Daily Media Links 3/29: The Comeback of Campaign Finance, Resistance to FCC broadcast disclosure rules for political ads puzzles advocates, and more…

March 29, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News

Roll Call: The Comeback of Campaign Finance  
by Eliza Newlin Carney
“In light of the changed landscape since the law, I think it’s almost indisputable that the law is hurting political parties,” concurred Bradley Smith, chairman and co-founder of the Center for Competitive Politics. 

Daily Caller: Resistance to FCC broadcast disclosure rules for political ads puzzles advocates 
by Josh Peterson
“That cost will get added to the cost of political ads, and therefore get added to the cost of campaigns,” [Brad] Smith told TheDC. “The information here is already available to the public, and the question is whether it is worth another $15 million or more in compliance costs – which will ultimately be campaign costs — to make it available a bit more rapidly.”    

Washington Post: Virginia deserved a better grade on corruption risk test
by David Keating
The March 24 editorial “Virginia gets an ‘F ’ ” claimed that Virginia’s laws invite corruption and cited a new study by the Center for Public Integrity that rated the states on their corruption risk and pointed out that Virginia is one of just a few states “with no campaign finance limits.”  


Senate hears witness testimony on “DISCLOSE” Act Thursday 
by Sarah Lee
CCP President David Keating will present testimony tomorrow morning before the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration concerning S. 2219, the “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act of 2012” (DISCLOSE Act of 2012). 

Independent groups

The Hill: Beware of the super-PAC: More lawmakers are fearing an ad ambush 
by Joe Picard
DeFazio, reporters in tow, went to the Washington, D.C., office of the shadowy super-PAC and confronted a less-than-forthcoming man who answered the phones. The lawmaker got his publicity and won reelection. But he is preparing for largely the same treatment this time around.    

The Hill: Super-PACs: So easy, a college student can do it
by Rachel Leven
You don’t need a law degree, or even a college degree, to navigate the Federal Election Commission (FEC) registration process. 

Politico: Outside groups pivot to Obama 
by Dave Levinthal
Public attention may still be trained on the Republican presidential primary, but prominent conservative groups are transitioning toward Democrats, already spending big money on ads attacking President Barack Obama.   

Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire: Troublesome Super PAC Targets New Incumbents
by Alicia Mundy  
Those guys are at it again: The Campaign for Primary Accountability, the small but anxiety-inducing anti-incumbent super PAC that’s heavy on conservative Texas millionaires and light on Democrats from anywhere has compiled a new Watch List of House primaries in which the PAC may play.  

ProPublica: Campaign Spending Shows Political Ties,  Self-Dealing
by Kim Barker and Al Shaw
For an example of the fluidity of campaign finance rules,  as well as the tangled web of connections between candidates and super PACs,  look no further than the digital consulting firm Targeted Victory.


National Journal: House Dems Ask Obama to Make Recess FEC Appointments
by Andrew Joseph
About 30 House Democrats on Wednesday wrote President Obama urging him to make recess appointments to fill Federal Election Commission vacancies. The FEC, the letter says, “was created by Congress to be the public’s watch dog overseeing federal elections.  Partisan gridlock at the FEC and in the United States Senate, however, has rendered the FEC feckless at a moment when their guidance and enforcement is needed most.” 

Joe Trotter