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OPINION
April 30, 2013
Re "'Super PACs' bury limits on spending," April 27 Spending by "super PACs" is a direct result of unrealistically low contribution limits. It takes a lot of money to run for mayor of Los Angeles. The only way to stop PACs is to lift the limits on direct contributions. Then the money would at least be traceable and the candidates accountable. The PACs are running campaigns and crafting messages beyond the candidates' control. They are the direct result of misguided reforms that have simply driven the money underground.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
Hillary Rodham Clinton will not announce for months whether she will run for president, but as she arrived in California for events this week the machinery of a campaign was cranking into gear around her. The Ready for Hillary "super PAC," created to encourage her candidacy, will launch a website this week that could serve as the framework for an eventual campaign to organize supporters across the 50 states. The leaders of another super PAC, Priorities USA Action, have been meeting on the West Coast with a select group of donors, seeking six- and seven-figure pledges (and in some cases checks)
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NEWS
March 14, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
Congressional Democrats appear to have decided that rather than trying to beat the "super PAC" funding from their opponents this election cycle, they'll attack them. On multiple fronts, Democrats and their allies are engaged in an orchestrated attempt to portray the groups as shadowy corporate players trying to influence the outcome of the fall elections. This week, a coalition of labor and good government groups announced it was targeting secret corporate donors -- one group is offering a $25,000 reward to the first worker to document an employer funneling funds for a campaign.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden urged fellow Democrats to stop obsessing about the role that well-funded outside groups are expected to play in the midterm election, saying it will be enough for their party to lay out an affirmative case on the issues. Biden, in a speech to state Democratic Party leaders Thursday, said he had never seen public sentiments align with Democrats'  positions on major issues - raising the minimum wage, immigration reform and marriage equality - as they do today.
NEWS
January 3, 2012 | By Tom Hamburger and Melanie Mason
No matter who wins the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night, one newcomer has already emerged victorious: "super PACs" and other new entities that can collect donations of unlimited size from individuals and corporations. Every presidential campaign cycle in recent memory has introduced new ways for money to flow to campaigns, breaking previous spending records. That will happen again in the 2012 presidential election, but the growth this time is different . LIVE COVERAGE: Iowa   GOP caucuses Since a 2010 Supreme Court decision, waves of money have begun to flow to targeted races from the new PACs and from nonprofit "social welfare” organizations that do not disclose the identity of their donors.
NEWS
April 9, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
The presidential race is about to get nasty. American Crossroads, the “super PAC” in Mitt Romney's corner, is about to unleash a campaign that aims to unseat President Obama. If money truly buys power, the super PAC may end up being more persuasive over voter opinion than Romney himself.   “American Crossroads, the biggest of the Republican 'super PACs,' is planning to begin its first major anti-Obama advertising blitz of the year, a moment the Obama re-election campaign has been girding for and another sign that the general election is starting in earnest,” reports the New York Times . In February, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez described super PACs like this: On the national scene, already more than $322 million has been raised in support of candidates for president, with $56 million of that going into “super PACs.” Do you know what a Super Political Action Committee is?
NEWS
July 5, 2011 | By Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
Likely fundraising front-runner Mitt Romney got an additional boost Tuesday when an outside group formed to support his campaign reported a $12-million haul for the first half of the year. Restore Our Future, a "super PAC" that can collect unlimited donations, was formed by several former Romney aides last year. "There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney," the group's treasurer, Charlie Spies, said in a news release. "Americans are coming out in support of Gov. Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around.
NEWS
February 6, 2012 | By Matea Gold
In the latest ratcheting-up of this year's political arms race, President Obama has given the go-ahead to his donors to contribute funds to a “super PAC” set up by two of his former aides, a reversal of his previous opposition to the involvement of outside groups in the campaign. Campaign manager Jim Messina announced the decision on the Obama 2012 website, writing that while the president is against big money in politics -- a trend that has been accelerated by the Supreme Court's decision in the 2010 Citizens United case -- “our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it currently stands.” Messina noted that super PACs allied with the GOP presidential hopefuls spent more than $40 million on television and radio ads in the last few months and that conservative groups together could spend as much as $500 million on the 2012 campaign.
NEWS
February 4, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
Determined not to be “the only chump” without a committee to collect “unlimited corporate money,” satirist Stephen Colbert went to the Federal Election Commission last summer to petition for permission to form his own “super PAC.” He won, and instantly started swiping credit cards as he delivered a knock-knock joke to the throng of fans who'd gathered to greet him. “Knock knock?” Colbert said. “Who's there?” the crowd replied. “Unlimited union and corporate campaign contributions.” “Unlimited union and corporate campaign contributions who?
NEWS
September 8, 2011 | By Matea Gold
A meeting of the top fundraisers for President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign kicks off tonight in Chicago with a speech-watching party at Obama's headquarters. Right afterward, the national finance committee members have been invited to another event - a reception hosted by Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, two former White House aides who formed an independent “super PAC” to support Obama's reelection. The reception hosted by Priorities USA will be at the University Club, right down the street from the Palmer House Hilton, where the national finance committee members are staying and meeting Friday.
