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Biting The Hand, Then Shaking It

So, what happens when a guy who's made his reputation in the Senate in part by pushing for stronger campaign finance regulations and speaking out against the influence of certain core constituencies of campaign donors tries to run for President...and needs campaign cash from the usual suspects? This New York Times assessment of Sen. John McCain's fundraising efforts indicates that the handicap is significant.

Phone Calls, Fundraisers, and the Freshman

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) is serving his first term in the House after narrowly beating incumbent Rob Simmons in last year's midterms. This profile in the Washington Post shows him adjusting to life on the Hill, learning the ins and outs of fighting for his constituents, and, of course fundraising. And more fundraising. And did we mention the fundraising?

Vote By Day, Fundraise By Night

Pennsylvania's Citizens Voice notes that June is a month fraught with conflict for state lawmakers who must vote on a series of controversial issues even as they enter a heavy fundraising period where interested parties will be laying down thousand-dollar checks to bend lawmakers ears on their issue of choice.

Stalled, But Not Forgotten

Well it seems the initial wind has gone out the sails of the lobbying reforms Democratic leaders in Congress pledged to pass after the mid-term elections. Different versions of the bills in the House and Senate to regulate lobbying activity and promote greater transparency have yet to be reconciled and at the center of the debate is that sneaky arrow in the quiver of big money: bundling.


Access Granted

The National Republican Congressional Committee is looking to raise big bucks at its annual President's Dinner, and the Washington Post has the scoop on what big donors get in exchange for giving big, and bringing their friends.

Outside and Inside Chances

The Politico delves into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign finance disclosures and comes up with a list of bundlers from the business sector and the lobbying sector. Though positioned as an outsider to Washington politics, Romney appears to have made fast friends with some of K Street's big names.


Truth in Lobbying

This Hartford Courant article on the (ever) acclerated pace of fundraising by members of Congress looking to keep their jobs features several moments of candor from lobbyists who acknowledge the important role campaign contributions play in facilitiating their work.


So Long, And Thanks For All The Indictments

After a decade of buying power and influence on the Hill, former Rep. Tom DeLay's ARMPAC (Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committe) is going out of business says Paul Kane at Capitol Briefing. The subject of intense legal scrutiny, the activities of ARMPAC, and its local offshoot TRMPAC, placed purveyor Tom DeLay in hot water from which he has yet to escape.


Tough Spot

Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged he wouldn't take money from federal lobbyists in his bid for the White House, a promise that puts him in a tough spot: just who qualifies as a lobbyist, and what qualifies as lobbyist money? Moreover, with the fundraising wars just beginning, how do you mount a serious campaign for the Presidency while promising to change the system?


Quacks Like a Duck

If he looks like a lobbyist, and talks like a lobbyist, and acts like a lobbyist, but doesn't call himself a lobbyist on campaign finance disclosure reports...then presidential candidates can take his money without having to look like they're taking lobbyist cash, right? The Hill exposes the K Street equivalent of your mother writing "from Santa" on your Christmas presents.