July 24, 2012

LINKS — Lawyers Are Making Money Off Of The Campaign Finance System

Bloomberg: Lawyers Raking In Cash As Campaign Spending Hits Records
Every four years, a new mix of politicians assembles to compete for the opportunity to run for president. While the candidates’ names and faces change, the lawyers stay the same.
Mother Jones: Meet the Front Group Leading the Fight Against Taxing the Rich
Often cited as the leading voice of small business, the NFIB was founded in 1943 by a former US Chamber of Commerce staffer who thought that business groups were neglecting the little guys. Today it claims 350,000 members, chapters in all 50 states, and a $95 million budget. In May, the Washington Post cited the NFIB to back up Romney’s attacks on Obama’s tax plan, reporting that the group had given an F to the portion of Obama’s budget that deals with taxing the wealthy.
Washington Post: How Super PACs Are Saving Mitt Romney
Republican-aligned super PACs and other outside conservative groups have spent more than $144 million on general election ads in swing presidential states, a huge outlay of cash that has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to not only combat but exceed heavy early ad spending by President Obama.

TPMMuckraker: Justice Department Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has launched a formal investigation into whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities, TPM has learned.

Public Campaign: Senate Hearing: Taking Back Our Democracy
On Tuesday, July 24th, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs.”

New York Times: 6000 Bullets
Both men fear the power of gun ideologues, particularly in swing states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina, where many voters have fallen under the spell of a gun lobby that considers any restriction an unthinkable assault on the Constitution. Senator Ron Johnson, the Tea Party favorite from Wisconsin, spoke for the Republican Party (and many Democrats) when he said that limiting high-capacity magazines would infringe on a basic right. “When you try and do it, you restrict our freedom,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The HillLobbyists, GOP get cracking on ‘embryonic energy platform
GOP lawmakers, aides and an array of energy industry lobbyists huddled at Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters Monday to lay the groundwork for the party’s official energy platform at August’s national convention.

“It’s been two years since the passage of Dodd-Frank, and the finance industry is still doing its best to completely gut the reforms meant to prevent another financial crisis. Republicans have spent the last two years trying to water down Dodd-Frank, and data suggests they have been solidly rewarded for their efforts.”

Sunlight FoundationBusinesses give $33 million to super PACs
“Businesses have given more than $33 million to super PACs since the beginning of this campaign cycle, according to a Sunlight analysis of campaign finance reports. Trade unions gave at least $15 million in the same time period.”

Roll Call: Lobbying job market cools off unless you are a high-level former Congressional aide.
“Downtown sources say K Street salaries have flattened in general. And many lobby shop managers say the job market will remain slow until after Election Day. But even beyond that, slower growth and revenue dips are leading many firms to look only for lobbyists who can bring existing clients with them, which excludes Congressional aides.”

Politico: Americans for Prosperity in bind over Nevada donor rules
“In a complaint filed July 19, the Nevada Democratic Party asked Secretary of State Ross Miller to investigate whether the nonprofit organization must report the contributions it received to fund mailers attacking state Senate candidate Kelvin Atkinson, a Democratic assemblyman from North Las Vegas.”