July 23, 2012

LINKS: Two Years Since Dodd-Frank, What’s Changed?

Associated Press: Democratic Convention Benefits From Corporate Cash
Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy have all sent checks to New American City Inc., a non-profit entity being run by top officials on the convention host committee. Corporate money is bankrolling operations in direct support of the convention, including paying the salaries of the 41 full-time host committee employees, their health insurance and for the offices where they work.

Washington Post: Can Vouchers Fix Campaign Finance?
On Friday, I noted that a number of campaign finance experts, including Yale’s Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres and Harvard’s Larry Lessig, support a voucher system in which every eligible voter has a $50 voucher or tax credit to donate to a campaign of his or her choice. In exchange, campaigns either agree to maintaining donor anonymity to avoid influence peddling (in Ackerman and Ayres’s system) or to only accepting donations of $100 or less (in Lessig’s). The voucher idea has a lot of traction in intellectual circles, but has thus far proved less popular in legislatures than the “clean elections” model in which qualifying campaigns are given matching funds and lump sum grants.

Public Campaign: Two Years After Dodd-Frank, Wall-Street Continues To Spend
The CFPB was established as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, which was passed two years ago, July 21, 2010. Two years later, Wall Street is still fighting the legislation and the industry is filling the campaign coffers of elected officials doing its bidding.

LA Times: Obama’s Campaign Attack on Romney Was Costly
President Obama’s sharp turn to the offensive against GOP challenger Mitt Romney last month came at a steep cost: nearly $58 million.

The Hill: Chamber Ups Lobbying Spending
The Chamber and the affiliated Institute for Legal Reform spent $55 million on lobbying in the first half of 2012, compared to approximately $31 million for the same period last year, according to Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) filings released last Friday.

Bill Moyers: Fighting Disclosure, Killing Democracy
In this web-exclusive video essay, Bill Moyers addresses the failure of the DISCLOSE Act, and calls out politicians who fight tooth and nail to hide the truth about the wealthy few who purchase and corrupt American democracy.

Politico: Mitt Romney wins big with small donors
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign brought in $24 million in June and
raised more than twice as much from small donations compared to the
previous month, campaign finance reports show.

Politico: GOP Mega-Donors Power Pro-Romney Super PAC
Some of the all-time biggest donors in Republican politics powered the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC to a $21-million haul in June – its best month yet.

Politico: Democratic billionaires boost pro-Obama super PAC
The super PAC supporting President Barack Obama had its best
fundraising month to date in June, pulling in $6.2 million, but also
spending even more on a barrage of ads blistering Mitt Romney.

Sunlight: Super PACs raise $55 million in June
Super PACs had their biggest month ever, raising over $55 million in June. That impressive haul brought Super PACs’ total fundraising since Jan 1. 2011 to more than $313 million.

NYT: Liberal donors finding a home in Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren has been so prodigious in raising money for her Senate campaign in Massachusetts that she is on track to become the top fund-raiser for the Senate this year, as well as one of the top Congressional fund-raisers of all time.

Sunlight: Gun interests spend millions to influence lawmakers
The gun lobby is one of the most influential in Washington — as well as state capitals — and figures available on Sunlight’s Influence Explorer describe its reach. That clout is not just confined to the National Rifle Association, with its $25.6 million in campaign contributions and nearly $24 million in lobbying expenditures since the late 1990s, or to the lesser-known but equally if not more politically aggressive Gun Owners of America, which has spent $25 million lobbying Congress.

Politico: K Street’s continuing slump
K Street is suffering a slowdown, and business may not pick up much until after the November election. Many firms reported only modest gains or even a drop in revenue for the first half of 2012, according to reports that were due Friday at midnight.

The Hill: Geithner set to defend action on Libor, Wall Street reform before Congress
The president’s top economic advisor is set to testify this week before banking panels in the House and Senate, just days after the Wall Street overhaul turns two years old, and in the midst of a rate-rigging scandal that could reach far across the financial sector.