HOUSE MEMBERS RAISE MONEY DURING HEALTH CARE REPEAL DEBATE
—Party Time: “Tomorrow, on the day the House votes to repeal the health care reform law, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., has booked a fundraising lunch specifically catering to health care industry donors.” Twelve other House members are holding fundraisers tomorrow including members of a key committee with jurisdiction over writing health care legislation. “…nine other fundraisers planned for GOP members of the Energy and Commerce committee such as Guthrie on Wednesday and Thursday alone.”
REVOLVING DOOR: OBAMA, CONGRESS HAVE TRANSPARENCY LESSONS FOR EACH OTHER
–Politico’s article “Obama’s Revolving Door” provides a jumping off point to examine the approach that both the White House and Congress take to shining a light on the revolving door. “Both the House and the Senate have searchable databases of post-employment lobbying restrictions, including the names of former members and staffers who are covered by the restrictions, the office from which they are leaving, the date of the exit from Congress, and the date upon which those restrictions would be lifted. … Why doesn’t the Obama administration do the same? … The administration revolving door policy limits lobbyists from serving in the administration unless they are provided a waiver. The policy similarly limits officials from working in areas that related to their previous work without a waiver. This information is all disclosed to the public through the White House’s web site and through reports on the web site of the Office of Government Ethics. … While Congress provides the public with information about those leaving the legislative branch neither chamber provides information on those coming into Congress. Incoming staffers who previously worked as lobbyists are not disclosed in any way.”
OPEN CONNECTICUT SENATE SEAT $$$
–All reports point to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announcing that he will not seek a fifth-term in 2012. This opens up a Democratic seat in a state with a lot of potential candidates. Potential candidates on the Democratic side include Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, Rep. Chris Murphy, and Rep. Joe Courtney.
According to Influence Explorer Bysiewicz and Courtney both received the most contributions from lawyers and lobbyists. Murphy, on the hand, lists retired contributors as the top group donating to his campaigns.
On the GOP side, the names bandied about for next year are the same as those from last year: wrestling magnate Linda McMahon and former Rep. Rob Simmons. Simmons lists retired individuals as his biggest contributors and McMahon lists herself as the biggest contributor.
NEW SUPER PACS
–The Democratic response to American Crossroads is officially registered with the Federal Election Commission as an independent expenditure committee. You can see the filing for American Bridge here. Failed Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell also launched a Super PAC, ChristinePAC. (More on the O’Donnell PAC here.)
THE ANTI-TRANSPARENCY MOVEMENT
—Minnesota Independent: “Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, is challenging Minnesota’s campaign disclosure rules that relate to corporations. The group lost a court case in September but has appealed the case in federal appeals court. State Solicitor General Alan Gilbert argued that the group is trying to gut disclosure laws.”
The case is being led by James Bopp, the lawyer at the head of the anti-campaign finance reform, anti-transparency movement.
GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGER TO OVERSEE ASSET MANAGEMENT
—Tim Carney: “If I wrote this in a movie script, the producers would reject it as over the top. The President who said he would stop the revolving door between Wall Street and the executive branch — the President who poses as the scourge of the big bankers — hires Goldman Sachs’ top asset manager to run the agency regulating asset managers.”
Megan McArdle: “But the natural result of seeking input and information from regulated entities is what historians and political scientists call “regulatory capture”–the regulating agency comes to reflect the interests of the people it regulates.”
—Quadrant Structured Products, a former credit default swap trader that lost its credit rating during the financial collapse, has hired Cyprus Advocacy’s Brant Imperatore, former Republican Chief Counsel to the House Financial Services Committee from 2000-2002. Quadrant has not hired a registered lobbyist in the past.