Daily Media Links 3/15: Assembly panel approves bill to make outside political groups disclose donors, spending, Recuse or resign, and more…

March 15, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News
CPI: CPAC panel: Shrink the Federal Election Commission 
By Mike Beckel
“I just don’t think they behave like a federal agency should,” added panelist Allen Dickerson of the Center for Competitive Politics. “I see a very big difference between the FEC and other agencies.”  
Dickerson argued that many of these problems could be “solved by a change in culture.” Barr said that the agency could improve by “liberalizing” its rules, even without disbanding.  
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Dickerson, Backer, Barr: Triumvirate of Free-Speech Advocacy 
By Sarah Lee
CPAC 2103 started today, Monday, March 14, at the Gaylord National Hotel at the National Waterfront in Prince George’s County, Md. CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson was a member of one of the first panels of the day, appropriately titled “What’s Up with Campaign Finance,”  along with attorneys Dan Backer of DB Capitol Strategies and Benjamin Barr. The three represent some of the most prolific advocates for free political speech working in DC today, with all three having either current or past involvement in working legislatively to stem the tide of campaign finance “reform” efforts. Dickerson and the rest of the CCP legal team are, in fact, expecting word tomorrow on whether or not the Supreme Court will hear their challenge to aggregate limits in James v. FEC. Backer is currently the attorney in another aggregate limit challenge, McCutcheon v. FEC. Barr is working on addressing burdensome reporting requirements in Freespeech v. FEC.  
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Independent Groups
Bloomberg: Obama Makes Campaign-Style Call for Group Backing Agenda 
By Lisa Lerer & Julie Bykowicz
The dinner, attended by about 75 people including Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt at a luxury hotel near the White House, was part of a two-day “founders summit” for Organizing for Action, a nonprofit advocacy group that Obama’s former campaign leaders founded about eight weeks ago. 
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Politico: CPAC: Cannes for conservatives
By Patrick Gavin
“The CPAC Theater has always been a big draw at CPAC and this year will be no different thanks to organizations like Citizens United,” said Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union. “Conservative organizations are putting out important movies these days — the quality of which rival the best product coming out of Hollywood — and as they continue to increase in number our CPAC movies will become an even bigger draw.”   
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Roll Call: Deep Pockets Back Organizer of CPAC  
By Eliza Newlin Carney
Because the ACU is a 501(c)(4) social- welfare group, it is not required to report the names of its donors. But the group’s board includes the top executives of deep-pocketed players such as the NRA, which, according to tax records, had a $231 million budget in 2011; The Heritage Foundation, which had $80 million in expenses that same year; and Microsoft Corp. 
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The Hill: Scalia: Recuse or resign 
By Brent Budowsky
Nothing is more important to “equal justice under law” than an unelected, life-tenured judiciary respecting the fact and appearance of impartiality in a system of separation of powers, checks and balances, and one person, one vote. With important electoral decisions involving repeat offenders against fair elections in Alabama and Texas pending before the Supreme Court, the court stands on the brink of a historic usurpation of power against the elected branches, while one justice, Antonin Scalia, conducts himself in a manner appropriate to a political speaker at a conservative meeting but not an impartial adjudicator of law.   

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

WSJ: Liberal Race-Baiting 
By Jason L. Riley
The 30-second spot begins with Ms. Chao, who was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. when she was eight years old, addressing the “far-left special interests also attacking my ethnicity.” Liberals, who equate conservatism with racism, have criticized Mr. McConnell for being married to an Asian woman and even questioned the couple’s patriotism.  
State and Local
New Jersey –– Star-Ledger: Assembly panel approves bill to make outside political groups disclose donors, spending 
By Matt Friedman
TRENTON Independent groups that spend money to support or oppose candidates in New Jersey would have to disclose their donors under a bill approved by the Assembly State Government Committee today. 

Joe Trotter

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