Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Motley Fool: Shedding Light on Hidden Agendas

April 29, 2011- It's no secret that corporate political contributions are highly controversial, but a lot of that controversy comes from these donations' very secrecy. As corporations try to keep their political donations under wraps, they face a surge of shareholders demanding to know just where that money's going.

After all, if you've invested in a publicly traded company, wouldn't you want to know whether it's supporting politicians, causes, or agendas with which you disagree?

Politics and proposals
ProxyMonitor.org, which tracks shareholder resolutions and vote tallies at Fortune 100 companies, has been keeping score of donation disclosure and other hot-button issues. The group reports that political spending now enjoys a groundswell in interest among shareholder proposals.

From 2008 through 2010, only 19% of shareholder proposals dealt with political spending. So far in 2011, interest in that topic has nearly doubled, now comprising 35% of social policy resolutions.

Rove Says Obama Running Negative Campaign

Originally posted on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, April 29, 2011-

Karl Rove argues that President Obama is running a negative reelection campaign:

"Since Mr. Obama can't make an affirmative case for his re-election, he has decided to try convincing voters that Republicans are monstrous. As a result, America is likely to see the most negative re-election campaign ever mounted by a sitting president."

Jonathan Chait: "Yes: Karl Rove! Architect of what has almost universally, and with virtually no dissent, been described as the most negative reelection campaign ever mounted by a sitting president. Now, I don't think negativity was the problem with Bush's reelection campaign, but Rove's vapors here are pretty comic. If ever there was a president who lacked popular support and had to disqualify his opponent through personal attacks in order to win, it was George W. Bush in 2004."

Huffington Post: FEC Sued By Chris Van Hollen Over Huge Disclosure Loophole

April 21, 2011- A Democratic congressman on Thursday sued the Federal Election Commission in an effort to close a massive disclosure loophole before individuals and corporations have the chance to secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

In his lawsuit, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) charges that in 2007 the FEC created the loophole by willfully misinterpreting disclosure requirements in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which is more commonly known as McCain-Feingold.

That law clearly called for disclosure of donors to groups making "electioneering communications." Those are defined as the broadcast ads that refer to a federal candidate in the period 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election.

But in 2007, the FEC added a regulation — see section (c)(9) — that complicated the original definition. Now disclosure is only required if a donation is explicitly made "for the purpose of electioneering communication."

RAW Story: Embracing ‘Citizens United,’ Dems to welcome undisclosed donors

April 26, 2011- Despite their prior criticism, Democratic strategists are following Republicans into the forum of undisclosed political donations, engaging in an arms race of-sorts to drum up more outside-party cash than their opponents in 2012.

The change in strategy comes at the amusement of conservatives, who out-gunned Democrats in political donations during the 2010 mid-term elections. Democrats hit Republicans hard before the last election, casting their fundraising efforts — and those of their corporate allies — as an attempt to undermine American democracy with secret, possibly even foreign money.

But next year, that line will likely bite them back.

That's because Democratic strategists have set about creating their own super political action committees and non-profit groups that can absorb unlimited donations from undisclosed benefactors. Two groups — Majority PAC, which will help elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate and American Bridge 21st Century, which will deliver opposition research to other Democratic organizations — are set to lead that charge on behalf of liberals in 2012.

Mother Jones: Trump: Karl Rove Is a “Loser” Who Should Retire

April 25, 2011- Donald Trump clearly has no intention of buddying up with the Republican establishment. With his popularity ranking the highest among Republican presidential hopefuls in a recent Gallup poll, the New York real estate tycoon on Friday took a big swipe at GOP political mastermind Karl Rove, calling Rove "a loser" and suggesting he "go into retirement where he belongs."

Trump's jabs at Rove were part of a longer statement to conservative news site NewsMax.com. Here's the statement in full:

"Karl Rove is a loser. He is doing the Republican Party a great disservice by trying to stop the discussion about the president not being able to present his birth certificate to the American people—or to assure the American people as to his place of birth. This is a great issue for Republicans, and I can tell you that the president is spending millions of dollars fighting this issue and he doesn't like it at all.

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