Daily Media Links 10/30: Ted Cruz ‘Super PAC’ Deploys Email Subject Line in Effort to Reach New Donors, The Republican campaign to impeach the IRS commissioner: What comes next, and more…

Independent Groups

New York Times: Ted Cruz ‘Super PAC’ Deploys Email Subject Line in Effort to Reach New Donors

Nick Corasaniti

Like many other candidates, he has a “super PAC” supporting him, Make DC Listen, which is also helping to capitalize on the momentum.

The group sent out an email Thursday morning calling for donations.

“The Cruz for President campaign will get 100% of your donation because Make DC Listen covers all the processing costs and fees,” the email read between links to a donation app…

First, the email display in inboxes was from “Cruz for America,” a group that does not exist. Mr. Cruz’s campaign is “Ted Cruz for President,” and Federal Election Commission rules prohibit super PACs from having the name of the candidate they are supporting in their title, hence something bland like Make DC Listen. Yet that applies only to their commission filings and official titles. On email displays, they can call themselves whatever they want. So they went with Cruz for America.

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Time: Clinton Super PAC Hits Rubio as ‘Mansplainer’

Zeke J. Miller

The super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign is accusing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio of “mansplaining” in Wednesday night’s debate in a new web video.

The attack from Priorities USA—a step short of calling the surging Republican sexist—stemmed from his comments in which Rubio said he struggled to explain his student loan debt to his wife after they were married.

The 15-second video takes the longer quote out of context, as Rubio was under pressure to explain his family’s financial choices during the debate.

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IRS

Washington Post: The Republican campaign to impeach the IRS commissioner: What comes next

Lisa Rein

Three days after a GOP leader in Congress introduced four articles of impeachment against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the next move on whether to remove him from his job is now up to the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee is now examining H. Res 494, a spokeswoman said, adding,”We will have to more to say about it at a later date.”

Since shortly after he took over the IRS in 2013, Koskinen has been the target of House Republicans for his role in a congressional investigation into the agency’s treatment of conservative groups.

The effort to remove him from office — a rare move against a public official that has been tried by Congress only a handful of times in the last century — came days after the Justice Department formally closed its investigation of the controversy over the IRS’s treatment of conservative and tea party groups that sought tax-exempt designations. The Justice Department declined to file criminal charges.

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Free Speech

Coloradoan: Serious flaws in Facebook ruling

Editorial Board

Campaign finance law requires those running for office to report in-kind contributions. What is the value of a Facebook post? And if we’ve assigned it value — as the judge has in this ruling — how is Grundvig reporting it?

Her campaign finance reports as of Thursday showed she had not reported the Facebook post, and we wonder how she would — given that the judge declined to be more specific around what it was worth. Grundvig has paid Facebook during this campaign cycle, however, using the social media giant’s targeting expertise to reach prospective voters.

We anticipate a slippery slope for candidates who receive “value” from a Facebook post. A micro-economy of likes, views and shares come election time. Must they all be reported as in-kind contributions? Does the value change depending on how many people “liked” the post or how many friends the person who posted has?

Campaign finance law has not yet caught up with the impact of social media, which goes far beyond Facebook. If we are to start assigning value to Facebook posts, we should know what that value is. We don’t, with Norwood’s ruling.

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FEC

New York Times: F.E.C. Panel Delays a Decision on Spending in ’16 Races

Eric Lichtblau

The Federal Election Commission put off a decision Thursday on just how far so-called super PACs — a dominant force so far in the 2016 campaign — can go in raising millions of dollars for politicians.

The inaction was not surprising for a commission often gridlocked by partisan divisions. Still, it frustrated Democratic lawyers, who had asked the commission last month for an “emergency” ruling on whether a dozen fund-raising tactics used by super PACs and politicians should be considered legal.

