By Sarah LeeCenter for Competitive Politics Legal Director Allen Dickerson joined attorney Benjamin T. Barr and local counsel Dan Backer of DB Capitol Strategies in filing an advisory opinion request (AOR) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on behalf of the National Defense Committee. The AOR was posted to the FEC website today and asks for clarification as to whether certain proposed internet communications are “express advocacy” subject to regulation by the Commission. The AOR also asks whether National Defense must file as a political action committee (“PAC”) in order to produce these communications.
By Julie Bykowicz“Stations are rabid for this money,” said Kip Cassino, research director of Borrell Associates, which tracks the television industry and is based in Williamsburg, Virginia. “The super-PACs are like a kid with money burning a hole in their pocket.”
By Dan EggenCampaign watchdog groups see a glimmer of hope in a new letter from the Internal Revenue Service, which suggests that the agency might consider changes to the rules governing tax exemptions for politically active groups.
By Rachel WeinerAn ad from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA has been pulled off YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee on copyright violation grounds, and the group has voluntarily taken the ad offline and will not be running it on television.
By Alex IsenstadtA controversial super PAC with an explicit mission of unseating House members in primaries — and that played a role in the defeat of four incumbents — is scaling back if not ending its efforts for the rest of the election year.
A senior Internal Revenue Service official on Wednesday for the first time put a number on how many political groups have gained tax-exempt status in recent years. About 50 groups received the designation in 2010 and 2011, out of about 200 that applied, the official, Steven Miller, deputy commissioner for enforcement, said at a Congressional hearing. Tax-exempt groups are raising record amounts of money in attempts to sway the Nov. 6 elections, bolstered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010, which eliminated limits on political contributions in federal elections.
Documents for the “O’Say Can You See” PAC, which was first reported by Roll Call, were filed Monday with the FEC. PACs are used to raise money to campaign for or against political candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation.
By Ezra Klein“This, senators, is corruption,” Lessig said Tuesday, in testimony before the Judiciary Committee. “Not ‘corruption’ in the criminal sense. I am not talking about bribery or quid pro quo influence peddling. It is instead ‘corruption’ in a sense that our Framers would certainly and easily have recognized: They architected a government that in this branch at least was to be, as Federalist 52 puts it, ‘dependent upon the People alone.’ You have evolved a government that is not dependent upon the People alone, but that is also dependent upon the Funders. That different and conflicting dependence is a corruption of our Framers’ design, now made radically worse by the errors of Citizens United.”
By NINA TOTENBERGSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, influential conservative and pugilistic dissenter, is challenging everything from a recent leak about Supreme Court deliberations, to conventional wisdom about the court and its history.
By CELESTE KATZThe Bronx politician known as “Cash and Carry Larry” was convicted of nine corruption counts after three days of deliberations by the panel.