By Seth Cline“I think the White House will probably at least try to fill out that seat, it’s conceivable that they could do a big grab deal where they would replace all six commissioners at one time,” says Brad Smith, a former FEC commissioner and the chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics.
By Byron TauCNN reported Wednesday that senior Obama campaign aides were considering turning the campaign organization into a 501(c)(4) nonprofit social welfare organization or even a super PAC — despite Obama’s stated opposition to so-called dark-money groups like tax-exempt nonprofits or independent-expenditure committees.
EditorialWhen the United States Supreme Court issued its flawed 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, unleashing millions of dollars in corporate spending on political campaigns, there seemed to be one small prescription for relief. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, noted that prompt disclosure of political expenditures would allow stockholders and citizens to hold corporations accountable. Shareholders, he said, could determine whether the corporation’s financing of campaigns “advances the corporation’s interest in making profits.”
By Lee FangLobbyists, especially those guiding large amounts of undisclosed corporate cash into the election, are not pleased with the SEC proposal. Trade groups that lobby for Walmart, Chevron and major Fortune 100 companies are registering their disapproval on the SEC’s open comment website.
By Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of The Value AllianceFORTUNE — While millions of unemployed struggle to keep hope, corporations shelled out millions on election attack ads last year. Individual companies are still not fessing up on how their millions were spent. What do they have to hide?
Candidates, Politicians and Parties
To win reelection, Obama had to counter his well-heeled opposition’s newly enhanced monetary firepower. He therefore inexorably incurred many political debts, including inauguration perks for corporate donors.
By Paul BlumenthalIn the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has combined those three pieces with the issue of voter empowerment and put Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) in charge of a task force to shape the legislation for the Democratic caucus. The task force is constructed around the acronym DARE, which stands for disclose, amend, reform and empower.
Lobbying and Ethics
By Patrick HowleyFifty-two medical organizations — including the American Medical Association, which contributed more than $16,000 to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign — sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday invoking the Newtown, Conn. school shooting tragedy to request increased federal and state funding for medical programs, such as psychiatric care and an educational campaign that “reduces the stigma of seeking mental health services.”
By PATSY R. BRUMFIELDJust days before the statewide election, Aycock denied their immediate motion to go around the law, which requires registration by any person or group making contributions or spending more than $200 total in a calendar year to influence voters.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making a priority of campaign finance reform just as he and much of Albany have bulked up with campaign fundraisers that have brought in millions of dollars in donations.