Daily Media Links 5/24: Amid GOP Pressure, FEC Releases Enforcement Documents for First Time, Obama, Dems redoubling money efforts to keep edge, and more…

May 24, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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In the News

NY Times: Controversial Instructions at Core of Edwards Case, 
That interpretation of the law has been controversial. Allison Hayward,  vice president for policy at The Center for Competitive Politics in Washington,  a group that supports efforts to ease campaign regulations,  called them “defective instructions” in a statement,  saying that the interpretation ignores legal precedents that define contributions more narrowly. Ms. Hayward predicted that if Mr. Edwards was found guilty because of the expansive interpretation of the law,  “he has a good chance of winning an appeal.”


SEC Rulemaking Should Not be a Popularity Contest
By Allen Dickerson
Today,  two Ivy League law professors touted the groundswell of support for an SEC petition that would require corporations to disclose otherwise-immaterial political spending – including contributions and dues to industry associations that could,  hypothetically,  in turn engage in political advocacy.

State Attorney Generals Jump on the Bandwagon
By Joe Trotter
While their tenacity is notable,  these state attorney generals should probably stop using Steve Bullock’s attempt to launch his political career to new heights at the expense of his taxpayers as a model for their own political ambitions.  It is notable that in some of the states,  as well as DC,  direct corporate contributions are legal.

Independent groups

USA Today: Researchers dig deeper for dirt on political opposition
By Fredreka Schouten
In an office building nearly a dozen blocks from the White House,  bluejeans-clad 20-somethings sit before flat screen computer monitors,  scrolling through newspaper stories,  reading Twitter feeds and studying videotaped footage.

Bloomberg: Crossroads GPS on Air with $10 Million Ad Buy 
Crossroads GPS,  an independent group that supports Republican Mitt Romney,  is spending $9.7 million on ads attacking President Obama’s record on jobs.

Associated Press: Independent Groups Launch Dueling Campaign Ads
An independent group seeking to oust President Barack Obama launched a new TV ad Tuesday suggesting Obama had let down the voters who vaulted him into the White House in 2008. A pro-Obama group answered with an ad slamming Republican Mitt Romney,  featuring a woman who lost her job at a factory that closed after it was bought by the private equity firm Romney co-founded.

NY Times: Follow the Money: Understanding ‘Super PAC’ Spending in Politics, 
Note: This appears to be a lesson plan for teaching children about super pacs.
Overview | To what extent does the money of wealthy individuals and organizations influence electoral politics? In this lesson,  students learn about how “super PACs” are influencing the 2012 presidential campaign. They then use a technique called “structured academic controversy” to debate whether or not wealthy individuals and organizations should be allowed to engage in unlimited spending to influence elections.

NY Times Blog: ‘Super PACs’ Release Dueling Ads, 
A former Obama aide on Tuesday criticized a new ad by a Republican “super PAC” for featuring a fictional family suffering from President Obama’s economic policies.


Washington Post: Experts give odds to Edwards on appeal
By TW Farnam
The case started with the decision to prosecute Edwards on a novel legal theory that expanded the standard definition of a campaign contribution,  campaign lawyers say. In bringing the case,  the Department of Justice was setting aside an earlier policy that it would not pursue cases that had been turned down by the Federal Election Commission. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.


Associated Press: Romney oil adviser also a big super PAC donor
Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm didn’t wait long to make a nearly $1 million donation to a group supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney after he became one of Romney’s top energy advisers in March. Just weeks after Hamm joined the Romney campaign,  he gave $985, 000 to a pro-Romney super PAC,  according to campaign reports.

Candidates and parties

Philadelphia Inquirer: Attack ads start early for presidential election
By Thomas Fitzgerald
Already,  both sides in the presidential race have loosed the electronic dogs of war.

Bloomberg: Few Political Ads Rejected on Facts 
Citizens United has been good for one thing: Business.

National Journal: RNC Accuses Obama Camp of Booker ‘Cover-Up’
By Matt Vasilogambros
The Republican National Committee came out with a damning video that accuses the Obama campaign of trying to cover up Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s rebuke of the campaign’s attack on Bain and Romney’s work in the private equity industry. But a super PAC supporting the president’s reelection stepped up the attack a notch with a new ad featuring a laid-off worker decrying Bain’s corporate takeover tactics.

Associated Press: Obama,  Dems redoubling money efforts to keep edge
By Jack Gillum 
His cash advantage threatened,  President Barack Obama and his party are redoubling their fundraising efforts after robust hauls by Republican rival Mitt Romney and a slew of GOP-leaning super PACs that are raking in cash from the party faithful highly motivated to topple the Democrat.


National Journal: Amid GOP Pressure,  FEC Releases Enforcement Documents for First Time, 
By Andrew Joseph
The Federal Election Commission on Wednesday released,  for the first time,  enforcement documents after members of Congress asked the watchdog agency to be more transparent about how it enforces the nation’s election laws. 

Joe Trotter


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