Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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Welcome to this week’s roundup (Mar. 3-10, 2015) of must-read stories in the world of money and politics. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for more on the increasing influence of the super-rich on the American government. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories and any we may have missed in the comments section below.


Here’s what people are saying this week:

red-quotation-50The dominance of a few key people early on is not a productive thing for the campaign or for Jeb Bush.”

— Republican fundraiser Rick Hohlt, telling The New York Times why Bush’s fundraising team is reportedly not asking for mega-donations this quarter. Instead, they plan to avoid “the dominance of a few people” by keeping donations under $1 million.


red-quotation-50Should I choose to be a candidate… My lawyers love it when I say that.”

— Scott Walker, who along with other potential GOP candidates, is meticulously avoiding confirming his candidacy. Until they officially start “testing the waters,” presidential hopefuls can avoid campaign donation restrictions.


red-quotation-50Do I think it will affect her fundraising? I doubt it. She’s the front-runner. She’s still the person to beat.”

— Clinton “bundler” J.P. Austin telling Reuters that major Clinton donors seem unconcerned by her use of a personal email account for state business.


red-quotation-50Was [Menendez] doing things on behalf of Dr. Melgen because he was receiving campaign contributions, or was he doing it because he likes Dr. Melgen, which is not criminal?”

— Columbia Law professor Richard Briffault, explaining the subtle line between legal campaign contributions and bribery. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will likely face corruption charges for allegedly accepting gifts and vacations in exchange for political favors.


red-quotation-50Boehner’s representatives won’t say whether he was golfing, but he attended two events in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta in southern California.”

CNN reporting on John Boehner’s fundraising efforts in California last weekend, instead of attending the Selma 50th anniversary march.


red-quotation-50Over the past two decades, the National Right to Life Committee, the Christian Coalition, the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family and many of its affiliated state organizations and individuals have filed more than 70 lawsuits challenging campaign contribution limits, transparency laws and bans on corporate election spending.”

— The Huffington Post summing up a new Common Cause report, “Unlimited and Undisclosed: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Deregulate Political Spending.”


red-quotation-50This is a battle that’s been going on for two decades. In that time, [the telecommunications industry] has spent close to a billion dollars lobbying.”

— Tim Karr, director of strategy for an Internet consumer rights nonprofit, to the Daily Beast. All but two of the 31 co-sponsors of “The Internet Freedom Act” (a House bill intended to strip Net Neutrality rights) received campaign donations from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, the National Cable and the Telecommunications Association (their lobby) in 2014, for a total of $800,000.


Katie Rose Quandt reports and produces for She was previously a senior fellow at Mother Jones and has written for America, In These Times and Solitary Watch. Follow her on Twitter: @katierosequandt.
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