Daily Media Links 4/20: Dirty political money, Shady super PAC riles GOP , and more…

April 20, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News

NY Post: Dirty political money 
by Brad Smith
What is surprising is that they’re holding up the New York City campaign-finance model as an example of a successful system.   


Congratulations Chip Mellor, 2012 Bradley Prize Winner 
CCP congratulates William H. “Chip” Mellor, President of the Institute for Justice, on being named a recipient of the 2013 Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee.  

Independent groups

Politico: CAPE PAC: Shady super PAC riles GOP 
by Alex Isenstadt
Capitol Hill Republicans have a brand new super PAC in their corner.   

Wall Street Journal: Anti-Incumbent Super PAC Drops Challenge to GOP Rep. Murphy
by Alicia Mundy
The anti-incumbent super PAC that has become an irritant to some Republicans has withdrawn from a GOP primary fight in Pennsylvania because the incumbent has raised so much money.  


National Review: The Questionable Prosecution of John Edwards
If being a louse were a crime, John Edwards would hang for it. But he is instead facing prison for alleged campaign-finance violations, and it is our obligation to come unenthusiastically to his defense. He may be guilty of bribery, and if he were a sitting senator he would likely be guilty of gross ethics violations, but the facts do not support prosecuting Edwards under campaign-finance laws.  


Washington Post: WellPoint is focus of aggressive effort to force political spending disclosures 
by Tom Hamburger
Health insurance giant WellPoint is the latest target of an increasingly aggressive campaign to force disclosure of corporate political and lobbying expenditures,  including payments to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  which has become more active in elections over the past decade.

Candidates and parties

NY Times: Money Rules
And, despite decades of money abuses and scandal, neither presidential candidate has shown any interest in reforming the system.

Bloomberg: The Business of Ending a Presidential Campaign 
by Julie Bykowicz 
Hours after dropping out of the presidential race this month, Rick Santorum fired off an e-mail to supporters asking for “one more” contribution: “I am planning to do everything in my power to bring a change about in the White House,” he wrote. “But our campaign has debt, and I cannot be free to focus on helping defeat [Barack Obama] with this burden.” Santorum maintains his campaign is less than $1 million in debt, and his adviser John Brabender says, “We feel good that in short order we’ll be able to wrap things up.” Yet if history is any indication, the candidate may be living with the financial legacy of his failed candidacy for a long time.  

National Journal: DSCC Outraises NRSC
by Sean Sullivan
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the first quarter of 2012 and has more money in the bank. The NRSC will report bringing in $15 million for the quarter and ending with $19.6 million in the bank and no debt.  

Lobbying and ethics

NPR: Why Lobbyists Dodge Calls From Congressmen
by Andrea Seabrook and Alex Blumberg
We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn’t always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.  

Politico: Ex-members really do get special access 
by Dave Levinthal
They’re hardly alone: 188 different corporations, organizations and other special interest groups employed at least two former members of Congress to lobby the federal government last year, according to disclosure records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.   

Roll Call: K Streeters Adjusting to Loss of Earmarks  
by Kate Ackley
Winning Congressional earmarks wasn’t just big business on K Street. It was the business, and most everyone downtown had a piece of it. 

Roll Call: Elite Lobbyists Donate to Connect With Members
by Kate Ackley
Money may not buy happiness or love, but it sure comes in handy for lobbyists who thrive on access to Members of Congress. 


Washington Post: Obama ’08 campaign failed to disclose $2 million in contributions, FEC audit finds
by T.W. Farnam
The Obama campaign did not disclose nearly $2 million in donations ahead of the 2008 elections, according to an audit by the Federal Election Commission released Thursday.  

Politico: FEC audits Obama ‘08 camp 
by Robin Bravender and Dave Levinthal
President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign failed to properly report about $2 million worth of last-minute campaign contributions, according to a new Federal Election Commission audit.   


California –– LA Times: State ethics czar wants disclosure when campaigns pay bloggers 
by Patrick McGreevy
“I think we have to examine disclosure for bloggers and other Internet pundits who receive funding for their endorsements,” Ravel said during a conference on campaign funding co-sponsored by USC. “If we made a connection between a funder and somebody’s opinion so that opinion isn’t really that of the blogger, or the perception is that it might not be, people should be able to know about it.”  

Joe Trotter

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