Daily Media Links 5/5: Chris Van Hollen’s unsolvable dark money disclosure dilemma, CCP President Discusses Potential Lawsuit Against NYS Regarding Campaign Contribution Caps, and more…

May 5, 2014   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
Default Article
In the News

Washington Examiner: Chris Van Hollen’s unsolvable dark money disclosure dilemma
By Luke Wachob
Maryland Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen played a bait-and-switch in a speech this week, invoking Republican support for candidate disclosure to argue that they should also support his efforts to force disclosure of donors to nonprofit groups.
Van Hollen accused some skeptics of his DISCLOSE Act (better understood as “Democratic Incumbents Seeking to Contain Losses by Outlawing Speech in Elections Act”) of going back on the principles they once stood for. In reality, he and other advocates of disclosure have moved the goalposts.
The need for disclosure long enjoyed broad political consensus, particularly compared to other issues in campaign finance.
Read more…
TWC News: CCP President Discusses Potential Lawsuit Against NYS Regarding Campaign Contribution Caps
At the beginning of April, the U-S Supreme Court issued a high profile decision that ended caps on donations in an election cycle. A similar ruling was issued here in New York though Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is expected to make an appeal. But the national conservative group “Center for Competitive Politics” is now threatening a lawusit over New York’s contribution limits, and they’re taking particular issue with Schneiderman. CCP’s President, David Keating, joined us to explain.  
Read more…

Less Regulation is ‘Free and Fair’
By Kelsey Drapkin
Campaign finance may not be the sexiest or flashiest of political topics, but it is one that has arguably the most direct repercussions to our republic because it affects a fundamental part of our government: electing those individuals who run it. At its core, campaign finance restrictions impinge on the First rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights:  freedom of speech and association. Regulations limiting the ability of individuals or organizations to contribute however much money to whichever candidate or whatever cause they desire is a limitation on speech and association.
Hypothetically, if Congress told newspapers that they could only publish stories capped at a 350-word limit and that they could only print up to five stories in each issue, citizens would be appalled at this blatant speech limitation and cry out at the injustice. In just one example, Congress told citizens they could only give a certain amount of money to a certain number of candidates, and citizens were forced to remain silent if they hit that limit. Fortunately, the Supreme Court just struck down this limitation in its McCutcheon decision.
Proponents of campaign finance regulations often claim they are aimed at preventing the rich from using their means to influence elections and politicians with their affluence. It’s not, however, the rich who are most affected by these complex campaign finance regulations. Rather, it is the individual hoping to send a small contribution to a cause he believes in, but fears having his name revealed because of our burdensome disclosure laws, which make his or her personal and employment information public. Or the small group of concerned citizens banding together to fight for a cause they deem important that are affected by the years-long waiting periods for 501(c) status approval from the IRS.
Read more…

Washington Post: Cantor calls for special prosecutor in IRS targeting investigation
The House majority leader on Friday called for Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint special counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s controversial treatment of certain advocacy groups during the past two election cycles.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement on Friday that an independent prosecutor should “bring the appropriate charges against those responsible” for the IRS’s targeting of tax-exemption applicants for extra scrutiny based on their names and policy positions.
Read more…
Independent Groups
LA Times: Would Justice Stevens allow ‘reasonable’ limits on a free press?
By Michael McGough
So should The Times and other newspapers worry about Stevens’ proposed constitutional amendment? The good justice thinks we should relax, and he points to the word “reasonable” in his proposed text. He told the committee: “I think it wise to include the word ‘reasonable’ to ensure that legislatures do not prescribe limits that … interfere with the freedom of the press.”
The problem is that a legislator’s idea of a reasonable restriction on the media might be viewed differently by journalists. That was the case with a Florida lawstruck down by the Supreme Court in 1974, which required a newspaper that had criticized a political candidate to publish the candidate’s reply “in as conspicuous a place and in the same kind of type as the charges which prompted the reply.”
If Stevens’ proposed amendment were adopted, legislators might deem it equally reasonable to prevent newspapers from publishing more than 10,000 copies of an editorial endorsing a candidate for public office. They could call it the Level the Playing Field Law or maybe the Undue Editorial Influence Act. And the 1st Amendment wouldn’t stand in the way.
Read more…
Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties

NY Times: Democratic Group to Return Donations
By Frances Robles
MIAMI — The Democratic National Committee, faced with the possibility that it had accepted illegal campaign contributions from straw donors, decided Thursday to return sizable donations made last fall in the names of the children of a Florida cardiologist whose lucrative medical practice has caught the attention of Medicare regulators.
The doctor, Asad U. Qamar, 50, is a prolific campaign donor who found himself politically sidelined last year once word got out that he had asked his contacts in Congress for help with a federal review of his Medicare payments.
Read more…
Wall Street Journal: Ted Cruz’s Two Takes on Transparency
By Reid J. Epstein
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), laying out his views this week on campaign finance laws, says that donors to political candidates should be made public. But when it comes to donors to advocacy groups, he says, transparency would be a problem.  
The difference, Mr. Cruz said, is that disclosure of donations to candidates is a hedge against corrupting public officials. But donors to advocacy groups, such as the National Rifle Association, must be able to give money without fear that people who disagree would use their contributions against them.  
Read more…
The Hill: DCCC launches ‘House of Scandal’ website
By Alexandra Jaffe
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a stand-alone website highlighting the wide array of scandals plaguing House Republicans.
The website, HouseofScandal.com, outlines details of the scandals and investigations dogging 22 House Republican lawmakers or candidates.
It features House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) declaration in 2010, when Republicans were poised to take back the House, that Republicans should institute a “zero-tolerance policy” concerning ethics issues.
Read more…

Washington Examiner: 4 years after Citizens United, FEC still hasn’t changed rules
By Paul Bedard
It has been over four years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling opening the doors to corporate and union political funding, but a bitterly divided Federal Election Commission still hasn’t rewritten their rules to reflect the constitutional change.
The reason: Democrats on the FEC want to use the rewrite to open the door to sweeping new donor disclosure requirements, while Republicans want to make only the changes needed to comply with the Jan. 21, 2010, decision. Each side blames the other for inaction.
Republicans on the commission have repeatedly tried to update the regulations, offering at least three proposals. Two were killed on 3-3 votes, and the third has failed to move forward due to Democratic opposition.
Read more…
State and Local

New Mexico –– Santa Fe New Mexican: Governor tried to stop ad critical of her
By Milan Simonich
Gov. Susana Martinez and her lawyers wanted to stop an ad critical of her from airing in the Albuquerque television market.
The ad features a young Hispanic woman (attorney Oriana Sandoval), who says: “Behind closed doors, Susana Martinez played along when her staff laughed and shamed Spanish-speaking families, like mine. Caught on tape, she refuses to apologize.”
Read more…
New York –– Wall Street Journal: New York Gov. Cuomo Braces for Re-Election Challenge From the Left
By Erica Orden
As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gears up for a fall re-election fight, he is waiting for the left-leaning Working Families Party to decide whether he will get its nomination and ballot line.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, entered the second half of the legislative session having riled the liberal establishment on fiscal issues in the budget as well as with related actions, including his decision to shutter a commission investigating public corruption.
Read more…


Joe Trotter

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap