elections

Obama's Big Money Bundlers

While President Obama may preach the importance of grassroots donors, he has become increasingly reliant on big money bundlers. The Obama campaign consistently touts those that chip in $5, $10, even $75 dollars, arguing that they are the ones who "make the difference" in email blasts. But it's Hollywood elites, financial heavyweights, and business associates who give big bucks that are being lavished with attention.

Campaign Ad Controversy

On Friday, Democrats launched a new outside spending group, Priorities USA, in hopes of competing with conservative outfits that spent big influencing the 2010 election. Public Campaign Communications Director Adam Smith discussed the group on CBS News.

OP-ED: Former Sen. Simpson Decries Special Interest Influence, Calls for Fair Elections

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) has an op-ed today in Politico that bemoans the heavy influence wealthy special interests have in distorting our elections and policymaking, and once again calls for the Fair Elections Now Act as a remedy.

"Today, it is those well-funded, but narrowly construed, special interests that provide the lion’s share of campaign funds — and exercise undue influence in tax and spending matters as a result."

The real winners: big money

For partisans and pundits, last night's election results weren't unexpected. The more troubling story, though, is the very real impact record-breaking fundraising and spending will have on the next Congress.

 

Our political system is more squarely in the hands of big donors and special interests than ever before. 

 

In a memo released last night, we provided some of the key trends from this cycle:

 

2010 Midterm Elections: Most Expensive Ever?

The Huffington Post reports on an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) that shows that the upcoming 2010 elections will be the most expensive ever.

 

"With so much on the line, the outpouring of big money into federal campaigns looks likely to continue at a brisk pace," said CRP's Sheila Krumholz in a statement.

 

Health Reform's 'Gang of 6' Reaps Political Cash

The San Francisco Chronicle details how health care industry lobbyists are funneling hoards of campaign cash to senators in charge of health care reform.

"The bipartisan "gang of six" senators who helped craft the health care reform bill going before a key Senate committee Tuesday represent less than 3 percent of the U.S. population - but they hold a lot of power at a crucial policy-shaping moment in Congress.

How Do You Feel About Democracy?

The Midwest Democracy Network has a question for the 2008 slate of presidential candidates: what will you do to strengthen our democracy? They've sent a questionnaire, which you can read here, to the candidates asking for their positions on issues like public financing of presidential and congressional races, to voter registration, to what should be done about the "revolving door" between Congress and the lobby sector.

Former Sen. Edwards Calls For Publicly Financed Elections

This past Friday, former Senator and current presidential candidate John Edwards called for public financing of all elections during an interview on Real Time With Bill Maher. Click here to download and watch the clip (2.5 MB).

More on the Money

The Center for Responsive Politics has released its estimates on the cost of campaigns for the 2006 elections. Overall, the big spenders were the big winners - among the decided House races the high spender was the winner 398 of 425 times. Among decided Senate races, it was 22 out of 32.

 

What's the Word?

With at least 20 Voters First Pledge signers coming in as freshman members of Congress, joining 73 incumbent signers and another 14 incumbents on the record in support of Clean Elections-style public financing of campaigns (and this with several races yet undecided) we are seeing a strong voter mandate for cleaning up Congress. What do you think about the election results?