By Sarah LeeIt is fitting that the third anniversary of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission fell on inauguration weekend. The case allowed new ways for citizens to participate in campaigns — a fact publicly derided by progressives and reformers yet privately taken advantage of by the candidates they support, including President Obama. Despite the liberal condemnation of the money Citizens United brought to campaigns, the decision has benefited the American voter.
By David W. WiseOn Election Day, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock was one of just three nonincumbent Democrats to win election as either governor or U.S. senator in states that went red in the presidential race. Bullock was inaugurated two weeks before this month’s third anniversary of Citizens United. He had led a fight to try to keep the U.S. Supreme Court decision in that case from negating Montana’s strict campaign finance law in state elections.
By Jim RutenbergA brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.”
By KENNETH P. VOGEL, TARINI PARTI and BYRON TAUWhen President Barack Obama rolled out his new political outfit last week, he and his allies declared it would be powered by grassroots activists and change politics from outside Washington.
By STEVE HOERSTINGWhat does this mean? It doesn’t just mean Team Obama is prepared, and deserves, to lose Danielcyzk and McCutcheon, for whether they do or not doesn’t affect their strategy. It means the concerted movement for federal campaign-finance reform is over… at least for awhile.
Candidates, Politicians and Parties
By JEFF ZELENYCHARLOTTE, N.C. — As Republican leaders gathered here on Thursday to consider how to rebuild their party, President Obama was at the center of the conversation. But the sharp criticism directed at him was replaced by something new: envy over his campaign.
Lobbying and Ethics
By Eamon JaversAIG is back in the lobbying game after a four-year self-imposed ban from lobbying while the company was owned by U.S. taxpayers.
By Jonathan AllenThe aim of the sister organizations is to lobby members of Congress to vote for gun control — and then reward friends and punish enemies on the campaign trail. Whether Giffords and Kelly will appear in districts, or in campaign ads, remains to be seen, as they’re still trying to figure out the intricacies of campaign and lobbying laws. But if it’s within the law, they’ll do it, they say.
By Annys ShinAnne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold’s campaign had more than a half-million dollars in the bank in the weeks leading up to the 2010 election, when prosecutors say he was having his security detail put up campaign posters.
By THOMAS KAPLANALBANY – Advocates of overhauling New York’s campaign fund-raising laws met with 40 philanthropists in Manhattan on Thursday in an effort to enlist additional supporters as they ramp up their lobbying efforts.
By Robert GehrkeBut the governor said he would support the creation of an ethics commission, like the one that hears ethics complaints against legislators, to investigate complaints against his own office, as well as the attorney general, treasurer and auditor offices.