Sunrise (4/6/11)



NPR: “As would-be presidential candidates lay the foundations for their 2012 campaigns, one top priority has been stockpiling cash. And every prospect has been busy doing just that. … But just try to find any records of who gave that cash. Even as politicians celebrate the notion of transparency, the 2008 White House race lingers in the memory. And it was the most freewheeling and unbridled money chase since the presidential contest of 1972. … Among Republicans, just two candidates have officially declared: Former governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Buddy Roemer of Louisiana both filed their candidacy papers last month. … Like most of the other GOP hopefuls, Pawlenty has a political action committee. It hasn’t yet filed a first-quarter report, and a campaign spokesman said there’s not much to file. … The lack of disclosure this far into a presidential campaign cycle is a throw-back to pre-Watergate politics, said Peter Francia, a political scientist at East Carolina University. “There are even more places to put your money without meaningful disclosure,” he said.”


Roll Call: “By the end of this month, five of the six commissioners’ terms at the Federal Election Commission will have expired, providing President Barack Obama the opportunity to profoundly change the leadership at the federal agency that administers and enforces the nation’s campaign finance laws. … But campaign finance experts say it is extremely unlikely that the president will be able to seat any new commissioners at all. So far, Obama does not have any nominees before the Senate for the three commissioners whose terms have expired, nor names to replace the two commissioners whose 2008 appointments by President George W. Bush expire at the end of the month.”


Politico: “While President Barack Obama’s campaign hierarchy is settling into new Chicago headquarters, his elite fundraisers already are feverishly working to meet a target of generating a roughly $300 million down payment for the re-election effort. … The campaign’s ask for bundlers: $700,000 total. Each bundler is being asked to generate a combined $350,000 in contributions to the Democratic National Committee and the re-election campaign in 2011 and 2012, a two-year plan that could provide a steady flow of cash.”


Bloomberg: “Mikey Suits,” the FBI agent- turned-New York City congressman, is working hard to defend the industry he once made his name busting. … “When we demonize Wall Street, it’s the people on Main Street who don’t have a job,” U.S. Representative Michael Grimm said as he walked the Jersey City trading floor of ICAP Plc, the world’s largest interdealer broker. … In any other Congress, Grimm’s support for businesses that employ many of his constituents wouldn’t attract attention. … Not this year. Like many new Republicans in Congress, Grimm was propelled into office by Tea Party activists determined to slash government spending and stop economic bailout efforts like the Troubled Asset Relief Program that aided Wall Street. Now, the lawmaker whose fondness for pinstripes earned him his nickname is doing what it takes to get re-elected in a Staten Island district dependent on financial-service and government jobs — and angering some supporters in the process. … Grimm is emerging as an advocate for financial services firms. He’s using his seat on the House Financial Services committee to push for a re-examination of the financial regulatory overhaul former Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, and Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, pushed through Congress last year. Critics say the measure is burdensome.”