money in politics, used to ensure that certain individuals and groups had their interests represented, is a bad, nefarious thing. But read that last sentence again. Is spending money to make sure your interests are represented in politics — especially in light of the fact that Frontline offers no evidence, merely wild, unsubstantiated claims, that any rules or laws were broken — really a bad thing?  

Independent groups

NY Times: Rove vs. Bloomberg? It Seems That Way in Maine Senate Race 
BANGOR, Me. — The Maine Senate race has become so convoluted that at times it has seemed as if Karl Rove and Michael R. Bloomberg were running against each other. 

WABI: Maine Ethics Commission Clears Republican Senator Nichi Farnham Of Any Wrongdoing 
By Rob Poindexter
Farnham was listed as a primary decision maker and fundraiser on the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC that paid for the advertising. If Farnham, a Maine clean elections candidate, had known about and been part of the PAC’s decision to buy advertising in her own senate race, it would have been a violation of Maine campaign finance law. 


Roll Call: The Phantom Commission
By Amanda Becker
A federal agency created to restore confidence in the election process in the wake of Bush v. Gore sits all but leaderless as the country approaches Election Day. 

Candidates and parties

Washington Post: How to spend over $300 million in a matter of weeks 
By Dan Eggen
The two presidential candidates said they had nearly $300 million in the bank for the final leg of the campaign, raising a simple question: What in the world are they going to do with all that money?  

Politico: Sources: Richardson out of cash 
By Jonathan Allen
This is hardly the first sign that Richardson has trouble managing money. She was reprimanded by the House earlier this year for using official resources, including staff, for political purposes. Her campaign fundraising has since dried up — she gathered just $7,000 in the three months ending Sept. 30 — and her personal finances are a mess, according to federal disclosure forms.   

NY Times: Total Cost of Election Could Be $6 Billion 
The increase has largely been driven by rapidly increased spending among “super PACs” and outside groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors. Spending by outside groups could reach to more than $970 million for the 2012 cycle, although precise estimates are difficult because the rate of spending by outside groups has been rising so quickly since Labor Day  

Lobbying and ethics

The Hill: The Hill’s 2012 Top Lobbyists 
By The Hill Staff
Washington’s corps of lobbyists and advocates will be in the thick of the post-election action, and the best of them — represented here on The Hill’s annual Top Lobbyists list — will be working with gusto to shape the policy choices made on taxes, spending and the budget.  

Wall Street Journal: Romney Would Limit Lobbyist Roles 
The Romney camp is considering a one-year ban to prevent registered lobbyists from taking jobs in the administration that overlap with their previous advocacy work, people familiar with the matter said. This would be similar to a two-year ban put in place by President Barack Obama, though he has offered exemptions in certain cases.  

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