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.

Happy anniversary MapLight! Celebrating 10 years of shining light on the way money influences decisions by politicians that affect the lives of everyday Americans.

The Senate blocked Pres. Obama’s trade deal, and a new op-ed from Every Voice’s David Donnelly discusses Sen. Rob Portman’s trade dilemma: to stand with constituents or donors? Read more in The Hill: “Candidates have to weigh the needs of constituents against the desires of donors. Donors too often come out on top. We need a better system — one that gives everyday people an equal voice in politics.”

Campaign Finance/Elections

Washington Post: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Bill de Blasio and economist Joseph Stiglitz offer solutions to reduce inequality — including public financing of elections.

Roll Call: The Growing Movement Fighting Big Money in Politics –> Larry Cohen and Michael Brune call out Stuart Rothenberg: “From inside the Beltway, where corporate dollars still rule the roost, it might not seem like big money is a big deal. But everywhere else, Americans are fed up and fighting back. Pundits and politicians alike better start paying attention.”

WMUR/New Hampshire: After FEC investigation, Guinta campaign agrees to pay back $355K –> “US Rep. Frank Guinta, R-NH, has agreed to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money used in his first run for Congress in 2010.”


Washington Post: How a super PAC plans to coordinate directly with Hillary Clinton’s campaign –> “Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans to work in tight conjunction with an independent rapid-response group financed by unlimited donations, another novel form of political outsourcing that has emerged as a dominant practice in the 2016 presidential race.” Bloomberg. WSJ. New York Times. POLITICO.

Huffington Post: A “Pillar” of the Clinton Campaign Won’t Get the Job Done –> Fred Wertheimer argues Clinton should “Spell out the campaign finance reform agenda.”

The Wall Street Journal: Lindsey Graham to Hold Senate Fundraiser Days after Planned Launch of White House Bid –> “Taking time from what will then be a nine-day-old presidential campaign to appear at a fundraiser for his Senate PAC may not indicate the South Carolina Republican is laser-focused on winning the White House.” Graham plans to announce June 1st.

National Journal: “The hottest digital real estate is running out” ahead of the the 2016 election as presidential hopefuls and their allies buy up valuable ad space online.

POLITICO: Jeb Bush vs. Karl Rove –> The Republican rivals compete for mega-donor $$.

National Journal: Investigation of Scott Walker’s Fundraising Could End Up at the Supreme Court –> “The lawsuit stems from an investigation into whether Walker’s campaign illegally coordinated with independent political groups, including the Wisconsin Club for Growth, as he fought recall campaigns in 2011 and 2012.”

Mother Jones: “Multimillionaire Carly Fiorina Took Four Years to Pay Staffers from Her Last Campaign: Why was this wealthy GOP presidential candidate a deadbeat?” Ouch.

Gov. John Kasich travels to the Golden State for multiple fundraising events while he mulls a presidential bid.

POLITICO: Bob Menendez argues for trial to be in DC –> “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is asking a judge to move his federal corruption trial out of New Jersey and into Washington, DC, arguing that doing so would minimize disruption to his day job as senator and would also allow him to get a less-biased jury pool.”

Ex-CIA Director Porter Goss is now lobbying Congress on behalf of Turkey.

HuffPost: Insurers Step Up Lobbying to Battle US Regulators –> “Insurance firms, already among Washington’s biggest donors, are securing powerful allies in Congress as the Federal Reserve draws up nationwide capital rules for the $1 trillion industry after years of delay.”

Responding to shareholder pressure, Wal-Mart will start disclosing to investors what it spends on lobbying.

HuffPost: Contractors: Fairness, Size and Influence –> Public Citizen’s Lisa Gilbert calls on the president to pass an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose political spending: “politics (and the money that so epitomizes it) shouldn’t be a factor in awards granted to any contractor.”


Maryland Reporter: 350 bills become law –> Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed into law a bill to fund Maryland’s gubernatorial public financing system. Every Voice Center’s Nick Nyhart: “By ensuring the future of Maryland’s existing public financing system, Governor Hogan and state legislators have shown that Republicans and Democrats can come together to ensure a democracy that is inclusive and works for everyday people.”

Arizona Capitol Reports: Clean Elections Eyeing ‘Dark Money’ Regulation –> “The Clean Elections Commission on Thursday will consider a proposed rule aimed at forcing disclosure from ‘convenience corporations’ – nonprofits, LLCs or other entities created for the purpose of dark money-funded electioneering.”

Associated Press: NY Assembly votes for closing campaign finance loophole –> The New York Assembly voted yesterday to close the campaign finance loophole for limited liability companies. Interestingly: “In the Senate, new Majority Leader John Flanagan is declining to say where he stands on the bill, saying he has to talk to members of his Republican conference.” His predecessor Dean Skelos stepped down from leadership following corruption charges including accepting bribes funneled through LLCs.

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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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