By James R. CarrollBut Bradley Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, is critical of efforts to publicly finance campaigns. He is chairman and co-founder of the Center for Competitive Politics, a Washington-based, nonprofit group that opposes public financing and limits on campaign contributions.“I appreciate that it is not linked to an effort to suppress or limit speech, but it usually tends not to accomplish what its supporters intended,” Smith said.
By Eliza Newlin CarneyA recent video starring seven House Democrats promoting the super PAC that helped elect them speaks volumes about how few rules constrain such political action committees — and how wholeheartedly Congress has embraced them.
By Alexandra JaffeThe Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) began airing TV ads attacking McConnell for his opposition to gun control measures — an issue the group believes could be a winner even in red Kentucky.
By Geneva SandsConservative super-PAC American Crossroads released an ad Wednesday knocking actress Ashley Judd, who is reportedly considering a bid for Senate in Kentucky, as a “radical Hollywood liberal.”
By Adam Kanzer and Lisa Gilbert and Leslie SamuelrichIn “SEC rule on corporate political giving too extreme,”, Paul Atkins’ defense of corporate political secrecy, the former SEC commissioner argues that a rule requiring corporations to disclose their use of corporate treasury funds for political purposes would be inconsistent with the SEC’s mandate to protect investors. He claims that those investors working for corporate political transparency have not been acting as fiduciaries, on behalf of their investors, but rather on behalf of “special interest” groups bent on destroying the First Amendment and capitalism as we know it.
Candidates, Politicians and Parties
By Cameron JosephIowa’s 2014 Senate race is fast becoming an early battleground in the Republican family feud over recruiting “electable” candidates, with an early GOP front-runner scoffing Tuesday at suggestions he wouldn’t survive a general election.
Lobbying and Ethics
By Shane GoldmacherSo Menendez’s decision last month to use his personal funds to reimburse a prominent political contributor $58,500 for two flights to the Dominican Republic came at a major cost. The repayment amounts to between 32 percent and 87 percent of the assets Menendez reported holding in bank accounts and stock, according to his latest financial-disclosure form, which was filed last year.
By John BresnahanThe House Ethics Committee will not form a special investigative panel to probe allegations that GOP Rep. Aaron Schock (Ill.) improperly solicited super PAC contributions from other Republican lawmakers, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). But it is not dropping the case either.
By Amanda Becker“We were surprised to learn that the Board has amended its rules without providing any opportunity for notice or comment,” the letter said. “A close review of the revised rules shows that these changes are at odds with the resolution that established and governs the office.”
By Kyle WingfieldOf all possible obstacles to ethics reform, who thought the biggest one would be defining the word “lobbyist”? Yet, that’s where we stand today.
By Tom ScheckThe Minnesota Campaign Finance Board voted Monday to encourage the Legislature to pass tougher economic disclosure laws. A proposal backed by the board would require officials to make public their consulting interests and details about income earned by their spouses.
By Dave NyczepirThe Texas Ethics Commission has approved a Houston-based PAC’s proposal to allow committees to solicit text message contributions from state donors.