Sunrise (5/17/11)

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NEW SUPER PAC PUSHES THE LIMITS

Sunlight: “A Super PAC formed by campaign finance law challenger and Indiana attorney James Bopp Jr. intends to harness the fundraising efforts of Republican Party committees  and candidates to raise unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations to be spent influencing elections in the 2012 campaign. … The concept behind Republican Super PAC, which will be introduced to party officials at a Republican National Committee meeting in Dallas this Wednesday, is for G.O.P. candidates and party officials at the national, state and local levels to steer contributions that they can’t accept under federal or state election law to the newly formed Republican Super PAC. … The invitation to the Republican Super PAC sales pitch in Dallas says that the group “is designed to give national and state Republican political party committees and local, state and, federal Republican candidates the ability to raise unlimited individual and corporate contributions for independent expenditures in support of federal and state candidates.” It will do so by asking candidates and party committees to “solicit and direct federal and state contributions from donors, above the current state and federal contribution and source limitations, to RSPAC as earmarked funds for independent expenditures supporting or opposing specifically designated federal and/or state candidates or candidates.” … Bopp told the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group that while the Republican Super PAC will differ from others in its direct appeal for fundraising help from federal candidates and committees, it won’t run afoul of current election law. “There’s no coordination issue,” he said. “What you can’t coordinate is the expenditure of funds. We don’t coordinate the spending with anyone.”

HOLLYWOOD BACKING SUPER PACS

Variety: “When two former Obama White House aides recently announced that they were forming an independent group to raise tens of millions for Democrats in 2012, one name they put forth as offering seed money was Jeffrey Katzenberg. … It was certainly no surprise that a Hollywood figure, particularly one who has been such a prolific donor, would appear on the list of those backing the org, called Priorities USA. But his involvement, along with other outside groups, could very well change are the dynamics of political fund-raising in show biz in the next cycle.”

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, NON-LOBBYIST LOBBYIST

HuffPo: “As they say in Washington, old soldiers never die — they just fade into cushy, off-the-books sinecures on K Street. Stanley McChrystal, fired last summer after a damning Rolling Stone article, has added a lobbying component to his consulting shop, The McChrystal Group, proving again that for elite Washington, failure is not an option. … McChrystal is not himself a registered lobbyist and the firm doesn’t appear in the federal database. By not registering to lobby, McChystal is not required to disclose what issues he discusses with members of Congress or who his clients are. … But clients who come to the former general hoping he can pull strings on Capitol Hill will get fully serviced regardless. On Friday, two lobbyists with deep connections to the House spending panel, Jeff Shockey and John Scofield, announced in Politico Influence that they were forming a lobby shop that will be affiliated with the McChrystal Group. Roll Call reported that the pair will work out of the McChrystal Group’s office in Alexandria.”

LOBBYISTS, PARTIES WON’T RETURN PONZI SCHEME MONEY

WaPo: “While Allen Stanford was flying high, he and his colleagues spent more than $10 million on campaign contributions and lobbying payments to curry favor in Washington. But all that money was diverted from investors in what authorities have called an elaborate Ponzi scheme, second only to Bernard Madoff’s in U.S. history, according to court documents. … Since Stanford’s arrest in 2009, a court-appointed receiver for the Houston-based Stanford Financial Group has been struggling to reclaim investor funds paid out to in-house and contract lobbyists, financial advisers and others whose services may have helped enable the scheme. … The receiver, Dallas lawyer Ralph S. Janvey, has been able to recover only about 5 percent of the political contributions he has targeted. Four of the principal national Republican and Democratic fundraising committees took in $1.6 million in Stanford donations, but they are vigorously fighting demands that they return it.”

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