Daily Media Links 3/20

March 20, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Independent groups

Roll Call: Rules of the Game: Bad News for Nation’s Nonprofits  
by Eliza Newlin Carney
In an election that until lately has been dominated by super PACs, politically active nonprofits are the new bad guys, drawing ethics complaints, letters to the IRS and legislative action. 

LA Times: Federal contractors’ parent companies donate to ‘super PACs’
by Ian Duncan and Matea Gold
Reporting from Washington— A longstanding ban on political spending by federal contractors has not stopped some from giving money to a “super PAC” backing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as The Times reported Monday, despite questions about the legality of such donations. Other federal contractors have found an easy way around the ban to support their favorite candidates. 

Pro Publica: Could Corporations Take Tax Breaks on Political ‘Dark Money’? 
by Justin Elliott
The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision opened the way for unlimited corporate spending on politics and has led to the proliferation of nonprofit political groups that do not have to disclose the identities of their donors. But corporations may be getting another benefit from anonymous donations to these groups: a break on their taxes.  

Politico: Santorum outgunned 7 to 1 in Illinois, 21 to 1 in Chicago media market 
by Alexander Burns
Rick Santorum’s campaign and super PAC have been outspent by a margin of 7 to 1 in the Illinois primary, with forces supporting Mitt Romney shelling out a total of about $3.7 million on the airwaves, according to a GOP media-buying source.  

Corporate Governance 

Wall Street Journal: The Corporate Disclosure Assault 
Shareholder proxy season is coming up, and along with it a new batch of politicized shareholder resolutions. The underreported story this year is the flowering of a long-planned political campaign intended to stop companies from exercising their free-speech rights to influence government. Corporate directors need to know what they’re up against.  


Washington Post: Broadcasters fight plan to post names of political ad buyers on Web 
by Todd Shields
CBS and News Corp.’s Fox are among broadcasters fighting a plan to post names of campaign-ad buyers and purchase prices on the Web as record election spending raises concerns over anonymous political contributions.  

Bloomberg: Get TV Political Ad Data Out of the Cabinet, Onto the Web: View 
Since the Federal Election Commission has shown itself to be virtually incapable of ensuring transparency in campaign finance, it would be nice if someone else picked up the slack. It turns out someone can. 

Candidates and parties

NY Times: Candidates Disclose Fund-Raising
by Nicholas Confessore
President Obama raised $45 million in February,  his campaign announced on Monday,  a significant increase over the $29.1 million he raised in January. Mitt Romney raised $11.5 million for the same month,  according to his campaign. And Rick Santorum’s campaign said on Monday that he had raised more than $9 million,  almost as much as Mr. Romney.

The Hill: Some Obama donors see need to pick up fundraising pace 
by Amie Parnes
For some Obama supporters, the presidential campaign’s fundraising totals, released Monday, might have left something to be desired.  

ABC News: Obama Fundraising Slips From Record-Setting Pace 
Devin Dwyer
For the second consecutive month, President Obama has fallen off the record-setting fundraising pace he set four years ago. 

Joe Trotter