Daily Media Links 3/16: Senate Republicans Warn IRS Against Scrutiny of Tea Party, nions Urge Curtailment of ‘Super PACs’, and more…

March 16, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Independent groups

Bloomberg Businessweek: Senate Republicans Warn IRS Against Scrutiny of Tea Party 
by Jonathan D. Salant
Senate Republicans today expressed concern that the Internal Revenue Service was singling out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny in deciding whether to grant them tax-exempt status.  

NY Times, The Caucus: Unions Urge Curtailment of ‘Super PACs’ 
by Steven Greenhouse
Recognizing that the court is unlikely to overturn the decision, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s main union federation, said the United States should consider a constitutional amendment to effectively overturn Citizens United, which allowed unlimited independent campaign spending by business corporations and labor unions.  

Reuters: Super-PAC donors: The repo man backing Romney 
by Marcus Stern
Roderick Aycox is not nearly as well known as some of the hedge fund managers and Wall Street financiers giving large checks to the super-PAC supporting Mitt Romney in his quest for the presidency. In fact, since such PACs are officially independent of their candidates, Romney might well know nothing about him.  

Politico: Stephen Colbert super PAC fundraising falls flat 
by Kenneth P. Vogel
If fundraising tallies are any indication, Stephen Colbert’s super PAC gag may be getting old.   


Washington Post: The Influence Industry: Pro-disclosure groups often don’t disclose themselves 
by Dan Eggen & T.W. Farnam
Most of the organizations behind the latest disclosure push — including Americans United for Change, Common Cause and Public Citizen — fall under a portion of the tax code that allows them to keep their donor details private. Some of the groups do reveal their biggest contributors voluntarily, but not at the level of detail required for political campaigns, super PACs and other explicitly election-oriented organizations.  

Candidates and parties

iWatch: GOP super PAC men seek to overturn donation limits  
by Michael Beckel
As unlimited contributions flow into super PACs this year, one man is at the center of a new effort to allow people to donate more money, to more candidates, at the national stage.  

Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Money and the Enthusiasm Gap 
by Karl Rove
His campaign’s financial situation also may explain why Mr. Obama has embraced Super PACs after decrying them as a “threat to democracy” in the midterm elections. The president was quick to criticize Rush Limbaugh’s crude comments about contraception advocate Sandra Fluke. But he refused to condemn his Super PAC’s acceptance of a million-dollar donation from Bill Maher, who routinely attacks Republican women such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in vulgar and sexually charged terms.

Lobbying and ethics

Roll Call: Lobbyists Ask Obama for a Hand  
by Kate Ackley
The American League of Lobbyists is sort of like the teen outcast who somehow comes up with the gumption to ask the most popular guy at school not only to stop making fun of her, but also for a date. 

Colorado –– Denver Post: What CEW really is
by Mike Rosen
The Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of two 527 groups — the Senate Majority Fund and the Colorado Leadership Fund — that had paid for ads supporting Republicans in the 2008 election.

Illinois –– Pantagraph: First Super PAC OK’d for Illinois
by Kurt Erickson
It took just a day for Illinois to get its first official super PAC.  

Joe Trotter

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