Daily Media Links 3/7: Was That Twitter Blast False, or Just Honest Hyperbole?, It’s Not Just Citizens United, and more…

March 7, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Independent groups

NY Times: Was That Twitter Blast False, or Just Honest Hyperbole?
Mark W. Miller did not think Cincinnati should be spending money on a streetcar project, and he said so on Twitter. He urged his hundreds of followers to vote against the project, which was on the local ballot last November.
Note: Brad Smith is special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General

NY Times, Letter: Invitation to a Dialogue: Financing Campaigns
Super PACs help level the playing field by giving a voice to a challenger. Well-intentioned campaign finance laws have made it impossible for most challengers to raise enough money to mount a credible challenge.  

Huffington Post: It’s Not Just Citizens United 
The 2012 campaigns are awash with millions of dollars, and we are still nine months away from Election Day. Editorial writers and columnists are decrying the situation and invariably blame it on the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. While that ruling is one of the culprits, our elections would still be drowning in money even without it.  

CNN: Jargon-busting U.S. election buzzwords 
Know your caucuses from your primaries? Your superdelegates from your Super PACs? As Republican presidential hopefuls battle to win the right to take on Barack Obama in November, we’ve defined the array of words and acronyms that will define this year’s election.

Politico: Super PACs are ruining Republicans
Today is not Super Tuesday. It’s super PAC Tuesday. Super PACs are the real contenders in the 2012 Republican race. And they’re destroying the Republican Party.   


Sky News: Rule Change Sees Campaign Cash Soar In US  
Millions of Americans are voting in 10 states on the Republican party’s nomination for the White House with the amount of money spent in campaigning reaching astronomical proportions.  


IJ: We Hate to Say We Told You So . . .
Less than two months after the Supreme Court’s summary affirmance in Bluman,  that is precisely what we have seen. First came the Montana Supreme Court’s defiant ruling in Western Tradition Partnership,  Inc. v. Attorney General,  which cited Bluman to argue that the Citizens United decision was a narrow,  fact-bound ruling,  rather than the broad repudiation of government censorship that it obviously was. And now we have this argument from the Federal Election Commission in Wagner v. FEC,  a challenge to a federal ban on political contributions and expenditures by federal contractors:

Candidates and parties

iWatch: Romney campaign directs more than $1.7 million to state officials
Political committees controlled by Mitt Romney’s campaign have made generous donations to prominent Republicans in early primary states, but records show contributions have tailed off as the GOP nominees head in to Super Tuesday.  


Maine –– Sun Journal: Maine lawmakers poised to debate future of Clean Elections law 
The Maine Senate last week gave initial approval to a so-called “do nothing” bill that conformed Maine’s public campaign finance program with a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The decision outlawed publicly-funded candidates from receiving additional taxpayer money to counter additional spending by their privately financed opponents or outside groups.  

Joe Trotter

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