Daily Media Links 2/7: Text donations spread down ballot, Iowa Senate race sets up GOP establishment vs. grassroots test, and more…

February 7, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News
Courier Journal: John Yarmuth proposing bill to publicly finance campaigns 
By James R. Carroll
But 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.
Read more…
Independent Groups
Roll Call: Rules of the Game: Democrats’ Super PAC Promotion Signals Shift  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
A 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. 
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The Hill: Anti-McConnell television ads signal beginning of long reelection campaign 
By Alexandra Jaffe  
The 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.   
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The Hill: Crossroads ad mocks Ashley Judd as ‘radical Hollywood liberal’ 
By Geneva Sands   
Conservative 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.” 
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Corporate Disclosure 

Politico: Disclosure is hardly un-American 
By Adam Kanzer and Lisa Gilbert and Leslie Samuelrich
In “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

The Hill: Iowa Senate race sets up GOP establishment vs. grassroots test 
By Cameron Joseph   
Iowa’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

National Journal: Bob Menendez Spent Up to 87 Percent of Wealth Paying Back Donor 
By Shane Goldmacher
So 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. 
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Politico: Ethics won’t form Schock subcommittee 
By John Bresnahan
The 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.   
Roll Call: Attorneys Want Public Input on Ethics Office Rules Changes  
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.” 
State and Local
Georgia –– AJC: Ethics quandary at the Gold Dome: What’s a lobbyist? 
By Kyle Wingfield
Of all possible obstacles to ethics reform, who thought the biggest one would be defining the word “lobbyist”? Yet, that’s where we stand today.  
Minnesota –– Minnesota Public Radio: Campaign finance board urges Legislature to approve tougher economic disclosure rules 
By Tom Scheck
The 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.  
Texas –– Campaigns & Elections: Text donations spread down ballot
By Dave Nyczepir
The Texas Ethics Commission has approved a Houston-based PAC’s proposal to allow committees to solicit text message contributions from state donors. 

Joe Trotter


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