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Maine Sun Journal: Sen. Angus King, Rep. Beto O’Rourke push federal campaign finance reform

Carson Holloway

King’s legislation would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to:

* Require all candidates for federal office to report contributions to the FEC within 48 hours.

* Apply reporting requirements for transfers from Joint Fundraising Committees to candidates, as well as for contributions from individuals directly to candidates.

* Modify the $1,000 threshold to make it cumulative within one calendar year, mandating that any individual who contributes $1,000 or more multiple times per year report each contribution

* Require a “loop back” to a year before the date of enactment, meaning if an individual makes a contribution of $1,000 or more, the candidate must report within 48 hours

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Corporate Personhood

National Affairs: Are Corporations People?

Carson Holloway

But contrary to what we may hear from Elizabeth Warren and ThinkProgress, corporations are, as a matter of fact, people in the eyes of the law. They have been since the beginning of the American republic, making corporate personhood deeply rooted in our legal and constitutional tradition…

This is not to say that corporate rights operate in the same way as do the rights of natural persons. In many cases the law justifiably treats the rights of natural persons and artificial persons differently. It is to say, however, that respect for the rights of corporations, no less than respect for the rights of individuals, is advantageous for our social order and has been essential to America’s development as a prosperous, free, and good society. Accordingly, America’s perpetuation as such a society requires that we understand and defend corporate personhood and corporate rights against this criticism from the left.

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Candidates and Campaigns

Washington Free Beacon: Lessig Fudges Campaign Fundraising Numbers

Lachlan Markay

Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig is running for president on a platform of campaign finance transparency, but he appears to have publicly misled the American people about his own campaign’s finances…

Financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission this month show that Lessig was well short of that threshold when he made the announcement on ABC’s This Week.

Lessig pledged in August that he would only launch his campaign if he received $1 million in contributions by Labor Day. According to its October FEC filing, the campaign raised at most $900,000 by that date.

The actual sum was likely less than that, since that total includes all unitemized contributions through the end of September, some of which likely came after the Sept. 6 deadline.

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LessigBlog: Washington Free Beacon: Wrong

Lawrence Lessig

As many news outlets reported at the time, our goal was to raise $1M in crowdfunding pledges — including amounts paid immediately and amounts pledged in advance — by September 7. We beat that goal by a day.

We collected on those pledges both before and after the deadline. Of the pledges made before the deadline, only $9,800 was ultimately withdrawn from our total as no longer considered reliable. Pledges also include commitments of monthly contributions.

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New York Magazine: Bush Comeback Strategy Leaks as His Donors Eye Rubio

Margaret Hartmann

The full document also details Bush’s strategy for the coming months. The campaign has set aside $10.8 million for a January advertising blitz, with $5.6 million going to New Hampshire. Just $1.4 is allocated for Iowa, and it’s clear the former governor doesn’t expect to win the caucuses on February 1. The presentation reveals that after making more than 70,000 calls and collecting 5,000 emails, the Bush campaign has identified only 1,260 supporters in Iowa.

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Wall Street Journal: The Money Behind the Candidates

Rebecca Ballhaus and Randy Yelp

A look at who is bankrolling the 2016 election—and at which candidates are benefiting most from the biggest donations.

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The States

Newsday: Ethics board proposes sweeping, landmark campaign finance measure

The proposal by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics states that governors, attorneys general, comptrollers and legislative leaders would be prohibited from accepting campaign cash from “someone who could be subject to the official’s enforcement powers.” Other aspects of the proposal refer to companies and individuals that are the “active subject of enforcement powers.” The proposal fails to define if that means an official can’t accept donations from a company or person already under investigation or simply within the jurisdiction of the official.

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Arizona Capitol Times: Clean Elections delays final vote on political committee rule

Jeremy Duda

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission temporarily delayed its vote on a proposed rule that will clarify what constitutes a political committee under Arizona’s campaign finance statutes and possibly require disclosure from some dark money organizations due to last-minute changes that threw the commission’s meeting into confusion.

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