The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been inundated with letters from the public backing a rule to require corporations to disclose their political spending to their shareholders. The proposed corporate disclosure rule received more letters -- more than 178,000 -- than any other proposed SEC rule had previously received. The letter writing campaign was orchestrated by a coalition of labor unions, reform groups, activist investors, and political figures under the banner of the Corporate Reform Coalition. From their statement, "Coalition members urged the agency – and encouraged their members and the public to weigh in – to create rules that would push corporate political spending into center stage. Specifically, the SEC should shine light on the corporate political activity of all publicly traded companies. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – the case that opened the floodgates to corporate cash in elections – strongly endorsed comprehensive disclosure requirements. The SEC could and should put these assumed requirements in place for the publicly traded companies they oversee."
Sen. Scott Brown raises a lot of money from the financial sector. According to the Boston Globe, he's doing that with the help of a joint fundraising committee that collects funds for both his campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
The New York Times' Nick Confessore goes behind the scenes of a Wall Street fundraiser for President Barack Obama. HuffPost's Jason Linkins pulls out a choice nugget, from Confessore's piece, "One of the guests raised his hand; he knew how to solve the problem. The president had won plaudits for his speech on race during the last campaign, the guest noted. It was a soaring address that acknowledged white resentment and urged national unity. What if Obama gave a similarly healing speech about class and inequality? What if he urged an end to attacks on the rich?" As Linkins writes, "Rich people be having their feelings all hurty!"
Turns out, some of the rules to prevent coordination between candidates and independent groups like super PACs only cut one way. Politico reports, "When former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie joined Mitt Romney’s campaign last month, he cut ties with other groups he’d been involved with after seeking legal advice — most notably American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two of the most prominent conservative groups playing a major role in third-party spending this cycle. There is no prohibition against the top GOP power-broker hopping from an outside group to a campaign. The only rules against such movement go the other way, barring consultants from moving from a campaign to a super PAC during a certain time period."
That $4 million ad buy by the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, it's for this ad. HuffPost previously reported that the publication of this ad could very well have violated a law prohibiting the republication of official campaign materials by an independent political committee.
A California Assembly committee killed a proposal to call for a constitutional convention to change the Constitution to reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and remove money from politics. Some assemblymen worried that an open-ended convention could lead to many other, unpredictable changes to the Constitution.
The New York University Law Journal's recent issue contains a host of articles about Citizens United, money in politics, and related issues.
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Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Broken Promises: Jobs and the Economy"
Buy: None. Just a web video.
Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "Stephanie Cutter: Get the Facts on Mitt Romney, Big Oil, and the Kochs"
Buy: None. Just a web video.
Committee: Elizabeth Warren for Senate
Spot: "Rose Garden"
Committee: Hoosiers for Jobs
Candidate Supported: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Not for Sale"
Committee: Claire McCaskill for Senate
Spot: "Back Again"
Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Jon Bruning
Committee: Dick Lugar for Senate
Candidate Opposed: Richard Mourdock
Market: Indiana. (Radio)
Committee: Ted Cruz for Senate
Candidate Opposed: David Dewhurst
Spot: "Conservatives on Dewhurst"
TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.
Newt Gingrich (R), $13,017,772 to support, $18,885,161 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,548,235 to support, $20,923,379 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $3,317,306 to support, $8,676,753 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,748,218 to support, $214,158 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $298,856 to support, $1,071,699 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.
RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES
The American Foundations Committee, $75,000 to oppose Paul Coble for Congress in North Carolina's 13th District.
FreedomWorks for America, $8,350 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
FreedomWorks for America, $50,640 to support Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
League of Conservation Voters, $72,932 to support Jon Tester for Senate in Montana.
YG Action Fund, $53,000 to support Richard Lane Hudson for Congress in North Carolina's 8th District.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $64,626 to support David McIntosh for Congress in Indiana's 5th District.
National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund, $49,578 to oppose Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund, $49,578 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- Tea Party Express, $28,105 to support Ted Cruz for Senate in Texas.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- Tea Party Express, $19,399 to support Sarah Steelman for Senate in Missouri.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- Tea Party Express, $5,395 to support Jon Bruning for Senate in Nebraska.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- Tea Party Express, $2,540 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS
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