NEWS
January 7, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Ready for Hillary, a "super PAC" that is urging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, announced Tuesday that it raised more than $4 million last year. "Thanks to the groundswell of enthusiasm for Hillary's potential run and the steadfast commitment of our supporters, we have exceeded our goals and are ahead of schedule in raising the funds necessary to build a grass-roots army that can be activated the moment Hillary makes a decision," Adam Parkhomenko, executive director of the group, said in a statement.
NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
A super PAC that is pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016 is planning to hold a fundraiser in Los Angeles in November, days before she comes to the area to accept a set of awards. “Ready for Hillary” is to hold its event on Nov. 6 at the Exchange in downtown Los Angeles, with the goal of drawing 500 people and raising at least $12,000, said Michael Trujillo, an unpaid senior advisor who worked on Clinton's unsuccessful White House bid in 2008. The goal, he said, is the largest pro-Clinton small-donor fundraising effort for the super PAC, which is forbidden by law from coordinating with a candidate.
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON--Two architects of President Obama's grass-roots campaign organization are joining forces with the "super PAC" devoted to drafting Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president, a significant practical and symbolic boost for her campaign-in-waiting. Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart say their consulting firm will work with the Ready for Hillary PAC in the effort to round up early support for a 2016 candidacy. The Obama for America alums have extensive contacts with community leaders and experience in building the field operations that helped Obama win the last two presidential elections, as well as defeat Clinton in the 2008 battle for the Democratic nomination.
OPINION
May 29, 2013 | By Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane
Should you need a license from the government to exercise free speech? The real scandal at the Internal Revenue Service should be seen not as a left-versus-right issue but instead as infringement on the 1st Amendment. The people targeted were political entrepreneurs with unorthodox political voices. More to the point, IRS discrimination was consistent with 40 years of institutionalized hostility by the federal government to such views. Elections in a free country are not truly free unless all voices are allowed to enter the marketplace of ideas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 2013 | Steve Lopez
No, wait, don't turn the page. Yes, I'll admit it. This is yet another column on Tuesday's election in Los Angeles, the race half the city doesn't care about and the other half hasn't heard about, but DO NOT turn the page. OK, I'll give you $5 to read this. All right, make it $10. Would you stay with me for $20 if I promise Randy Newman's going to make a cameo? Sure, you've got your reasons for tuning out. Some of you think Wendy Garcetti and Eric Greuel are the same person, so it doesn't matter which of them is the next mayor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum and Seema Mehta
A new Spanish-language television ad attacking Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel for being registered as a Republican during the Pete Wilson years is drawing push-back from her campaign. The 30-second commercial, which was produced by a "super PAC" backing Greuel's opponent in next week's election, draws links between Greuel and Wilson, the former California governor who pushed a 1994 initiative to block immigrants in the country illegally from accessing state social services.  The ad splices together photos of Greuel and Wilson and says: "During the anti-immigrant era of Pete Wilson, Wendy Greuel was a Republican.
NEWS
October 13, 2011 | By Tom Hamburger and Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
Even as presidential candidates and congressional committees leak word of their traditional fundraising efforts, Republican leaders Thursday announced formation of a new "super PAC" effort that can raise unlimited amounts from well-heeled donors to back GOP congressional campaigns. The new Congressional Leadership Fund announced its formation with an all-star board of directors and plans for a kickoff fundraiser Nov. 2 that is scheduled to include as "special guests" House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the Republican congressional leadership team.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2012 | By Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
President Obama's first campaign ad of 2012 decried "secretive billionaires attacking" him through conservative nonprofit groups that do not reveal their contributors. But two Democratic nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors made payments last year to their affiliated "super PACs," a tactic that can be used to undermine transparency. Priorities USA Action, a group started by two former Obama White House aides, accepted $215,000 from its tax-exempt arm, Priorities USA, for "operating expenses," according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
OPINION
April 30, 2013
Re "'Super PACs' bury limits on spending," April 27 Spending by "super PACs" is a direct result of unrealistically low contribution limits. It takes a lot of money to run for mayor of Los Angeles. The only way to stop PACs is to lift the limits on direct contributions. Then the money would at least be traceable and the candidates accountable. The PACs are running campaigns and crafting messages beyond the candidates' control. They are the direct result of misguided reforms that have simply driven the money underground.
OPINION
April 30, 2013
Re "Woman, 78, could lose home," April 27 Your article about the Highland Park woman whose home will be auctioned off because the county claims she is delinquent on her property taxes should bring outrage to residents of Los Angeles County. Whether Marianne Blend's taxes were paid is immaterial. What is material is that some civil servants didn't do their job and, worse, they didn't do what was right: They pushed their papers, arranged for an auction, sent people to put up a sign but did nothing to look out for the welfare of the 78-year-old woman who has lived in the house for decades.
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