The Chronicles of Money, Politics, and How a Penny Became Not Nearly Enough For Your Thoughts

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Here's a round-up of Public Campaign and Public Campaign Action Fund's work for the week of Aug 15-Aug 19, 2011.

  • "Pay-to-say" town hall forums? Today, Public Campaign issued an editorial memo on the emerging trend of some members of Congress charging admission for a chance to talk with them. Just what Americans are looking for; the Beltway pay-for-access culture brought home. And earlier this week, Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) sent a letter to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) condemning this practice and calling on him to disclose who he's meeting with on his so-called "business tour."
  • The revolving door by any other name is still the revolving door. Strange news broke this week that a former Goldman Sachs Vice President changed his name shortly before leaving the firm and going to work for House Oversight Committee Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). PCAF offered this take. The man in question later offered up an explanation, but his close ties to Wall Street cannot be disputed.
  • Do you really need the money? PCAF reissues call to Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) urging him to agree to end fundraising while he serves on the deficit supercommittee. Today Portman, while not agreeing to that pledge, did say that the supercomittee will conduct some of its business in public. This is good, but not nearly enough.
  • "Echo Chamber???" The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released its recommendations for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, and surprise, surprise, they don't think the committee should “single out specific industries or individuals for punishment.” Right. Let's just keep "punishing" ordinary Americans who continue to struggle with cuts to Medicare and Social Security. PCAF did a little digging and committee member, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has been a big beneficiary of Chamber campaign cash. Will Toomey go to bat for his big money campaign contributor or his constituents? 
  • This should be a no-brainer. Public Campaign, along with Oil Change International, issued this release on Tuesday with more details on Big Oil's money and the deficit supercommittee. Big Oil gets taxpayer subsidies despite huge profits year after year. They clearly don't need taxpayer subsidies, and in order to have a sensible plan, they should be on the chopping block.
  • Show us the money! On Monday, our friends at MapLight.org released a detailed report on where the supercommittee tasked with deficit reduction get their campaign money. All 12 members are profiled.
  • Haven't we heard this one before? If it's a potential conflict of interest and Rep. Darrell Issa, the answer is yes. PCAF breaks it down here.

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