Think Progress: Two Years After Financial Reform, Republicans Rake In Wall Street Fundraising Dollars

-By Steven Perlberg

July 24, 2012- It’s been two years since the passage of Dodd-Frank, and the finance industry is still doing its best to completely gut the reforms meant to prevent another financial crisis. Republicans have spent the last two years trying to water down Dodd-Frank, and data suggests they have been solidly rewarded for their efforts.

The finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector is the biggest giving sector so far this election cycle, and they are donating to GOP candidates more than ever before. Republicans now hold a 64 percent share of campaign contributions from Wall Street, compared to just 48 percent in 2008, as this chart from Public Campaign shows:

Sunlight Foundation: Campaign contributions help companies get more federal contracts, study finds

-by Lee Drutman

June 21, 2012- In 2011, the U.S. federal government awarded $537 billion in private contracts. If U.S. federal contracts were their own national economy, they would be the 21st largest in the world, just behind Sweden ($538 billion). In other words, this is a lot of money.

Much of this money goes to large corporations, and many of these large corporations are also major campaign contributors. Which begs the obvious question: is there any connection between contract awards and contributions?

According to a recent study by St. Louis University political scientist Christopher Witko, the answer is that indeed there is. The more companies give in campaign contributions, the more they get in contracts, on average.

Republic Report: Boehner Aide Received Bonus From Medical Device Lobby Group Before Overseeing Tax Repeal of Industry

-By Lee Fang

June 8, 2012- Yesterday, the House of Representatives moved to help save $30 million dollars for medical device companies while defunding programs designed to expand health coverage for ordinary Americans. The House took action on legislation to “repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales receipts in excess of $5 million for manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, including defibrillators, pacemakers and prosthetic limbs.” The tax, originally part of the Affordable Care Act, was set up to pay for an expansion in health programs to cover the uninsured in America, which studies have linked to over 45,000 deaths a year.

Addicting Info: GOP Rep. Buchanan To Sport The ‘Other’ Type Of Pinstriped Suit?

-By Lynnrockets

June 23, 2012- Former Republican Congressman and present convicted felon, Tom Delay, may soon have a new roommate.

It is being reported by CNN, that Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan may be serving his next term behind bars. The news source has confirmed there are no fewer than four congressional and federal investigations into Buchanan’s business practices, his campaign finances and his alleged attempt to try to stop a witness from talking. They report that “Buchanan’s former business partner says the congressman schemed to launder money from his car dealerships into his campaign coffers, and then tried to get others to cover it up.” The former business partner is Sam Kazran.

CNN reports that at the center of Kazran’s allegations is a cash swap scheme used to finance some of Buchanan’s campaigns. He says employees were forced to write checks, then were reimbursed with cash drawn from Buchanan’s car dealerships. Kazran says,

Huffington Post: Sheldon Adelson To Lavish $71 Million In Casino Money On GOP Super PACS, Nonprofits

-By Peter H Stone

June 16, 2012- Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose net worth makes him one of the world's richest men, is on a check-writing spree that will soon bring his total political contributions in this election cycle to at least $71 million, according to sources familiar with his spending. That money is spread across the spectrum of GOP super PACs, which are required to disclose donors, and nonprofits, which are not.

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, along with other family donations, have already reached $36 million, including $10 million to the Romney-backing super PAC Restore Our Future that was reported this week. But two GOP fundraisers familiar with his plans say that Adelson has given or pledged at least $35 million more to three conservative nonprofit groups: the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads GPS, another with ties to billionaires Charles and David Koch and a third with links to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Huffington Post: John McCain: Mitt Romney Super PAC And Others Receiving Foreign Cash

-By Philip Elliott (AP)

June 15, 2012- Sen. John McCain said in an interview posted online Friday that "foreign money" was helping fellow Republican Mitt Romney's presidential hopes and singled out one of his ally's most generous supporters.

McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, suggested casino magnate Sheldon Adelson's $10 million contribution to a pro-Romney super PAC was a conduit for Adelson to use profits from properties in Macau to shape American elections. McCain also criticized the Supreme Court ruling that allows individuals and corporations to make such unlimited donations to nominally independent political action committees.

The Hill: Broadcasters sue over political ad rule

-By Brendan Sasso

May 22, 2012- The National Association of Broadcasters sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to block the commission's order requiring TV stations to put political advertising data online.

In their filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the broadcasters said that the FCC overstepped its authority and that the rule is "arbitrary and capricious." They also said the requirement infringes on their First Amendment free-speech rights.

An FCC spokesman said the agency would defend the regulation in court.

“The public file rules are a common-sense update by the FCC to move from paper to online access to public information in the digital age," the spokesman said. "The rules are consistent with Congress’s directive to ensure public availability while providing cost-savings for broadcasters.“

TV stations were already required to compile data on how much political campaigns paid for advertisements, but the rule will require the stations to load that information into an online database on the FCC's website.

Previously, anyone who wanted access to the information would have to go to the TV station in person.

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