People For The American Way hosted a telebriefing Thursday evening to update PFAW members on the electoral landscape for 2014. The call, which was kicked off by PFAW President Michael Keegan and moderated by Director of Communications Drew Courtney, featured prominent pollster and political strategist and current President of Lake Research Partners Celinda Lake, as well as PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager and Executive Vice President Marge Baker.
Lake discussed the political climate in Congress and the general frustration voters feel toward both political parties. She emphasized multiple times throughout the call that in this election “the key is voter turnout.” In Kentucky, for instance since most undecided voters are leaning towards Alison Lundergan Grimes, turnout will be critical to help unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Political Director Randy Borntrager discussed the work PFAW is doing to make the biggest impact possible in the most pivotal races to help progressives win this election. Lake and Borntrager emphasized that increasing awareness to voters of what is truly at stake – from reproductive rights to potential Supreme Court vacancies – will help make a difference come November.
Questions from callers also focused on other critical races including gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin, the Senate race in North Carolina, and contests in Alaska and Iowa, among others.
In closing, Drew Courtney noted that the telebriefing shows that “we have some challenges ahead, but we are going to fight hard and push forward, and we’re not going to go back to the way things were before.”
Listen to the full audio of the telebriefing for more information.
Decision Could Balloon Spending In State Elections
WASHINGTON – Campaign spending in states with aggregate contribution limits will likely soon balloon in the wake of the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision, according to a new report by People For the American Way Foundation.
The report analyzes the anticipated state impacts of the high court striking down limits on the total amount a donor can give directly to candidates, parties, and committees at the federal level in the McCutcheon ruling. It forecasts a spending explosion in states whose aggregate limits on contributions to state candidates will soon be challenged or nullified in light of the decision. Among other data, the report finds:
• In New York, the current limit is $300,000 per two years. We estimate big donors will now be able to contribute $2,531,600 per election cycle, more than eight times the previous limit.
• In Maryland, the current limit is $10,000 per four-year election cycle. We estimate big donors will now be able to contribute $768,000 per four-year election cycle. This is a greater than 76-fold increase.
The states analyzed in the report are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
“The McCutcheon decision didn’t only undercut our federal campaign finance laws, it has ramifications for states across the country,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way Foundation. “Allowing wealthy donors to put exponentially more money into state elections tilts the playing field even more starkly in their favor and strikes at the very foundation of our democracy.”
The report is available here: http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/how-supreme-courts-mccutcheon-decision-could-balloon-spending-state-electi
A few weeks ago, Randall Terry was riding high after his "victory" over President Obama in the Oklahoma Democratic Primary and wanted everyone to know it, though his "victory" was short-lived, as it was determined that he would not actually be awarded any delegates because his campaign failed to fill out the proper paperwork.
Nevertheless, Terry proclaims that his showing in Oklahoma proves that anti-abortion Democrats and swing state voters have turned against President Obama and so he vows to continue his Potemkin presidential campaign and has now turned his attention toward Wyoming, where his campaign is making robocalls urging Republicans to register as Democrats and vote for him in next month's caucuses:
Terry said he’s focusing solely on Wyoming, as its caucus system and small population of Democrats make it the easiest state to win.
On Thursday, Terry’s campaign launched a series of robocalls directed at Wyoming Republicans asking them to register as Democrats and vote for him in next month’s Democratic county caucuses.
“I only need about 500 votes to win the entire state, and you can be heard by the entire nation,” Terry said in the call.
There is only one problem: these sorts of robocalls are illegal in the state:
However, under Wyoming law, making automated phone calls for “promoting or any other use related to a political campaign” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $750 fine ... Terry told the Casper Star-Tribune that he didn’t know that robocalls are banned in Wyoming and said he would order them to be immediately stopped. He said he wasn’t sure how many calls had been placed in Wyoming.