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How I Raised and Spent My Summer Vacation

How alarming it would be to arrrive at your home in the Hamptons after the drive from Manhattan only to find a presidential candidate pop up from behind a well-groomed hedge and ask for a campaign check. Actually, that'd be hilarious. Less hilarious for many vacationers, however, are the fundraisers for candidates that have wiggled onto the summer social schedule as candidates and their chief supporters struggle to find every last dollar.

Convention Cash

A big loophole allows corporations to pour money into the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions in exchange for access to lawmakers. The Denver Post examines the scramble for money in the 2008 host cities, Denver and Minneapolis and finds discomfort among both those raising the money and those giving it about what is going on.

Awareness is growing of the negative public attitudes towards the mingling of money and enhanced access to public officials:


The Players Hate the Game

This article in The Columbus Dispatch is full of reasons why Congress needs to pass the Fair Elections Now Act and implement full public financing of elections. Lobbyists are dodging fundraising calls, lawmakers are wary of new regulations on their relationships with lobbyists, and voter advocates all over are crying foul on the access lobbyists can buy with campaign cash.

New Transparency Tool

Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post writes today about a new tool she's rolling out called FundRace which is aiming to promote campaign finance transparency by offering a user-friendly way to look at publicly available fundraising data by neighborhood.

In-Corporated Conventions

For those corporations whose executives and PACs view campaign contributions as just the tip of the iceberg, there's always shelling out for a party convention, as this USA Today article notes looking ahead to the 2008 nominating conventions in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Corporations says it's just a matter of "civic pride" but it looks suspiciously like access-buying to many.

There Goes The Neighborhood

Well, here's one way to keep the Washington, DC housing market booming: lobbyists are buying up Capitol Hill townhouses left and right to maintain quick and easy access to Congress and, most importantly, host nightly fundraisers.

Writes Jeff Birnbaum at the Washington Post:


I pledge allegiance to...

whoever's in power?


Roll Call reports today on the unsurprising fact that industries that had given most of their donations to Republicans are starting to switch sides and cozy up with the Democrats. Donations are how these folks buy access and influence and they can do that best with the party in power.


Selling the Presidential Product

With the most expensive Presidential race in history underway and second quarter fundraising numbers being reported, the Washington Post writes up a seminar on fundraising tactics to offer a peek at the blueprint for victory in a race that is, when it comes down to it, largely about the money.

Gilding the City

All that money flowing into Washington, DC to finance the campaigns of elected officials is throwing a definite golden pall across the Capitol dome: Washington political operators are getting richer as campaign and lobbying spending increases and power and money are braiding together as never before.

Knowing Who's In Your Tent

An Illinois pension scandal that touched Barack Obama via a political supporter of his may also touch Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as this AP story reveals. The article quotes Public Campaign's David Donnelly on the liability candidates face by having to recruit big donors who may have backgrounds that can cast aspersion on the campaign.