campaign finance

Who is giving to whom?

One of the things I always like to look up before I make a donation to a candidate is to see who else is giving to the candidate. Here are a couple of links to sites I use:

Open Secrets

NC Board of Elections

Federal Election Commission

“Social welfare” organizations outspent super pacs by a 3-2 margin

Stealthy political nonprofits reigned in the 2010 elections

Super PACs-Shmooper PACs, reports iWatch News’ Michael Beckel:

"While super PACs were cast as the big, bad wolves during the last election, the groups were outspent by “social welfare” organizations by a 3-2 margin, a trend that may continue amid reports that major donors are giving tens of millions of dollars to the secretive nonprofit groups."

A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics has found that more than 100 nonprofits organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code spent roughly $95 million on political expenditures in the 2010 election compared with $65 million by super PACs.

Read the joint report on iWatch News or OpenSecrets Blog.

Citizens United

"Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: An Appraisal" will be the title of a town-meeting at Quail Ridge Books, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13, 2012. The panel participants will be John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute, Washington, DC and Press Millen, attorney with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice of Raleigh."

Announcement from Clay Stalnaker, retired professor of philosophy at NCSU in Raleigh.

What It's Like to Work for a Tough, Courageous Candidate Like Kerry Sutton

The pace of the race in NC Senate District 22 picked up steam over the weekend, when during a routine search for campaign finance disclosures, we discovered that our opponent had failed to file organizational paperwork with the State Board of Elections.

When I called Kerry Sutton on Friday to let her know of the online find, Kerry, a defense attorney who is steady and meticulous with details said, "we need to get all the facts before we release any of this."

I was ready to go ahead and tell everyone, traditional media included, just because the "The Committee to Elect Mike Woodard" documents were not on the State Board of Elections website.

Coble rails against Holding's Super PAC

When desperation strikes, the truth comes out:

GOP House candidate Paul Coble today made the Super Pac formed by one of his opponents, George Holding an issue in the 13th congressional race, claiming that it would allow “massive and possibly unaccountable special interest money” to influence the GOP primary.

I was going to say, "No shit, Sherlock", but that's way too crude to type into a blog post. As far as the accountability, that will have to wait until it's too late for the (Republican) Primary voters to use the information in their decision-making:

A coup of dollars

Less than a year is left until the 2012 national election, and nonbelievers in democracy are taking no chances. Right now, North Carolina is one of twenty-one states that have passed or are trying to pass legislation to close the early voting period. Many in the NC General Assembly are still trying to pass a bill that would add North Carolina to the auspicious list of states that require a voter ID to combat nonexistent voter fraud. In every state where this legislation is present, the goal is the same: to make voting more difficult.

Facts contradict Americans for Prosperity claim

When Brave New Films released a recent video about the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), and the Wake County School Board there was an immediate and indignant response from Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity. One sentence did not ring true in the response:

Americans for Prosperity is a nonpartisan, issue-based policy organization and does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

AFP campaign finance reports submitted to the North Carolina State Board of Elections reveal that in 2010 AFP spent $189,894.00 on Electioneering Communications in support of 19 North Carolina candidates, comprised of 7 State Senate candidates and 12 State House candidates. A report compiled by the NC Free Enterprise Foundation from various sources puts the total spent by AFP in supporting the 19 candidates at $287,195.22. This is starkly in contrast with Woodhouse's assertion that "Americans for Prosperity ... does not support or oppose candidates for public office."

On Being Bumped, Or, Let’s Have Another Roundup

So I thought I was going to have another Jay Inslee story for y’all today, but it turns out that I’m going to have to do more research before we can “come to press” with that one.

But that’s OK, because the world’s been busy doing a lot of other things – and while many of them get media coverage, some don’t get a lot of notice at all.

And of course, there are also those stories that look one way at first glance…but look a lot different when you dig a bit deeper.

We’ll hit a few of those today, have a bit of fun doing it, and get ready for what promises to be another busy week of strategically not doing things in Washington.

To make things even better, some of the stories will be real, and some won’t.

We’ll see if you can tell the difference.

NC GOP's usurpation of power continues

An unethical move to control ethics probes:

The budget plan that will go to the House floor next week would move campaign finance reporting from the State Board of Elections and lobbying registration from the Secretary of State's office, combining operations in the State Ethics Commission.

A bill filed by Sen. Andrew Brock, R-Davie, would essentially merge the State Ethics Commission and the State Board of Elections, combining all their functions.

It doesn't just combine them, it moves them into a new entity under the direct control of GOP legislators:

Great New Short: The Story of Citizens United v. FEC (2011)

From the makers of "The Story of Stuff" comes an animated short film, an exploration of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy and what we can do about it.

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