Daily Media Links 8/20: In Thrall to Sheldon Adelson, Donor against marriage amendment will remain unnamed, and more…

August 20, 2012   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Independent groups

NRO: Was ‘Understands’ Coordinated? 
By Stephen M. Hoersting
The “Understands” ad, by Obama super PAC Priorities USA, insinuates that Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of the wife of former GST Steel employee Joe Soptic, five years before she died, simply because Soptic lost his job (and thus his health insurance) at a plant owned by Bain Capital.  

Politico: Koch-backed group, Romney super PAC lead charge against Obama  
By Dave Levinthal
Top conservative super PACs and outside groups have outspent President Barack Obama’s super PAC by more than 8-to-1 this month.   


Huffington Post: Corporations Can’t Pledge Allegiance 
By Frances Moore Lappe
Thus, while most Americans recoil at the idea of “corporate personhood” because of the obvious power corporations enjoy compared to living-breathing mortals, just as important may be their differing responsibilities. And, I don’t mean only the obvious, that citizens but not corporations are obliged to vote and required to serve on a jury and respond to a military draft. I mean something broader: Our Founders envisioned a Republic of citizens committed to, and capable, of participating in self-government.  

First Amendment 

Roll Call: Tweets Surrounding Paul Ryan Pick May Have Violated Electioneering Rules  
By Emma Dumain
When news broke that Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) had been tapped as presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill turned to Twitter to share their reactions. In the process, they may have unwittingly violated House and Senate rules that prohibit Members from “campaigning” via tweets. 


Star Tribune: Donor against marriage amendment will remain unnamed
The state campaign finance board decided Friday that a marriage amendment contributor who works for a Catholic organization can remain anonymous out of fear that disclosure of his donation to a group opposing the measure could cost him his job.  
A man known only as “John Doe” had contributed $600 to Minnesotans United for All Families last year, but requested anonymity.
“Doe” told the board he must represent the Catholic organization’s policies to the public and knowledge of his opposition to the marriage amendment “would cause immense strain in his working relationships” and “may be enough that his employment would be terminated.”  

NY Times: In Thrall to Sheldon Adelson 
Three days after Paul Ryan became the presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate, he made a pilgrimage on Tuesday to the Las Vegas gambling palace of Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who is spending more than any other donor to try to send Mr. Ryan and Mitt Romney to the White House. No reporters were allowed, perhaps because the campaign didn’t want them asking uncomfortable questions about the multiple federal investigations into the company behind Mr. Adelson’s wealth. 

Candidates and parties

Bloomberg: Contributions Soar For Would-Be Chairmen Of House Panels 
By Derek Wallbank and Timothy R. Homan
U.S. Representative Bill Shuster is on pace to have his best fundraising cycle, and much of that backing is coming from transportation industry supporters who don’t just want to see him re-elected to a seventh term in Congress — they want to call him Mr. Chairman.

Politico: Democratizing the political ad watch 
Every presidential campaign in the last 20 years had been touted as the “most negative” on record. By all appearances, the 2012 presidential campaign will be the most negative since the advent of television. By one count, nine out of 10 presidential campaign ads aired in recent weeks were negative. This “unprecedented” ad war is being funded by super PACs and candidates who can raise nearly unlimited amounts of money in this post Citizens United world. How can American democracy survive this crashing tidal wave of negative advertising?   


Washington Post: Dial a donation
By TW Farnam
The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday that it has approved legal guidance that will allow small political donations to be added to cellphone bills when a campaign supporter sends a specific text message.  

Joe Trotter

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