Thursday, April 01, 2010

The RNC and DNC both like a party

From OpenSecrets, comes news that most of us who pay attention to politics had already intuited about the political parties. I don't care with which party you are affiliated, this is just wasteful and explains why many of us are abandoning the "political party" concept in full.

April 1, 2010
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RNC's Strip Club Expense Just One of a Multitude of Party-Related Travel and Entertainment Costs  

In the aftermath of revelations this week that the Republican National Committee spent money at a bondage-themed West Hollywood strip club, we wondered: How much do both Republican and Democratic national party committees spend on entertainment, lodging and travel expenses? The answer is -- a lot. During the current election cycle, the RNC dropped more than a quarter-million dollars at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego and more than $148,000 at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the Center for Responsive Politics finds. The Democratic National Committee, for its part, has spent nearly $300,000 for services from Avalon Caterers and more than $1 million at a handfull of tony hotels. » Read More

Retirees, Doctors and Lawyers Helped Propel Scott Brown to U.S. Senate Seat

In the hotly contested special election that sent Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate, Brown and his opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley, squeezed their fund-raising efforts into a rapid scramble for money that lasted just weeks, not months. The race for the seat of former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), which captured the attention of national news media, brought in a massive $25 million worth of campaign contributions. Much of this cash can be associated with various industries and groups of people, whose members quickly mobilized in support of their preferred candidate. Brown, who succeeded in raising $15.5 million, received the most donations from individuals identifying themselves as "retired," a Center for Responsive Politics analysis indicates. Following retirees are people and political action committees associated with the securities and investment industry ($353,717), and then, health professionals ($302,839), according to the Center's research. » Read More

Solar, Wind Power Interests Generate Strong Lobbying Efforts After Years of Relative Obscurity

In 1998, the entire alternative energy industry barely even registered as a political player in Washington, spending a mere $2.4 million on lobbying the federal government. Meanwhile, in the same year, the oil and gas, electric utilities and mining industries spent a combined $142 million advancing their own legislative interests. That landscape, however, has changed considerably. By 2007, the alternative energy industry had begun to drastically increase its lobbying spending, almost doubling its expenditures from the previous year. In 2009, alternative energy organizations shelled out an unprecedented $30 million to protect and promote their interests on Capitol Hill. » Read More

Contribution to EMILY's List PAC Raises Legal Questions -- and Hints of Things to Come

Until Friday, it was widely held to be illegal for a federal political action committee to accept contributions in excess of $5,000. That's when a federal court ruled in v. Federal Election Commission that individuals may contribute unlimited sums to committees whose sole function is making independent political expenditures. Roughly two months earlier, though, the abortion rights advocacy organization EMILY's List accepted a quarter-million-dollar contribution from a single, individual donor to its non-federal 527 committee, which is allowed to raise unlimited sums. It then shifted a portion of that contribution into a newly created political committee designed to solely run independent expenditures. The question, then, is this: Did EMILY's List jump the gun? Did they make a smart, strategic decision before anyone else? Or did they violate the letter or the spirit of federal campaign finance law by this action in January? » Read More


Health Interests and Labor Groups Vied to Sway Blue Dog Democrats

As Congress debated comprehensive health care reform, health industry interests' campaign contributions tended to target Blue Dog Democrats who opposed the proposal, a Center for Responsive Politics review of recent campaign finance reports indicates. Blue Dog Democrats who last week voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), which first passed the Senate in December, received an average of about $90,200 during 2009 from political action committees and individuals associated with the health sector and health insurers, the Center for Responsive Politics has found. Of this sum, nearly $22,000 came during the fourth quarter alone. » Read More


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