Campaign Finance

The 'Sam Bacile' Election

We must engage the world that exists, not the one we’d like to imagine (as the neocons should have learned). And in the Islamic world, like anywhere else, there are opportunistic politicians eager to exploit slights to their religion to enhance their power. Fatwas are indeed the craziest religious decrees ever devised, but might the targeted assassinations of “militants” by drones be seen as a kind of secular “fatwa?” Contrary to the views of Maher, Harris, and others the Muslim religion is not any more inherently “violent” than any other. Their riffs are entertaining and correct to ridicule fanaticism, but they ignore the more thorny questions relating to the tortured history the Islamic world has had with “the West.”
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Romney Assails Teachers Union Contributions While Raking in Wall Street Cash

Mitt Romney went to NBC’s Education Nation Summit Tuesday to deliver his usual set of already-failed ideas on the subject: dump kids in giant classes to learn a curriculum entirely centered around standardized testing and taught by teachers paid according to said standardized test scores. But beyond his ideas about what should go on in the schools, he offered another classic for thee but not for me theory about how the political process should work:
“I don’t mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am,” he followed up, to laughs from the audience, before calling the donations from teachers’ unions to Democratic politicians an “extraordinary conflict of interest” because those politicians are then supposed to stand up to the unions and for students in negotiations.
Mitt Romney has gotten giant contributions from the financial sector and he’s running for president vowing to repeal Wall Street reform. Romney’s entire campaign is about his promise to govern on behalf of his biggest donors and assorted other rich people like himself.
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Casino Money Stacks The Deck Against Democracy

Common Cause NY released a report today that exposes just how much money casino, racino, and other gambling interests have spent on politics over the past decade. The report, entitled “Stacking The Deck: The Gambling Industry’s Political Spending In New York State,” details the big bets that casino owners have made on elected officials, and how those bets have paid off.
In New York State alone, the gambling industry has spent over $50 million on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past seven years. This is much more than what larger and more critical sectors of the economy, such as the energy or telecommunications industry, spend on politics.
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More Money ($10 Million) For Mitt Romney From Billionaire Investor Joe Ricketts

Billionaire investor Joe Ricketts is pushing ahead with a plan to spend $10 million on an ad campaign supporting Mitt Romney, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, despite a controversy earlier this year surrounding a New York Times report that Ricketts was considering a series of racially tinged ads featuring President Obama’s former pastor.
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Romney on Public Financing — It's Deja Vu All Over Again

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said some interesting things about campaign finance on Sunday, telling a Fox News interviewer that he “absolutely” would like to run for re-election in 2016 using public financing rather than relying on private fundraising.
The money chase of the 2012 campaign, which features a seemingly endless stream of closed-door events in which candidates and political action groups extract large checks from wealthy donors, “increases the potential of money having an influence in politics,” Romney said.
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Top 13 Questions From Our Q&A on Dark Money in the 2012 Campaign

Yesterday our reporter Kim Barker answered readers' questions on how outside money is influencing the 2012 election, in a rousing chat on Reddit. We combed through all 930 comments, and picked out some of the best.
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Campaign Finance Could Threaten Impartiality of Elected Judges

Campaign Finance Could Threaten Impartiality of Elected Judges
A staggering 39 states elect at least some of their judges, typically for appellate positions. Since 2009, judicial campaigns have been flooded with donations from unregulated superPACs, many of which are funded by huge corporations.
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Senate Vote on DISCLOSE Act Could Cast Light on Donors Hidden Since Citizens United

Today, the Senate will hold a cloture vote on the DISCLOSE Act- 60 Senators must vote to proceed or the bill will die on the floor. The bill, requires that any organization spending $10,000 or more on elections disclose their donors who gave $10,000 or more. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the bill’s sponsor, warns that “the flood of secret money unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision threatens to drown out the voices of middle class families in our democracy.”
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