While most Americans were settling in for a long weekend, many of the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates — Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Pence — went to Dallas for a convention of Americans for Prosperity, the group through which Charles and David Koch channel much of their political money. If any of the politicians were wary about how it looks to have so many people who want to be the leader of the free world kissing the Kochs’ rings, you couldn’t tell. They’re making a strategic calculation that whatever PR risks are inherent in getting too close to the Kochs, they’re outweighed by the money the brothers bring to the GOP’s table. And if the Kochs plan to intervene in the 2016 primaries — something no one seems sure they’ll do — then every Republican candidate wants to be the one on the receiving end of that fire hose of cash.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
California lawmakers approved a measure Saturday that would require the state to develop a new Internet-based campaign filing and public display system and that candidates file electronic disclosures of their campaign finances every calendar quarter, instead of the current semi-annual filing schedule. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced the bill in response to scandals including the indictments of Democratic state Sens. Ronald S. Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee on public corruption charges.
“Let me tell you, back when I was a young man, you could get a half dozen bills pushed straight through both houses for what a single congressman’s vote will run you nowadays,” said Foraker, who remarked that 30 years ago, acquiring an exemption from the Clean Water Act cost a tiny fraction of what it does today. “And you’d still have plenty left over to purchase the loyalty of a Cabinet member or a handful of senior White House advisers, too. You don’t even want to know how little it took to buy off a governor back then. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” “It was just a simpler time,” Foraker added. “A quick phone call, a small payoff, and in no time at all, your client could be extracting oil from a federal wildlife preserve. Those were the days.”
The federal probe that resulted in a guilty plea this week by a former Iowa state senator who was secretly paid to endorse two Republican presidential candidates in the 2012 campaign is ongoing -- and could implicate the political operatives who were involved in routing payments to him, according to people familiar with the case. Kent Sorenson, a one-time tea party star and Iowa legislator, caused a stir in late 2011 when he dramatically dropped his endorsement of Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota to back former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. One focus by federal prosecutors now appears to be on people involved in Paul’s 2012 operation. Paul's campaign committee doled out $80,000 in legal fees this spring, according to federal campaign finance reports -- nearly twice as much as it spent on legal costs in all of 2013.
Together, 310 donors gave a combined $11.6 million more by this summer than would have been allowed before the ruling. Their contributions favored Republican candidates and committees over Democratic ones by 2 to 1. The data provides the most comprehensive picture of the immediate fallout of McCutcheon, a case brought by an Alabama businessman and the Republican National Committee that has further amplified the influence of the wealthy on campaigns.
Friday, August 29, 2014
A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.
Source: Exclusive: GOP poll of women: Party 'stuck in past'
The Republican National Committee will announce Thursday that it will pour an additional $8 million into get-out-the-vote efforts in targeted Senate races, another acknowledgment that reclaiming control of the chamber remains the GOP’s top priority in 2014. The money, which party officials tell POLITICO is possible because of stronger-than-expected fundraising, is in addition to $90 million budgeted earlier this year.