Morning Reads

Former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), a candidate in the first $100 million Senate race, is now at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and is leading a study group specifically on money’s role in politics.

Asked in an interview about the time spent fundraising: “Too much….In any competitive race you’re doing fundraisers at breakfast, at dinner, and it’s just so much time that should be spent on policy, on drafting legislation, on engaging with constituents back home.”

Campaign Finance/Elections

CLC: Supreme Court, Meet Salomon Melgen and Senator Menendez –> Campaign Legal Center’s Larry Noble: “The Menendez indictment undermines many aspects of what the Supreme Court has said about corruption, but offers an especially important lesson about the potential for corruption arising from ‘independent expenditures’ and efforts to stem that corruption with coordination rules.”

PR Watch: Scott Walker’s Supreme Court Coup –> With Gov. Scott Walker’s John Doe case still lingering, a voter-approved initiative to boost Walker allies on the state Supreme Court is a pretty big deal: “The fact that Walker and his big money allies tricked Wisconsin voters into stripping Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of her title was not considered a story by the 100 or so national reporters now assigned to cover Walker’s run for the White House.” Abrahamson has filed a lawsuit.

Today at 2 pm –> a Twitter town hall on an executive order to require government contractors to disclose political spending.

Daily Democrat: Lee County joins list of cities and counties asking for campaign finance reform –> Nice work in Iowa by the good folks at Represent.Us: “It took just a few minutes and very little discussion for the Lee County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment related to campaign finance reform during its regular Tuesday morning meeting.”

VtDigger: Corren files federal injunction to block campaign finance charges –> Intersting story to watch in Vermont: “Former candidate for lieutenant governor Dean Corren is asking a federal court to block Attorney General Bill Sorrell from pursuing alleged campaign finance violations against him.”


NYT: Network of ‘Super PACs’ Says That It Has Raised $31 Million for Ted Cruz Bid –> This Ted Cruz super PAC set up is unusual (and probably good money for consultants): “… Multiple super PACs would allow donors to decide which types of activities, such as television advertising or grass-roots turnout, they wanted to fund, while exerting more control over how the groups spend money.” Also, according to National Review, it’s just four families/donors behind them. That’s a lot of influence for a few super rich people. I imagine this is what their meetings are like. Bloomberg, WaPo.

CRP: Crossroads GPS Might Soon Be Off the Hook for 2010, 2011 Spending –> “The three-year statute of limitations will expire for statements made by Crossroads GPS on tax returns covering its first 18 months, making it nearly impossible for the group to be penalized for activity it reported in the filings.”

POLITICO: Moroccan cash flows to Clinton Foundation –> “The Clinton Foundation is accepting a major donation from a Moroccan government-owned company to hold a high-profile conference next month in Marrakesh with the king of Morocco — an event likely to reignite concerns about the foundation’s acceptance of foreign money just as Hillary Clinton prepares to announce her presidential candidacy.”

IB Times: As Colombian Oil Money Flowed to Clintons, State Department Took No Action To Prevent Labor Violations –> Oof: “After millions of dollars were pledged by the [Pacific Rubiales] oil company to the Clinton Foundation — supplemented by millions more from [Pacific Rubiales founder Frank] Giustra himself — Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial US-Colombia trade pact.”

LA Times: Hillary Clinton’s team is preparing behind the scenes, largely out of a closet –> Though Clinton has declared she’s officially testing the waters: “But for now, the small band of Democratic operatives that will make up her senior campaign team are conducting a lot of business in a cramped room surrounded by copy paper and cleaning supplies.” Mother Jones on her campaign manager, Robby Mook.

Sunlight: Is a Koch brothers vehicle having second act as super PAC? –> “A new super PAC shares a compliance officer and part of its name with entities in the complex political money machine set up by libertarian-leaning Charles and David Koch, owners of Wichita-based Koch Industries, a recent filing captured by Sunlight’s Real-Time Federal Campaign Finance tracker shows.”

CNN: Ted Cruz to attend DC fundraiser –> Previously, Cooper defended Prop 8 in court: “Sen. Ted Cruz will shake the Washington money tree later this month, attending a fundraiser for his newly launched presidential campaign at the home of an old colleague, Charles Cooper.”

WSJ: Rand Paul Sprints to $1 Million Fundraising Mark –> “Little more than a day into his presidential campaign, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has already raised over $1 million through his website, where the latest contributions are continuously tallied.”

OC Register: Big O.C. donors attract Republican presidential hopefuls –> “Presidential candidates continue to parade into town to meet Orange County’s famously wealthy and generous Republican donors – seven hopefuls so far this year, including three this week alone.”

Carly Fiorina, considering a run for president, makes a pitch for Wall Street cash.

WaPo: Marco Rubio gets a super PAC –> Conservative Solutions PAC: “Add Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to the list of Republican presidential hopefuls set to benefit from a super PAC.”

The Hill: Tom Steyer challenges Koch brothers to climate debate –> “Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer has challenged conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch to a debate on climate change.”

Every Voice: Sen. Portman Protects Polluters After Raking In Energy Industry Cash –> Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is facing some scrutiny back home for an amendment to gut the president’s climate change plan. We add some context: the hundreds of thousands he’s received from the energy industry.

Florida Playbook: Atwater super PAC formed –> The first candidate-specific super PAC of 2016 Congressional elections? “In anticipation of his likely run for US Senate, Florida CFO Jeff Atwater now has a super PAC to support him.”

National Journal: T-Mobile Drops Membership in Conservative Group ALEC –> “Telecom company T-Mobile announced Wednesday it has severed ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, becoming the most recent of a bevy of major corporations to bolt from the controversial conservative group in recent months.”

Colorado Independent: Coffman a top recipient of disgraced Aaron Schock’s campaign cash –> Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) considering a Senate run, is facing some heat for his big bucks from disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock.

POLITICO: GOP Whip Steve Scalise ups his fundraising prowess –> House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is pretty good at raising money: “The strong first quarter showing comes as many K Streeters and even some of his colleagues privately questioned whether he would be an effective fundraiser, one of the key jobs of a whip, after it was revealed that in 2002 he gave a speech to a white supremacist group in Louisiana.”

The Hill: Dentons and McKenna combine –> “Law firms Dentons US and McKenna Long & Alderage on Friday to merge, according a release from one of the firms.”


NYT: Indictments May Be Near in George Washington Bridge Scandal –> Remember Chris Christie’s bridge scandal? Indictments could come next week and “Subpoenas have made it clear that the inquiry has gone beyond the lane closings to include possible conflicts of interest and bribery.” Five running for PA’s top court agree: judicial races cost too much –> For state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania: “All five candidates agreed the increased money in the judicial race was a problem.”

Oregonian: A small opening to confront big money in Oregon politics –> “But Common Cause Oregon and [Oregon Governor] Kate Brown – in her former life as Secretary of State – have helped to arrange a provocative forum on money and power at the state capitol. And it will be fascinating to see if the legislature’s Democratic leadership and benefactors maneuver to sabotage the proceedings and maintain the status quo.”

Common Cause: Governor Martinez signs HB 155 to Improve Lobby Disclosure in New Mexico –> In New Mexico: “Yesterday Governor Susana Martinez signed House Bill 155 sponsored by Representative Jeff Steinborn that will drastically improve our Lobbyist Regulation Act.”

“This is so much bulls—,” a Florida State Senator was caught on mic saying about the Rick Scott administration’s opposition to an online voter registration form.

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