By Brad SmithD.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, as he rolls out his long-promised campaign finance reform plan this week, exemplifies why so many outside the beltway distrust D.C. politicians. The cynicism in the timing of such a plan is hard to miss, coming shortly after three members of Gray’s 2010 campaign against Adrian Fenty pleaded guilty to federal charges that they ran a $650,000-plus illegal shadow campaign to guarantee Gray’s win over Fenty in 2010.
By Rabbi Shmuley BoteachBut while I absolutely agree that it would be wonderful if ideas rather than money was definitive in American politics — and I have steadfastly run a Jewish-values based campaign founded entirely on new political initiatives — I would remind those who decry Super PAC spending that the biggest problem in American politics today is incumbency.
By Danny YardonST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Republican National Convention is providing super PACs access to a new group of potential donors to fund TV ads this fall attacking President Barack Obama and supporting Mitt Romney.
By Drew ArmstrongThe New York State Common Retirement Fund and the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust are among 25 investors who demanded to know how Aetna, the third-biggest U.S. health insurer, is wielding its political influence and giving money to advocacy groups such as the American Action Network, an organization opposed to President Barack Obama’s policies.
By Melanie Mason“We’re looking at where our next donation should go,” said VanderSloot, who declined to specify how much he plans to give. “It’s one of the reasons we’re here.”
By MD Kittle“The general public does not know that taxpayer dollars are used to underwrite these conventions. I think it’s wrong,” said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, part of the national nonpartisan public-interest organization. The group traditionally supports left-leaning issues.
Candidates and parties
By Jared A. FavolePresident Barack Obama on Wednesday suggested amending the U.S. Constitution to undo a Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited spending on elections by corporations, unions and anyone else who can write a big check, looking to highlight the influence of money in politics even as there is little he can do about it this election.
By Christi ParsonsAsked by a member of the Reddit community what he would do to end the influence of money in politics, Obama wrote that, “Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it).”
By Jason Horowitz and Dan EggenTAMPA — As members of the Wisconsin delegation lined up for a luncheon and straggling Mississippi delegates looked for their group down the hall, the money delegation — clad in the state uniform of business suits and designer dresses — walked into the Buccaneer Suites on the second floor of the Hyatt for an off-the-record political analysis session from Karl Rove.
By Jonathan D. SalantWith pitched baseballs and idled rail cars, companies such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), CSX Corp. (CSX) and AT&T Inc. (T) this week put their names, representatives and issues in front of the elected officials, senior aides and delegates attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
By Doug SmithIt takes millions of dollars to put on a convention. While taxpayers foot some of the bill, corporations and high rollers contribute tens of millions of dollars, and those who give a lot usually expect something in return.