Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nevada Won't Have a January Presidential Primary in 2016

Most of the problem areas appear to have been shed or are about to be shed from the bill. January primary? Out. Coupling of the two sets of primary elections (in January)? Out. Creation of a presidential primary? Still in. And that -- the possible creation of a presidential primary -- was the crux of the hearing.
Daniel Stewart from Speaker Hambrick's office provided a rough sketch of the details that would be in the bill after he described to the committee what was going to be amended out. But first he mentioned that the original bill was nothing more than a placeholder, introduced to beat the March 16 deadline for individual legislators to introduce legislation for the 2015 session. The intention, then, was never to attempt to create a Nevada presidential primary and move it into January. The bill now seems -- and it is still "seems" because the amended version of the bill was not available to the committee during the hearing and is not online at this point -- to create a presidential primary option for a single date in February for the state parties in Nevada to opt into at their choosing. In other words, the state parties could opt for either party-run caucuses or a hypothetical state-run primary. There was no discussion about how a date would be chosen. Jointly by the two major parties? By, say, the secretary of state? That is a matter that will have to be ironed out in the amended version of the bill.

Frontloading HQ: Nevada Won't Have a January Presidential Primary in 2016

Campaign Finance Reform Turns to Reward and Punishment

The new plan for 2016 ditches spending millions on negative advertising in favor of trying to recruit citizens to lobby incumbents to support legislation changing the fund-raising rules. Without the original idea of electing and defeating candidates, Mayday will need to refocus its supporters on a longer timetable, because the numbers aren’t there in Congress to pass proposals the group supports (and most of the support that exists comes from Democrats). Trying to change the behavior of candidates by providing incentives during the campaign is a newer tactic (Mr. Lessig said Mayday would ask donors not to give money unless candidates supported reform legislation, for example).

Campaign Finance Reform Turns to Reward and Punishment - NYTimes.com

In 2016 campaign, the lament of the not quite rich enough

This year, no potential White House contender has called — not even Bush’s brother, Jeb. The only e-mails came from staffers for two other likely candidates; both went to her spam folder. “They are only going to people who are multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires and raising big money first,” said Neese, who founded a successful employment agency. “Most of the people I talk to are kind of rolling their eyes and saying, ‘You know, we just don’t count anymore.’ ” It’s the lament of the rich who are not quite rich enough for 2016. Bundlers who used to carry platinum status have been downgraded, forced to temporarily watch the money race from the sidelines. They’ve been eclipsed by the uber-wealthy, who can dash off a seven-figure check to a super PAC without blinking. Who needs a bundler when you have a billionaire?

In 2016 campaign, the lament of the not quite rich enough - The Washington Post

Scott Walker fundraises off voter ID victory

If you want to understand the meat of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s electoral strategy, the best place to start might be voter ID. 
Walker emailed supporters on Wednesday asking for donations to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision this week to allow Wisconsin’s voter ID law to go forward, despite protests from critics who argue it will keep eligible voters from the polls in response to a negligible number of in-person voter fraud cases. 
“It’s a fact of life: There are cheaters who vote multiple times and they tarnish democracy’s most precious gift … the security of the ballot box,” Walker wrote in the email. “It saddens me that some people are so caught up in their radical fringe ideology that they think they can flaunt the rules and get away with it. The next time they try, they WON’T get away with it because of our photo-ID-to-vote law.”

Scott Walker fundraises off voter ID victory | MSNBC

Opinion Analysis: A Small Victory for Minority Voters, or a Case with “Profound” Constitutional Implications?

It is easy to read the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama as a mostly inconsequential case giving a small, and perhaps only temporary, victory for minority voters in a dispute over the redrawing of Alabama’s legislative districts after the 2010 census.

Indeed, although the Supreme Court sent this “racial gerrymandering” case back for a wide and broad rehearing before a three-judge court, Alabama will be free to junk its plan and start over with one that may achieve the same political ends and keep it out of legal trouble. But Justice Scalia in his dissent sees the majority as issuing “a sweeping holding that will have profound implications for the constitutional ideal of one person, one vote, for the future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and for the primacy of the State in managing its own elections.” Time will tell if Justice Scalia’s warning against the implications of what he termed a “fantastical” majority opinion is more than typical Scalian hyperbole. And we may know soon enough as these issues get addressed in racial gerrymandering cases from Virginia, North Carolina and elsewhere

Opinion Analysis: A Small Victory for Minority Voters, or a Case with “Profound” Constitutional Implications? | Election Law Blog

Opinion and dissents here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Internet, the White House, and You (and Me)

My name is Jason Goldman. For the last few years I’ve mostly worked on building tools that give people a voice online. What I’m doing next is different. I’m going to go work at the White House as Chief Digital Officer.

Source: The Internet, the White House, and You (and Me)

The remarkable universe of 2016 politicians and their PACS, charted

Earlier this month, our colleague Matea Gold explained why super PACs have become the tool of choice among probable/possible 2016 candidates. If you haven't read that piece, do; the upshot is that super PACs can raise huge amounts of money and not-yet-candidates can work with them on doing so.

Source: The remarkable universe of 2016 politicians and their PACS, charted