Campaign Law

President Obama supports a Constitutional Amendment to reform Campaign Finance only ‘if necessary’

February 8, 2012

“And the President favors action– by constitutional amendment, if necessary — to place reasonable limits on all such spending.”

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South Carolina sues the Justice Department over its decision to block a state law requiring voters to show photo identification at polls

February 8, 2012

“The Justice Department said in December that it was blocking the South Carolina statute because the law would “significantly” burden non-white voters. It was the first time the Obama administration intervened against any of eight states that enacted new voter-ID laws or tightened existing ones last year.”

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Federal Judge hearing the Texas Redistricting Lawsuit urges both sides to keep talking and work towards a compromise

February 7, 2012

“Attorney General Greg Abbott had said several minority groups agreed to a plan that would put two new congressional seats in Hispanic-dominated districts for this year’s elections. But some of the groups that sued the state – alleging the GOP-controlled Legislature drafted redistricting maps that were discriminatory – scoffed at the new plan and said it diluted the voice of minority voters.”

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In December, Super PACs supporting presidential candidates “systematically changed their campaign finance filing status from quarterly to monthly” in order to avoid filing mandatory 12-day, pre-primary reports

February 7, 2012

“In December, super PACs supporting presidential candidates began systematically changing their campaign finance filing status from quarterly (and semi-annually during non-election years) to monthly. The super PACs did it to avoid filing mandatory 12-day, pre-primary reports that quarterly filers must submit but monthly filers don’t. The practical effect: super PACs received a Federal Election Commission-approved no-disclosure pass until the end of January, meaning voters had little idea who was funding the seemingly endless attack ads lambasting various candidates.”

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FEC Filing: Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised over $1 million

January 31, 2012

“Colbert raised the money by asking for donations from viewers of “The Colbert Report.” He has used the PAC to highlight what he considers the absurdity of campaign finance law and, in particular, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to raise limitless money to run campaign ads.”

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In his State of the Union Address, President Obama calls for reforms that would end Insider Trading in Congress, limit elected officials from owning stocks, and minimizing the influence of campaign contributions

January 24, 2012

“I’ve talked tonight about the deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street. But the divide between this city and the rest of the country is at least as bad – and it seems to get worse every year.

Some of this has to do with the corrosive influence of money in politics. So together, let’s take some steps to fix that. Send me a bill that bans insider trading by Members of Congress, and I will sign it tomorrow. Let’s limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact. Let’s make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa – an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.”

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Rasmussen Poll: 58% of Americans think that the U.S. needs new Campaign Finance Laws

January 23, 2012

“Now only 33% think it’s enough to just enforce the laws we already have.”

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Supreme Court rejects Texas’ favoring minority candidates and Democrats in the 2012 congressional and state legislature elections drawn up by Federal District Court Judges in San Antonio

January 20, 2012

“The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a Texas political dispute, rejecting judge-drawn election maps favoring minority candidates and Democrats in the 2012 congressional and state legislature elections. In its first ruling on political boundary-drawing based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the high court unanimously set aside the interim maps created by federal district court judges in San Antonio.”

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Arizona Governor Brewer and the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission battle over redistricting

November 8, 2011

“In 2000, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure that made redistricting the responsibility of a panel comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent chair, which was supposed to tamp down the partisan warfare that retooling political boundaries invites. (This year, California’s political lines were drawn for the first time by a similar independent panel.)

But Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission has recently come under fire from Republicans, who dominate state politics and who say the panel’s congressional draft map favors Democrats. The GOP also criticized the commission’s chairwoman, Colleen Mathis, for picking a mapping firm with Democratic ties, and said the panel’s maps ignored various constitutional requirements, the Associated Press reported.

Last week, the political sniping turned into a legal showdown.

Only Arizona’s governor, with the backing of two-thirds of the state Senate, can remove redistricting panel members for “gross misconduct” or “substantial neglect of duties.” So Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, with the backing of state lawmakers, ousted Mathis. Brewer also wanted to remove the panel’s two Democrats, but couldn’t round up the votes, Arizona Public Media reported.

The commission responded with a lawsuit, saying the move exceeded Brewer’s authority. It also asked for Mathis to be reinstated while the legal system sorted things out. On Monday, the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to fast-track the case, meaning justices will probably rule this week on whether Mathis can temporarily rejoin the commission, the Associated Press said. The court scheduled oral arguments for later this month.”

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Consumer Group asks Federal Election Commission to investigate allegations that Herman Cain received illegal campaign funds from a Conservative group backed by Koch Industries

November 6, 2011

“The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics consumer group in Washington said it filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission seeking a probe of a report alleging that tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions were made to Cain’s campaign earlier this year by outside political groups.

Officials for the Cain campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Corporations, including those that are not-for-profit, are not allowed to donate to presidential candidates. Only individuals and political action committees can give, and such contributions are limited.”

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Obama, DNC have so far raised $15.6 million from the financial industry

November 4, 2011

“Obama’s links to financial companies don’t end with MF Global. The president has raised $15.6 million from the financial industry for his reelection effort and the DNC, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The third-largest source of cash for Obama is Chicago-based Chopper Trading, which employs a controversial high-frequency trading technique. The firm’s chief executive, Raj Fernando, held a fundraiser at his home with Vice President Biden and has raised at least $200,000 for the campaign and the DNC.”

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Obama and the Democratic National Committee have received donations totaling $108,650 from MF Global employees & over $500,000 from Corzine as a “bundler”

November 4, 2011

“The bankrupt financial company MF Global, now under federal investigation for possibly misusing clients’ money, is one of the top sources of contributions for President Obama’s reelection, complicating the campaign’s effort to turn public anger at Wall Street into a political advantage.

Employees of the company have given $108,650 to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to federal records. MF Global’s chairman and chief executive, former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, has raised at least $500,000 for the campaign and the DNC as a “bundler,” or volunteer fundraiser.”

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