By Sarah LeeThe case stems from the efforts of Virginia James, a private citizen, who seeks to give contributions directly to candidates up to the biennial aggregate limit of $117,000. However, federal law allows only $46,200 of that amount, in aggregate, to be given directly to candidates; the rest must be contributed to PACs and party committees. According to Dickerson, James is not challenging the overall limit, but rather wishes to give the entirety of her contributions to candidates directly, instead of being forced to act through PACs and other political organizations.
By Joe TrotterFortunately, Mr. Weisberger and Moyer’s intellectual hyperventilations carry little weight with the people who enforce the Constitution; those “black-robed magicians” very appropriately sided with the First Amendment.
By Nicholas ConfessoreThe Democratic “super PAC” backing President Obama raised $10 million in August, as donors gave a record amount to the group amid growing concern among some elite Democratic contributors that Republican outside groups will swamp Mr. Obama’s re-election effort.
By Cleta MitchelWell, the political parties and their campaigns aren’t what they used to be, either. In a significant way, the culprit is campaign-finance reform. The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 was intended to diminish the role of money in campaigns, but it has instead had the effect of diminishing the parties themselves.
By Noah BiermanBut a spokesman for Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, said the ad was one of two that ran in Massachusetts in November and December. That was before Brown and his opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, signed a pledge in January that was intended to keep outside groups from running commercials designed to influence their race.
By MONICA DAVEY and STEVEN GREENHOUSECOLUMBUS, Ohio — From a line of cubicles inside a union headquarters here, phone-bank volunteers hunched over laptop computers, improvising into their headsets their own versions of an anti-Mitt Romney script, which asserted that he had played a role in factories that closed, wages that dropped, workers who were fired.
By Peter HirschfeldSave for a nearly $200,000 mass-media campaign launched by a federal super PAC on behalf of Bill Sorrell, Contrada said in a press release last week, the seven-term incumbent would likely have lost to challenger TJ Donovan.
By Jane MayerDavid Koch, the co-owner of America’s second largest private company, Koch Industries, an oil, pipeline, chemical, lumber, and finance conglomerate that has been called “the Standard Oil of our times,” has historically been press-shy. But he used the occasion of the Republican National Convention, which he attended as a delegate, to rebrand himself as a good citizen rather than one of the biggest and most secretive behind-the-scenes funders of the opposition to Barack Obama. (There are wealthy people backing Obama’s reëlection campaign as well, but as I reported in the magazine recently, he’s been having trouble on that front.)
By Stephen EngelbergThe emergence of non-profits as the leading conduit for anonymous spending in this year’s presidential campaign is often attributed to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened the money spigot, allowing corporations and unions to buy ads urging people to vote for or against specific candidates.
Candidates and parties
By MJ Lee“That is not an accidental side effect. They were drafted by incumbent elected officials,” Cruz told POLITICO’s Mike Allen and Jake Sherman. “I believe in free speech. If it were up to me, I would eliminate all the limits and require immediate disclosure.”
By Matea GoldBut as the Democratic establishment descends upon Charlotte, N.C., this weekend for the Democratic National Convention, lobbyists and event organizers said they expect next week’s convention-related events to be less splashy than usual.
By CARRIE JOHNSONWith only a couple of months before the election, authorities are putting out word that federal employees need to beware of the line between protected political activity and prohibited electioneering. A few high-profile dustups have attracted attention already this year and watchdogs are investigating 168 possible violations of the Hatch Act.
Lobbying and ethics
By Kevin BogardusLobbyists aren’t staying away from the Democratic National Convention this week despite President Obama’s harsh rhetoric against K Street.