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Republic Report: Bowing To K Street, Obama Gives Up On Requiring Government Contractors To Disclose Campaign Contributions

-By Lee Fang

April 11, 2012- President Obama could take action right now to help clean up our election system. Last month, we published a list of different steps Obama could take immediately, including issuing executive orders and using the S.E.C. to require publicly traded companies to disclose political spending for investors. But as The Hill’s Mike Lillis reports, the administration appears to be abandoning the idea of issuing an executive order mandating that government contractors disclose their campaign spending:

A year ago, the White House composed a draft executive order that would have forced potential government contractors to reveal their political spending as a condition of submitting bids. But roughly 12 months later, no final order has been issued, and supporters and critics alike say they’ve seen no signs such a change is forthcoming.

Huffington Post: Irving Moskowitz, Controversial Backer Of Israeli Settlements, Gives $1 Million To Anti-Obama Super PAC

-By Paul Blumenthal

April 12, 2012- Even in the era of unbridled campaign contributions, Irving Moskowitz's $1 million donation in February to American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-linked super PAC, is eye-catching.

A retired physician who made a fortune purchasing hospitals and running bingo and casino operations in the economically depressed California town of Hawaiian Gardens, Moskowitz is well-known to those who follow the Israel-Palestine conflict. His contributions to far-right Jewish settler groups, questionable archaeological projects and widespread land purchases in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have routinely inflamed the region over the past four decades and, according to many familiar with the conflict, made him a key obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Now, at age 83, Moskowitz has turned his money on the American political realm in a more prominent fashion than ever before, funding "birther" groups that question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship and others that stoke fears about the president's alleged ties to "radical Islam."

Huffington Post: Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce Face Possible Campaign Donation Disclosure After Ruling

-By Paul Blumenthal

March 30, 2012- WASHINGTON -- On Friday evening, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that could begin the process of revealing the identities of secret donors to groups connected to Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.

The court ruled in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission that the FEC rules that restricted campaign donor disclosure are not valid and must be changed to provide for disclosure.

"We are very happy to see the judge got it right," says Paul Ryan, a lawyer for the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog that was a part of the team challenging the FEC rules.

Bloomberg: Campaign Donor Advertising Rule Invalidated by U.S. Judge

-By Tom Schoenberg and Jonathan D. Salant

March 31, 2012- The U.S. Federal Election Commission overstepped its authority by allowing groups that give money for election advertising to withhold the names of their donors from the public, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jacksonin Washington yesterday threw out FEC regulations adopted in 2007 that let organizations and nonprofit groups keep secret the names of donors who pay for pre-election ads. She said the regulations clashed with requirements of the 2002 campaign finance law known as McCain-Feingold that groups report their ad spending to the commission.

“When the agency determined in this instance that the statute should be revised in light of legal developments, it undertook a legislative, policy making function that was beyond the scope of its authority,” Jackson said in her 31-page ruling.

The New Yorker: Funders Behind New Anti-Obama Ad Blitz Stay Hidden

-by Jane Mayer

March 30, 2012- A new and highly aggressive multi-million-dollar anti-Obama ad campaign has started airing on television stations in eight key political swing states—but for now at least, the funders are staying hidden in the shadows.

Huffington Post: Super PAC Sugar Daddies Spread Campaign Contributions Around At State Level, Too

-By Matt Sledge

March 13, 2012- Don't cry for the sugar daddies. Rick Santorum may be down and Rick Perry may be out, but the billionaires and millionaires who bet big on them have plenty of other politicians to bankroll -- especially those running for powerful seats at the state level, like governorships in swing states.

The donors pumping money through federal super PACs in the post-Citizens United universe have in many cases also given extensively at the state level, according to a report from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Showering local politicians with money has been easy to do for decades, especially in states immune to the tighter post-Watergate campaign finance laws that tried to rein in spending on presidential and Congressional races.

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