By Sarah LeeCynthia Bauerly, one of the three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, has decided to vacate her seat, and there’s some debate as to what this means for a Commission designed to be bi-partisan and, therefore, deadlock frequently.
Candidates, Politicians and Parties
By NICHOLAS CONFESSOREPresident Obama’s inaugural committee is at least $10 million short of its $50 million fund-raising goal, officials have told top donors, with just over a week before Mr. Obama is sworn in for his second term.
By Ryan Grim and Sabrina SiddiquiA PowerPoint presentation to incoming freshmen by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, obtained by The Huffington Post, lays out the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers. The daily schedule prescribed by the Democratic leadership contemplates a nine or 10-hour day while in Washington. Of that, four hours are to be spent in “call time” and another hour is blocked off for “strategic outreach,” which includes fundraisers and press work. An hour is walled off to “recharge,” and three to four hours are designated for the actual work of being a member of Congress — hearings, votes, and meetings with constituents. If the constituents are donors, all the better. The presentation assured members that their fundraising would be closely monitored; the Federal Election Commission requires members to file quarterly reports.
By Humberto Sanchez and Niels LesniewskiThe new No. 2 Republican in the Senate says that if history is any judge, the chamber’s leaders will likely work out a deal and not pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote.
EditorialPresident Barack Obama seems to have given up the fight to rein in the power of money in politics. Good thing a Republican senator from Alaska is reaching across the aisle to lead the charge.
The founding fathers intended that voters should have personal knowledge of the people they sent to govern in Washington. Few of today’s voters really know the candidates; this makes misrepresentation easy and effective, and creates the need for large sums of money for political campaigns, leaving the candidates beholden to those moneyed interests. So, what happened?
Lobbying and Ethics
By Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham and Sari HorwitzIn gun lore it’s known as the Revolt at Cincinnati. On May 21, 1977, and into the morning of May 22, a rump caucus of gun rights radicals took over the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association.
By Laurel RosenhallInterest groups that spend the most money trying to influence policy in California’s Capitol spend the bulk of it in secret, including hiring former politicians as consultants and launching ad campaigns to push their agenda with virtually no financial disclosure. Despite state laws that require detailed reporting of payments to registered lobbyists and activities such as wining and dining lawmakers, the largest share of what the big labor unions, trade groups, health care and energy companies spend to influence public officials falls into a mysterious category that requires no detailed reporting to authorities.
HELENA – No one showed up to oppose a bill Friday to tighten and make more specific some of Montana’s campaign finance laws after a federal judge struck down some of them as unconstitutionally vague last year.