Daily Media Links 7/30: Another post in the never ending saga of why media reporting on campaign finance reform so often misinforms the public, Independent Expenditure Committees vs. Social Welfare Organizations, and more…


Another post in the never ending saga of why media reporting on campaign finance reform so often misinforms the public 
By Brad Smith
We have noted here on many occasions in the past how bad media reporting helps explain public misunderstandings of campaign finance law.  

Media Watch: Independent Expenditure Committees vs. Social Welfare Organizations
By Joe Trotter
Campaign finance is a nuanced, complicated topic.  As a result, there are often mischaracterizations about the laws and and non-profits present in the media.

Independent groups

NY Times: Where’s the Outrage? 
Are too many Democratic voters sleepwalking away from our democracy this election cycle, not nearly outraged enough about Big Money’s undue influence and Republican state legislatures changing the voting rules? 

USA Today: Anti-incumbent super PAC’s leader starts second super PAC 
By Fredreka Schouten and Ray Locker
WASHINGTON – The leader of a super PAC that says it wants to hold entrenched House incumbents accountable by targeting them in primary elections has launched a separate political action committee that’s attacking a Tennessee Republican who has served in Congress for less than two years.  

Associated Press: Romney-backing super PAC starts $1 million advertising blitz in 9 states 
WASHINGTON — The super PAC backing Mitt Romney on Friday announced a $1 million radio ad blitz in nine states attacking President Barack Obama for negativity, signaling the fierce campaign spending is heading in force to drive-time in must-win states. 


Politico: Outside groups may have to disclose donors 
Responding to a recent court decision, the Federal Election Commission said Friday that it will force nonprofit groups that air ads that refer to specific federal candidates, but don’t overtly advocate for or against them, to report the names and addresses of donors who give more than $1,000.   

National Journal: Appeals Court Rejects Broadcasters’ Bid to Block FCC Disclosure Rules  
By Josh Smith
A federal appellate court on Friday denied a request by broadcasters to immediately block new Federal Communications Commission rules requiring stations to make political ad information available online. 

Washington Post: FEC says it will enforce nonprofit disclosure rules
By Dan Eggen
The Federal Election Commission told political advocacy groups Friday that it would enforce new disclosure rules for some nonprofits under a recent court ruling, but many key groups have taken steps to evade the requirements.  

NY Times: Behind Big Political Gifts, a Mysterious Donor 
It is a small apartment in a scrubby section of Jamaica, Queens, where the average household income is $33,800 and many residents receive government assistance. 

Candidates and parties

NY Times: Obama’s Team Taking Gamble Going Negative 
CHICAGO — As President Obama pushes Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, a television commercial from his campaign bluntly says, “Makes you wonder if some years he’s paid any taxes at all.” In another spot, Mr. Obama’s campaign stops short of calling the Republican a tax cheat, but stirs suspicion by declaring, “Romney’s used every trick in the book.” 

NY Times: Once a Rebel, McCain Now Walks the Party Line 
Only there is a new iteration of the Republican lawmaker and defeated presidential candidate who has been a constant in the capital even as he regularly transforms himself. Absent is the maverick who bucked his party on the environment and campaign finance, and verbally towel-snapped Republicans and Democrats alike on the Senate floor.  


The Hill: Conservative group challenges red line dividing candidates, super-PACs 
By Megan R. Wilson
A conservative outside spending group has asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to soften the red line that divides super-PACs from the fundraising committees of federal candidates.  

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