Monthly Archives: September 2012

New York Times: Conservative ‘Super PACs’ Synchronize Their Messages

From the numbers they cite to the illustrations they use, some of the televised anti-Obama commercials developed for conservative political groups are indistinguishable except for the disclaimer saying who approved the message

-By Jeremy W. Peters

September 24, 2012- Independent political groups have long been the guerrilla warriors of presidential elections, tossing explosive advertisements into the middle of a campaign like hand grenades, with little regard for the strategy of the candidate they support.

But this year, in a tight race that leaves very little room for error, the conservative “super PACs” and other outside entities working to defeat President Obama have reached a consensus: Going off message is simply too risky.

Salon: Feingold: “Even worse than we expected”

Russ Feingold tells Salon the post-Citizens United world is "even more shameless" than he imagined

-By Alex Seitz-Wald

September 22, 2012- Former Sen. Russ Feingold is one of the country’s most outspoken voices on campaign finance reform, spearheading several major pieces of legislation to clean up money in politics during his time in Washington. He continues that work today with the group he founded, ProgressivesUnited. As we get close to Election Day and have seen the impact of the Citizens United decision on the first presidential campaign since the Supreme Court handed down the ruling, Feingold spoke with Salon about how campaign finance has changed for the worse and what can be done to fix the system. This conversation has been lightly edited for brevity.

Politico: Mitt Romney 2012 RIP? Not so fast

-By Glenn Thrush and Byron Tau

September 18, 2012- Mitt Romney’s campaign might appear to be collapsing like a cheap card table, but one top Democrat close to President Barack Obama had a curt warning for allies who were declaring the election all but over on Tuesday.

It ain’t over, he said, until Karl Rove sings.

That litmus test of when George W. Bush’s former impresario gives up on the race reflects the unprecedented strength of the powerful money machine supporting the GOP. It also shows why even a wounded Republican standard-bearer could limp to victory in November.

“I’ll relax when Karl Rove wakes up one morning and realizes that Mitt Romney can’t win the White House, and he needs to throw all his money at other races,” the adviser told POLITICO hours after Mother Jones posted hidden video of Romney describing Obama supporters as a government-dole-addicted 47 percent of the population who will never vote for the Republican.

Huffington Post: Senate Races 2012: Conservative Groups Seek GOP Senate Control With Tens Of Millions In Ads

-By Paul Blumenthal

September 13, 2012- WASHINGTON — All eyes are fixed on the money race between President Barack Obama, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the outside groups cheering them on with attack ads. That attention may allow one of the biggest money stories in the 2012 election to fly under the radar. In the fight for control of the Senate, a coalition of conservative groups have pummelled Democratic senators and candidates in the nation's closest races for more than a year in an attempt to wrest control of the chamber and make Sen. Mitch McConnell the next Majority Leader.

Since the beginning of last year, these conservative groups have poured more than $50 million into ads — both those reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and so-called "issue" ads that are not — targeting seven of the closest Senate races in the country, according to sources in Democratic campaigns, other ad-watching sources, and a series of publicly-reported figures and those collected from news reports and press releases. This compares to the slightly more than $20 million spent by liberal-allied groups on ads in these seven races.

Huffington Post: Karl Rove’s Donor Plan Could Run Afoul Of IRS, Congressional Report Suggests

-By Dan Froomkin

August 31, 2012- WASHINGTON — A new report from Congress' nonpartisan research arm suggests that the Internal Revenue Service won't have much patience with the argument from groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS that the ads it buys shouldn't be counted as political campaign activity.

The claim that ads attacking candidates aren't political — as long as they avoid words like "vote" or "elect" — is key to the empire of shadowy non-disclosing political groups that Rove, the Koch Brothers and other major political players have created.

By insisting that most of their budget goes toward "issue advocacy," rather than influencing elections, these groups exploit a loophole that allows certain non-political groups to keep their donors secret.

Bloomberg: Exclusive: Inside Karl Rove’s Billionaire Fundraiser

-By Sheelah Kolhatkar

August 31, 2012- On the final morning of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove took the stage at the Tampa Club to provide an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican Party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors. During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

Then Rove pleaded with his audience for more money—much more.

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