Daily Media Links 3/29: Daylighting dark money in Colorado’s political system, Mitch McConnell’s scorched-earth strategy, and more…

CCP
 
Colorado’s Opportunity to Protect First Amendment Rights 
By Tyler Martinez
On behalf of CSG, Dr. Hsieh and Mr. Armstrong raised money from their friends to help pay for the costs of writing and publishing the paper. They also ran some Facebook ads and made flyers to let people know about the paper.  
The paper is 32 pages long, with 176 endnotes. It makes philosophical arguments concerning the complex public policy debate surrounding the definition of personhood. The paper used a proposed Colorado ballot measure as a backdrop for its discussion on the issue. The paper concludes with a single sentence of express advocacy: “If you believe that ‘human life has value,’ the only moral choice is to vote against Amendment 62.”  
This one sentence of express advocacy meant that CSG may be forced to register as a issue committee with the state of Colorado. The state’s own briefing in the case has admitted that, but for this single sentence, the paper would go entirely unregulated by the Colorado government. 
 
Independent Groups
 
ACLJ: Victory After Victory…and More Coming: Latest Update on the Tea Party Cases
By Miles Terry
Our original assessment of these cases last year raised serious Constitutional concerns. These intrusive requests for extreme amounts of information – in their content, breadth, and vagueness – implicated the free speech rights of our clients and their organizations. As we stated before, requests for the personal information of the organization’s membership lists ran afoul of NAACP v. Alabama and implicated their rights to freedom of association.  
 
Washington Times: Which ‘industry leaders’ will bankroll the Obama SuperPAC’s policy agenda? 
By Timothy Carney
Let’s start with the easier one: Climate change. Team Obama has had many strong industry allies on pushing cap-and-trade schemes and other green-energy subsidies in the name of climate change.  
 
USA Today: Families plead to remember Newtown in anti-gun ad  
By Catalina Camia
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Bloomberg in particular has been a vocal gun-control advocate, using both the mayors’ group and his own super PAC to push for new legislation.  
 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

 
Politico: Mitch McConnell’s scorched-earth strategy 
By Manu Raju
McConnell’s strategy is similar to recent efforts by Senate stalwarts Majority Leader Harry Reid and John McCain, who each won reelection with big fundraising numbers to discourage possible opponents and constant attack ads to discredit those who do run.   
 
National Journal: The Senate Trouble-Maker in Waiting 
By Tim Alberta
Amash also has the ability to attract serious money. Already, one libertarian super PAC has pledged to spend upward of $1 million to help him get elected, and others would likely follow (Club for Growth would surely spend big on his behalf). The ability to attract such substantial outside assistance makes Amash an intimidating contender, and could send other Republicans running from a primary challenge. “If that money comes through, that’s a big benefit,” said former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, another potential candidate. “Look, this is going to cost $2 million to $3 million in the primary, and another $10 million to $15 million in a general election. So if there are people who are willing to put that kind of money behind him, that makes a big difference.” 
 
State and Local
 
Colorado –– Denver iJournal: Daylighting dark money in Colorado’s political system 
By David Williams
Colorado state Sen. Morgan Carroll, a Democrat, tried unsuccessfully to close a loophole that allows 501(c)4 groups to pass money through to 527 groups (named for another section of the tax code). Those groups, thanks in part to the efforts of Carroll in 2007, have far more stringent reporting requirements than social-welfare groups like ATP.