June 27, 2012

Money in Politics Lunchtime Links, June 27

New York Times: Inquiry Looks Into a Shield for Donors in Elections
Important story on secret money funneled to influence elections by outside groups: “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has begun investigating contributions to tax-exempt groups that are heavily involved in political campaigns, focusing on a case involving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been one of the largest outside groups seeking to influence recent elections but is not required to disclose its donors.”

National Journal: How Congressional Veep Possibilities and K Street Are Linked
Senator Marco “Rubio has gotten money from the largest pool of lobbyists. In 2011, 108 donated to the senator.”

Mother Jones: An Interactive Map of the Dark-Money Universe
“Click your way through the final frontier of unlimited political money.”

Los Angeles Times: After winning right to spend, political groups fight for secrecy
“During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from.
Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech.”

Huffington Post: Super PAC Mega-Donors Increase Their Influence In May
There are now ninety-five donors or collections of related donors that have given more than $500,000 to super PACs, according to a review of reports filed on June 20 with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Those donors had given $153.6 million through the end of May.

Politico: Dems go AWOL in class war
“Even populist politicians need money. Conspiracy theorists who believe campaign contributions drive the agenda aren’t altogether wrong. It is virtually impossible to be a successful national Democrat without relying heavily on business interests, including the financial industry, for campaign funds.”

PRWatch: Who is Bankrolling the Fight Against “Obamacare”?
“The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), is a highly partisan front group masquerading as the “nation’s leading small business association,” critics say. The nation’s highest court is expected to rule on the federal health care law Thursday.”

Politico: For Bob Kerrey, Warren Buffet rules
The world’s most famous Omahan — and one of its richest men — is putting his political weight behind the Nebraska Democratic Senate candidate, making a rare foray into electoral politics at a time when he’s become deeply involved in the national debate over taxes and deficits.

The Onion: Americans Pool Together $945.23 To Counteract Corporate Money’s Influence In Politics