Tales from the Trail

Romney endorsed by Citizens United adviser Bopp

 

The morning after President Barack Obama’s campaign said it would start supporting Priorities USA, a Super PAC fundraising group designed to keep him in office, Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign announced it had been endorsed by James Bopp, a lawyer who advised Citizens United in the Supreme Court case responsible for the creation of the outside fundraising groups.

“Mitt Romney is a true conservative,” Bopp wrote in an “open letter” explaining the endorsement. “One does not have to guess what Mitt Romney would do in office. He served for four years as Governor of Massachusetts and has a record that conservatives should be proud of.”

Obama opposed the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in a case that erased limits on corporate and union money in federal elections. His campaign said he had made the switch because Republicans had raised and spent so much Super PAC money.

“With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules,” campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email to Obama supporters.

Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination to oppose Obama’s re-election bid, raised $30.2 million in 2011 and had cash on hand of $23.6 million at the end of the year. Priorities USA, by contrast, had raised $4.2 million by the end of 2011 and had $1.5 million in cash on hand.

Colbert’s not giving up on S.C. primary

 

Comedian Stephen Colbert has not given up on the primary in South Carolina.

The cable television talk show host tried and failed to get on the ballot to run in his home state’s primary back in 2008. This year, he has been offering to buy naming rights for the Jan. 21 primary, first by negotiating with the South Carolina Republican Party, then the state Democrats, and now by offering to have his Super PAC cover a $500,000 shortfall that South Carolina counties face in paying for the vote. 

“The counties need the money, and Colbert Super PAC wants to give it to you; call it a Christmas Miracle. I’ve already filled out the check, and to prove it’s no joke, I’ve written ‘No Joke’ in the memo line. I’m going to be home in South Carolina over the holidays, so just give me a call. Both state parties have my contact info,” he wrote in an editorial in South Carolina’s “The State” newspaper on Thursday.

“Let’s put this late unpleasantness behind us and, in 2012, hold the greatest primary of all time.”

Washington Extra – Oppo on steroids

Welcome to the new era of opposition research — one that is supercharged by SuperPACs and flung far and wide by Twitter. YouTube is soooo 2008.

In his Special Report “The golden age of oppo research”, our correspondent Tim Reid tells us that the combination of abundant money (post-Citizens United decision ) and great technology will take opposition research to a new level in 2012. Karl Rove’s  SuperPAC American Crossroads alone plans to spend $240 million on this election cycle, mostly attacking Democratic candidates.

For all those thinking about new job opportunities in this growth industry, think again. As a 32-year-old retired researcher tells Tim, this is a young person’s game, and “the hours are brutal.”

With prison looming, DeLay looks to Citizens United and the Supremes

USA-POLITICS/DELAYTom DeLay stands eyeball-to-eyeball with the prospect of years in prison. But he figures he still has friends in high places. Like the U.S. Supreme Court, maybe.

That would be the majority of justices who authored the 2010 campaign finance ruling known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which has been decried by Democrats and reformers as a danger to U.S. electoral integrity.

DeLay, whose hard-driving style as a congressional powerbroker earned him the nickname “The Hammer,” was sentenced this week to three years in prison on money laundering and conspiracy charges. A Texas jury said he helped funnel money illegally to Republican candidates in the state in 2002.