Lobbyists already chafing under the Obama administration s lobbying restrictions and congressional ethics rules could soon have a brand new headache: a nascent grass-roots movement that s placed reining in lobbyists at its center.
Robert Trotner's insight:
Campaign Financing Law: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
Lobbyists Could See More Curbs Arising From Campaign Finance Movement : Roll Call Influence | @scoopit http://sco.lt/...
We are living in revolutionary times. Scary, yes, but it is the truth, and the signs are everywhere. Historians will point to two factors, and Lawrence Lessig is the clearest, most compelling voice speaking to both of them:
The corrupting influence of money in politics. The Internet.
The Wall Street crash, the Wall Street bail out, the media-induced cover-up, Occupy Wall Street, the recent SOPA/PIPA showdown, and the most unpredictable presidential primary race in history — all have these two factors in common.
Enormous sums of money have deformed our political process and allowed an invading empire to grow inside us and attack us from within. But it is not in our nature, as Americans, to go down without a fight. Thus, a fight has begun.
Lessig’s conversation with America has always been a two-way street — whether through The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, through his public speaking engagements, or through his writing. And, in revolutionary times, things happen fast. Thus, right on the heels of his 369 page masterpiece Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It, Lessig released today a 73-page e-book called One Way Forward ($1.99, Byliner).
Here he explains why:
First the good news: For the first time in a hundred years, we have the technology to empower ordinary citizens to be engaged and passionate about their government again.
Now the bad news: The business model for this engagement, of the entities that build these movements of passion, whether for profit or not for profit, make it extremely hard to imagine them ever working together on anything.
The DNA of America is a house divided. A Civil War without guns. Just at the time technology enables us the most, the business model of hate disables us the most. Unless we can find a way around it. [MORE]
A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions.
Planning a presidential campaign used to mean having coffee with county party chairs in their Iowa or New Hampshire living rooms. The courting of Adelson, a full four years out from 2016, demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.
And prospective candidates from both parties are wasting little time schmoozing potential super PAC funders. [MORE]
In The Wall Street Journal's Cross Country column, Steven Malanga examines how the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed unions to spend heavily both for President Obama and against promising local reform efforts.