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 Adam Smith of the non-partisan campaign finance reform group, Every Voice.

Yesterday, the Hillary Clinton campaign announced it raised $45 million in the second quarter of the year, surpassing the “$42 million in primary funds raised by President Barack Obama in 2011 in the first quarter after he announced his re-election bid, the previous record.” More from the Huffington Post, Bloomberg, New York Times.

And on the super PAC side: “A trio of pro-Hillary Clinton groups raised more than $20 million in the first half of the year, including at least $1 million from billionaire financier George Soros, POLITICO has learned.”

Campaign Finance/Elections

Star-Telegram: Cruz is wrong on a solution to big money in US politics
Every Voice President David Donnelly has an op-ed in Texas today on Sen. Ted Cruz’s anti-lobbyist rhetoric and how it doesn’t really square with his belief that we should gut contribution limits: “Cruz will find that voters are receptive to this message about corruption. But unless he offers a concrete plan that improves, not worsens, the current system, he will sound like yet another politician who isn’t serious about change.”

The Hill: Bob Dole: We need to ‘stop all this money in politics’
The former senator and 1996 GOP presidential nominee says we need to “stop all this money in politics” and that, “I’ve always believed when people give big money, they — maybe silently — expect something in return.”

USA Today: House Ethics Committee let members slide on disclosure rules
Oops: “The House Ethics Committee failed to follow its own rules requiring lawmakers to seek pre-clearance for privately funded travel in 2013, records show, a lapse that now may have the committee in the peculiar position of investigating itself.”

Nice: RT @RepDonnaEdwards: Disclosure is a critical education tool for the American voter before they go to the ballot box, & to ensure transparency. #BetterPolitics

Brennan Center: A Full Loaf for Democracy
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy has this piece on the Arizona redistricting decision: “The Roberts Court has been handing out half a loaf in too many election law cases. This was finally a full loaf for the democratic process.”

Sen. Gary Peters: Peters Cosponsors Bill Reforming Campaign Finance System
Freshman Sen. Gary Peters announced his cosponsorship of the Fair Elections Now Act yesterday: “The wallets of the few should never drown out the voices of the many when it comes to our democracy, and corporations and billionaires should never be able to determine who  represents the American people in Congress.”


Politico: Hillary Clinton’s missing $200 million man
“Many top Clinton supporters say it’s now time for the other powerhouse Clinton — Bill — to employ his own magic touch to rescue Priorities USA Action and, in the process, shove reluctant liberal donors into the big-money game Republicans are easily winning.”

Politico: Fundraising at second-quarter pole: All eyes on Bush
“But there’s one candidate whose number matters more than the rest: Jeb Bush.”

National Journal: What Did Tom Steyer Say When He Met David Koch for the First Time?
What happened when they met at the Aspen Ideas conference?

Texas Tribune: Second Super PAC Backing Perry in Presidential Race
“Another super PAC is coming to the aid of former Gov. Rick Perry in the 2016 presidential race.”

Politico: Emails show Hillary Clinton exchanges with foreign lobbyist
“Hillary Clinton personally emailed with a former advisor-turned-foreign lobbyist about his island nation client early in her tenure as secretary of state, a tranche of roughly 3,000 pages of Clinton emails released from Foggy Bottom on Tuesday night shows.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders told a crowd of 10,000 in Madison yesterday: “I know we are going to get outspent. But we are going to win this election. At the end of the day, they may have the money, but we have the people.’

Politico: Jeb’s South Korean sugar daddy
“As he amassed wealth after leaving the Florida governor’s office, Jeb Bush delivered 10 separate paid speeches to a South Korean metal company that won more than $1 billion in contracts from his brother’s presidential administration, according to disclosures released Tuesday.”

NJ Advance: Christie 2016 candidacy spurs fundraising by supporters & Democrats
“Both Gov. Chris Christie, who wants to be president, and the Democratic National Committee, which wants to stop him, spent Wednesday trying to raise money off his candidacy.”

Asbury Park Press: Chris Christie has work cut out in money primary
“Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’ll beat Democrat Hillary Clinton ‘fair and square’ if they face off in a general election. To beat her in the all-important ‘money primary,’ however, he will need to defy all expectations.”

Daily Caller: Jeb Bush: Donald Trump once held a fundraiser for me
“Donald Trump may now routinely attack 2016 presidential rival Jeb Bush as unqualified for the Oval Office, but at one time the real estate mogul apparently raised money for the former Florida governor.”

Wall Street Journal: Ben Carson Raised $8.3 Million in 2nd Quarter
“Republican Ben Carson raised $8.3 million in the quarter that ended on June 30, fueled by small, grassroots donors, a campaign official said.”

USA Today: Rick Santorum gets super PAC and early donor support
A pro-Rick Santorum super PAC launched yesterday and his sugar daddy Foster Friess reiterates that he’ll probably give to groups that don’t have to disclose.

AP: Feingold says $2.2M raised in second quarter for Senate race
“Former Sen. Russ Feingold says he raised more than $2.2 million in the second quarter as he seeks a return to the Senate.”

OpenSecrets: New York lawmaker raises funds in Puerto Rico amid debt crisis
“Whether or not Stefanik, who at 30 is the youngest woman to ever serve in the House, has a chance to influence much of that debate, she has managed to raise more money this year from inhabitants of [Puerto Rico] than any other candidate or committee.”

Other/States Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Press Gaggle
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Gov. Cuomo: “Well, it’s a, it’s a very powerful question, so first I would say, as we all learned in All the Presidents Men, follow the money. The hedge fund contributors loom very large in Albany and they have way too much influence.” And, Working Families Party’s Bill Lipton tells the Times that Cuomo seems “motivated by a desire to please donors and inflict damage on rivals, rather than by any core set of values.”

Times-Union: Former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith gets 7 years in prison
“Disgraced former state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday, closing another chapter in Albany’s scandal-tarred recent history.”

Fox8: Peralta denies using campaign money to gamble
Oh man: “St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he fueled a gambling habit with campaign money.”

LA Times: Ex-state Sen. Leland Yee pleads guilty to racketeering in corruption case
Former California State Sen. Leland Yee “admitted to racketeering, concluding an unruly case, involving public corruption, promises of gun-running and more, that shook Sacramento.”

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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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