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Senate Republicans want to have their cake and eat it too.
Wertheimer's Political Money Report
April 13, 2016
A NOTE FROM FRED
 
In the Republican presidential primary, it has pretty much come down to the Super Rich versus the Super Rich. In one corner, you have self-described multibillionaire Donald Trump. His wealth has allowed him to self-finance much of his own campaign. In the other corner is Senator Ted Cruz and the four billionaires who provided $36 million last year to jump start the Cruz campaign. Joining them are the Super Rich donors funding anti-Trump efforts, including three super PACs that have spent more than $23 million on anti-Trump ads. Meanwhile, national polling shows that Americans overwhelming object to the current campaign finance system. You can see an example of this in the efforts of thousands of ordinary Americans participating in Democracy Awakening and Democracy Spring in Washington this week who are demanding campaign finance and voting rights reforms.

Senate Republicans want to have their cake and eat it too. McConnell stated on Tuesday that the Republicans in the Senate would consider blocking via a filibuster a Supreme Court nominee even after votes are cast in November. This comes after McConnell has been stating for weeks that no hearings or votes should be held on Garland's nomination because the American people should first be heard in the presidential election. Read more. 

The Huffington Post was at Monday's Capitol Hill protests billed Democracy Spring by organizers. Police arrested more than 400 protesters who had marched from Philadelphia to support reducing the influence of money in politics and strengthening the right to vote. Read more.

An anti-Trump PAC backed by billionaire Stan Hubbard is funding ground operations aimed at making sure anti-Trump delegates are selected for July's nominating convention. In this "unprecedented use of super PAC cash", Hubbard said the PAC and other big donors will "certainly try to influence people. I could call a delegate and say what I think, if they’d talk to me. I can buy a billboard. I can run ads. Why not?”. Read more. 

Meet the pro-Trump super PAC that wants your money. The Center for Public Integrity profiles the Great America PAC. The group is a hybrid PAC in that it can raise and spend unlimited amounts for or against a candidate like a super PAC, but it also operates as a traditional PAC in that it can collect limited amounts of money to be sent directly to a candidate. The PAC treasurer is Dan Becker, conservative attorney known for the McCutcheon Supreme Court case.  Read more. 

The White House demanded Tuesday that a Maryland super PAC backing Rep. Edwards take down its gun control themed ad. The ad "hit the wrong nerve" with the administration who called the ad "misleading". Rep. Edwards is going against Rep. Van Hollen in the Maryland Senate Democratic primary. Read more. 

The Washington Post editorial board criticized the use of LLC sham companies to hide big donors. "The real solution is for Congress to give the country’s snoozing watchdogs no opportunity to refuse to enforce common-sense rules." They urge Congress to demand an end to dark money. Read more. 

 

2016 FACT OF THE DAY
 
More than 50% -  The spending on negative ads during the 2016 presidential primary that has been directed at Donald Trump. Of the more than $132 million spent on negative ads by candidates and groups supporting them, nearly $70 million has gone to commercials attacking Mr. Trump, according to a New York Times analysis. Read more

IN THE STATES

AZ: A pro-campaign finance reform group filed a proposed ballot measure that would increase disclosure in Arizona and would limit the influence of lobbyists and anonymous state political spending. Read more. 

ME: The state legislature approved a bill to pump more money into Maine's public financing system, but the margin of support isn't wide enough to overcome an expected veto by Gov. LePage who opposes using taxpayer funds for political campaigns. Read more. 

AK: A federal judge heard the first arguments in a case that challenges the state’s limits on out-of-state donations to political candidates and groups. The lawsuit against the state was brought by supporters of Republican candidates and an Anchorage Republican district committee. Read more. 

CO: Jon Keyser, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, skipped the state convention to fly to Las Vegas to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition's meeting held at Sheldon Adelson's casino. Read more


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