Patrick Murphy's father gave $1 million to a pro-Murphy super PAC 
Wertheimer's Political Money Report
August 24, 2016

One of the most dangerous efforts taking place in the country has been operating below the radar screen. A New York Times article this week put a spotlight on the effort to call a constitutional convention to pass a federal balanced budget amendment. 28 states now claim to have passed resolutions calling for the convention. This would leave supporters just six states short of the 34 needed. If a constitutional convention is called, most experts agree that the convention delegates would not be limited to the balanced budget amendment and could report out any number of amendments on any constitutional provisions they want to change. This would place all of the rights protected by the Constitution up for grabs, including protections for civil rights, freedom of speech and religion and voting and privacy rights, among others. There are no existing rules that govern a constitutional convention and no historical guidance on what those rules should be. While any amendment reported by the convention would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states, this would not mitigate the dangers involved in throwing our entire constitutional history on the table and subjecting it to a potential massive rewrite. After all, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison won’t be at this convention.

"Inside the exclusive events helping to fund Clinton and the Democratic Party." The Washington Post looks at the Clinton campaign's "relentless" fundraising schedule that included 50 private events so far this month. Last weekend, Clinton collected over $3.8 million through fundraisers in Massachusetts before heading to California for fundraisers hosted by Justin Timberlake and Tim Cook. "Clinton was the first presidential contender this cycle to take advantage of recent changes in campaign finance rules that allow candidates to seek massive contributions in conjunction with the national party." Read more

Paul Ryan hosts donors at Wyoming retreat. More than 100 big donors met in Jackson Hole last week to talk policy and strategy with the Speaker. The event organized by the "Team Ryan" group was a continuation of the tradition Boehner started to hold a summer gathering for top mega donors. Read more

Democratic donors are spending big to support Clinton and senators. Billionaire George Soros has donated large sums to the pro-Clinton super PAC and the Senate Majority PAC. He has contributed over $14 million so far this cycle. Last month, billionaire Tom Steyer donated another $7 million to his NextGen Climate PAC that is supporting Clinton, bringing his total donations to the group in the past two years to $38 million. Read more

GOP super PAC launches new $10 million effort supporting House Republicans. The Congressional Leadership Fund is focusing on a dozen competitive House districts to help vulnerable Republicans. The group's president told POLITICO that donors are "responding well to [Speaker Ryan's] pitch to make the GOP a party of substance and ideas, in contrast to the campaign Trump has run." Read more

"RNC pulls worst fundraising numbers in recent years" says Open Secrets. The RNC raised $27 million in July, but $12 million of that consisted of money transferred from the pro-Trump super PAC and special accounts that have limits on how the money can be spent. This leaves the RNC with $14.5 million in usable contributions from July. In July 2012, they raised over $37 million. Read more 

Koch network launches ads against Clinton for the first time so far this election. The ads are part of a $1 million ad buy the network launched in Ohio to oppose Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland. "It's not a sign that the Koch network is changing its mind and getting involved in the presidential campaign... but top officials there see Clinton as an effective weapon with which to damage [Strickland]," says The Hill. Read more 

Latest ad spending numbers show the Clinton campaign has spent $68 million on ads for the general election. The Trump campaign has spent $4 million. Read more

MO: A judge is considering whether a proposal to reinstate campaign contribution limits should stay on the November ballot. Read more

FL: Senate candidate Patrick Murphy's father gave $1 million to a super PAC supporting Murphy. This is on top of the $500,000 he already gave to another pro-Murphy PAC this year. Read more

AZ: Top Trump donor Robert Mercer and his wife donated $200,000 to a super PAC funding ads attacking John McCain. Read more

CA: The Mercury News looks at how state lawmakers use "ballot measure committees" that are supposed to promote or oppose state/local initiatives to pay for their consultants, polling firms and travel in order to avoid limits on political contributions. Read more 

By: Fred Wertheimer (@FredWertheimer) & Kathryn Beard (@KathrynBeard)
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