Morning Reads

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


The New York Times and CBS News released a new poll this morning that “provides one of the broadest and most detailed surveys of Americans’ attitudes toward the role of money in politics since the Citizens United decision.” The results revealed that over 80 percent of Americans believe money plays too great a role in political campaigns. And money in politics is not as partisan as we might think: “Republicans in the poll were almost as likely as Democrats to favor further restrictions on campaign donations.”

Campaign Finance/Elections

Ballard News Tribune: Honest Elections Seattle, Initiative-122, submits 32K+ signatures to City Clerk –> The Honest Elections Seattle campaign submitted 32,000 signatures in support of Initiative-122, which will now appear on Seattle’s November ballot. If approved, it would establish a new public financing model and enact a package of election-reform changes.

Roll Call: Elizabeth Warren Blasts SEC’s Mary Jo White –> Sen. Warren is not happy with the SEC Chair Mary Jo White for a few reasons, including the lack of movement on a political spending disclosure rule: “As you are well aware, there is overwhelming interest and demand in a corporate campaign spending disclosure rule: more than one million public comments in support of a 2011 petition to the SEC have called on the agency to set disclosure rules.”

Reuters: When the Supreme Court is this wrong, it’s time to overrule them –> Doris Kearns Goodwin and Paul Clements: “When asked about the prospect of passing a constitutional amendment to reverse [Citizens United], too many people argue that it would be ‘too hard,’ even ‘impossible.’ This argument lacks historical perspective.”

Brennan Center: Vermont Governor Signs Bipartisan Election Day Registration Bill –> “Vermont is the 14th state, plus the District of Columbia, to pass legislation to allow voters to register on Election Day, which can boost turnout and make it easier for eligible voters to cast a ballot that will get counted.”

NYT: A Bad Voting Ban in Maryland –> This editorial attacks Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for vetoing a bill to restore voting rights to 40,000 residents of the state: “The governor’s veto was all the more vexing given what has been happening in Baltimore, where residents — mostly poor people of color — have erupted in outbursts of anger and frustration because they feel they have little say in the direction of their communities.”

KRWG: Senator Udall Seeks To Raise Minimum Wage and Make Public Campaign Financing More Balanced –> Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) discussed “presidential campaign public financing and his efforts to make the system more balanced.”

Congress/Admin/2016

POLITICO: Secret effort to sell Hillary Clinton to rich liberals –> “Hillary Clinton’s allies are working to win over unenthusiastic rich liberals by pitting her against the Koch brothers and prospective GOP rivals rather than more progressive Democrats.”

NJ.com: Christie super PAC raises more than $1M at NJ event –> A super PAC created to boost Chris Christie’s potential presidential run raised $1 million at an event last week that had just 30 attendees.

#TheStruggle: RT @KenVogel: Donor explains why he’s not giving hard $: “If you have $1 billion & somebody gives $2,700, then you have $1,000,002,700. It’s the same #.”

CNN: Rand Paul video violated Senate rules –> “The presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul took down a web video Monday after the Senate Rules Committee determined its use of Senate floor proceedings in the posting violated the chamber’s rules.”

Boston Globe: New England’s top GOP donor isn’t a Republican –> Checkout this interview with GOP mega donor Seth Klarman — who is pro-gay, pro-immigration reform and anti-Citizens United.

Washington Post: Tobey Maguire among Hollywood players hosting Hillary Clinton in June LA swing –> “Actor Tobey Maguire is among the Hollywood players who will host Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton later this month when she makes her second fundraising swing through Los Angeles.”

AP: Some GOP donors willing to give to many, just not Paul –> “Some of the biggest donors and fundraisers in the Republican party, still uncertain who should get their support in 2016, are sprinkling their money around a presidential field that grows by the day. The largesse born of their indecision has a notable exception: Rand Paul.”

Center for Public Integrity: Anti-Hillary groups to FEC: take a hike –> The groups — Dick Morris’s Just Say No to Hillary PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC — told the FEC that they won’t comply with requests to change their names.

ABQ Journal: Fundraiser with Fiorina raises $100K; Dems target House –> “New Mexico Republicans raised more than $100,000 at a weekend dinner headlined by presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina. More than 300 people attended the annual Silver Elephant Dinner.”

Huffington Post: Banks Behind Hillary Clinton’s Canadian Speeches Really Want The Keystone Pipeline –> “Two Canadian banks tightly connected to promoting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the United States either fully or partially paid for eight speeches made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the period not long before she announced her campaign for president.”

POLITICO: Hastert judge also donated to his campaigns –> Oops! “The federal judge assigned to preside over the criminal case against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) donated at least twice to Hastert’s congressional campaigns, federal campaign finance records show.”

Other/States

AP: Former, current Pa. lawmakers plead guilty in sting case –> “The undercover sting that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office called too flawed to win convictions did just that Monday, racking up guilty pleas from a legislator and a former lawmaker, bringing the total to three after Philadelphia prosecutors took over the case.”

Houston Chronicle: City lobbyists fail to abide by regulations –> “Four years after Mayor Annise Parker’s administration tightened Houston’s lobbying rules and pledged to enforce them, not a single person or firm has been cited despite records showing that many lobbyists have failed to abide by the regulations.”

To read more go to everyvoice.org.


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Adam Smith is the communications director at Every Voice. He has worked in money-in-politics advocacy since 2006, managing or advising communications efforts for policy and field campaigns in Congress and states across the country. As communications director, he manages media relations and oversees the research and digital teams. Follow him on Twitter: @asmith83.

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