Morning Reads

As we continue our effort to keep you up-to-date on how money corrupts American government and politics, is pleased to publish this daily digest of money and politics news compiled and edited by Laura Friedenbach of the non-partisan campaign finance reform group, Every Voice.

The emerging theme of 2016? Money, money, money, money, money!

The Washington Post reports, “Despite the blur of activity by innumerable candidates, the 2016 presidential campaign so far is a mostly shapeless enterprise, save for one dominant factor: the prominence of money in the narrative.”

Campaign Finance/Elections

NPR: Foundations To SEC: Force Corporations To Disclose Political Giving –> About 70 charitable foundations wrote a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White calling for corporate disclosure of political spending.

National Journal: Super PACs’ Next Target: Local Elections –> Jim Kenney won the Democratic primary Tuesday. Philadelphia’s probable next mayor “should take a moment to praise a most important ally: his super PAC. Before long, it could become a regular part of any winning mayor’s speech.”

National Journal: Republican Candidate Adopts Jeb Bush Super PAC Strategy for the Senate –> “Allies of Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who told Florida Republican Party leaders over the weekend that he’s considering a Senate run, say he will wait to formally announce his candidacy until he’s had time to meet with prospective donors via a newly minted super PAC, Reform Washington, and a leadership PAC by the same name.”

Roll Call: DCCC Outpaces NRCC in April Fundraising  –> “The DCCC raised $5.4 million last month, as opposed to the $5.1 million the National Republican Congressional Committee raised in the same time period.”

POLITICO: McMorris Rodgers raising money for female freshmen –> “House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and other female Republican members are pitching in to help their freshman colleagues on the money front.”

San Jose Mercury News: Anna G. Eshoo: End secret sponsors of political advertisements –> Congresswoman Eshoo’s op-ed in support of the Keeping Our Campaigns Honest (KOCH) Act: “The lack of transparency in politics is harming our democracy, breeding even more mistrust in government, and depressing voter participation. The public has a right to know who is persuading them over the public airwaves, and the FCC should honor that right.”

Associated Press: Gyrocopter Pilot, Doug Hughes, Frustrated His Message Isn’t Getting Through –> “We’ve got bigger problems in this country than worrying about whether the security around DC is ironclad,” Hughes told The Associated Press. “We need to be worried about the piles of money that are going into Congress.”

Huffington Post: How Doug Hughes Took Free Speech to New Heights –> PAY 2 PLAY director John Wellington Ennis: “Because just as Supreme Court justices have long interpreted the First Amendment to say that in elections, you can’t really say much without spending money, the flip side is presented here — since you can’t really say much without money, you have to speak out in different ways, such as a very public demonstration.”

Huffington Post: Ben Cohen: The Fight Against Super PACs and Cashola-Fueled Corruption –> Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s writes: “While our presidential candidates seem to have finally picked-up on the public concern over this matter thanks to past and current people-powered activism, they’ve yet to propose anything worth voting for. If they really mean what they’re saying, it’s time lay their cards on the table.”


ABC’s The Note remarks “One thing Hillary Clinton can’t stop talking about — campaign finance reform.”

Orlando Sentinel: Hillary Clinton coming to Orlando for $2.7K per fundraiser –> $2,700 minimum donation with bundlers welcome: “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is coming to Central Florida for a fundraiser May 29 at the home of Democratic rainmaker and lawyer John Morgan.”

This week, Hillary heads to Chicago for three fundraisers in two days. POLITICO reports one Chicago fundraiser puts a spotlight on Clinton Foundation finances that don’t add up.

Buzzfeed: Clinton Super PAC Executive Director Exits Amid Shake-Up –> Buffy Wicks is stepping down as executive director of Priorities USA Action, and according to a Clinton aide, Wicks is being recruited “for a senior-level role on the coordinated side of the campaign”

Washington Post: What $1 million will get you from the Scott Walker super PAC –> Perks offered to the biggest contributors to Unintimidated PAC — which backs Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — include “a seat on the executive board, as well as two donors retreats, private strategy briefings, a dedicated staff contact, two private dinners with a ‘VIP Special Guest(s)’ and access to fundraising events. And, to top it off, an ‘Exclusive Executive Board Pin.'”

Rick Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’ will host a Marco Rubio fundraiser on May 28th.

Associated Press: Boehner doesn’t defend NH’s Rep. Guinta over contributions –> “House Speaker John Boehner stopped short Tuesday of defending embattled Rep. Frank Guinta, saying lawmakers must meet ‘the highest ethical standards’ when asked if the New Hampshire Republican should remain in Congress.” Top NH Republicans call for Guinta to resign. Also, many presidential candidates and their super PACs previously gave thousands to Guinta’s campaign.

Jeb Bush was a special guest at a Guinta fundraiser earlier this year. Will he be asked about it on his trip to NH today?

The Center for Public Integrity reveals lawyer Alan Dershowitz and major political donor Kenneth Bialkin lobbied Rep. Charlie Rangel to attend Netanyahu Speech.


Associated Press: Groups march to Arkansas capitol in support of campaign finance measure aiming for ballot spot –> “A coalition of groups is rallying support for a measure vying for a spot on the Arkansas ballot next year that would require more disclosure from outside political groups participating in campaigns.”

Daily Freeman: NY Sen. George Amedore defends campaign contributions, calls for term limits –> Citizen Action of New York, the Labor Religion Coalition of New York State, the People’s Empowerment Project, and End the New Jim Crow Action Network object to George Amedore receiving $99,600 in campaign cash from Glenwood Management, a company tied to the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos scandals.

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Laura Friedenbach, Every Voice
Laura Friedenbach is the press secretary at Every Voice. You can follow her on Twitter @LauraFriedy.
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