Campaign Finance

Planet Money
5:08 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Why Lobbyists Dodge Calls From Congressmen

"You spend most of your time dodging calls." - Jimmy Williams, former lobbyist
Courtesy of Jimmy Williams

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:36 am

This story is part of our series on money in politics.

We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.

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Million-Dollar Donors
6:15 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

SuperDonor Backs Romney — And Gay Marriage

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Management has donated $1 million to Mitt Romney's superPAC.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

When it comes to campaign money, there's one industry GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney can count on: finance.

Some of the single largest checks to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future come from hedge fund managers. People at securities and investment firms have contributed more than $16 million.

Paul Singer, the man behind the hedge fund Elliott Management, has contributed $1 million.

As of Dec. 31, Elliott Management had $19.2 billion in assets, making it one of the nation's largest hedge funds.

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Law
3:20 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Does The Case Against John Edwards Go Too Far?

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards (left) speaks to the media with attorney Abbe Lowell last October. His trial on alleged campaign finance violations is set to begin Thursday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:22 am

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

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Million Dollar Donors
6:01 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Lots Of GOP Money Flowing From The Texas Two

Houston home builder Bob Perry at the sales center of one of his developments in 2002.
Melissa Phillip AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 10:50 am

The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.

With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.

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Money & Politics
3:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Who Bankrolls Romney? Big Donors, Not Small Ones

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting at Eagle Manufacturing Corp. in Shelby Township, Mich., on Tuesday.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 10:48 pm

Mitt Romney had the strongest fundraising among the Republican presidential contenders last month. But a deeper look raises questions about just how strong it is in the long run.

The Romney campaign is unusually reliant on big donors — and weak on small donors.

In one sense, big donors are great. It's a lot quicker and cheaper to raise $2,500 from one person than to get $10 from 250 people. But there's a catch: $2,500 is the legal limit for donations to a candidate's campaign. Once that donor maxes out, you need to find another donor.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

The Super Influence of Super-PACs

The Republican presidential campaign has provided the first test of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens’ United” decision which allowed outside groups to spend millions on campaigns. While some decry their power, others say they represent free-and-democratic speech.  We’ll look at this issue and new information on who’s providing Super-Pac dollars.  

Guests

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