The Voting News Daily: Using Super PACs to Get Rid of Super PACs, Arcane rules let Senate stall release of finance reports

National: Using Super PACs to Get Rid of Super PACs | Roll Call

Want to get big money out of politics? Set up a super PAC. That seemingly incongruous formula has been seized on by a growing number of watchdog groups, self-styled reformers and student activists who have set up more than a dozen super PACs aimed at putting a stop to unrestricted campaign spending. With names such as America’s Super PAC for the Permanent Elimination of America’s Super PACs, Citizens Against Super PACs and No Dirty Money Elections, these protest political action committees are sober-minded, satirical or sometimes both. Take CREEP, a super PAC set up by Georgetown University graduate student Robert Lucas. The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference the Nixon-era Committee for the Re-Election of the President, which organized the Watergate break-ins 40 years ago. But Lucas, 23, has a high-minded goal of “raising voices, not dollars,” as he put it and is pushing for both public financing of campaigns and tax code reforms that would pull back the curtain on election-related spending. He has no plans to back candidates or party committees. Read More

National: Arcane rules let Senate stall release of finance reports | Detroit Free Press

In this digital age of immediate news and information, the U.S. Senate is still stuck firmly in 20th Century. Under arcane Senate rules, candidates don’t have to file their campaign finance reports electronically and can, instead, go through a tedious process that holds up reports for weeks, even months. “It allows them to hide who is bankrolling their campaigns,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks campaign spending. “When you think about the time and money they’re wasting to play this stupid game, they really ought to be ashamed of themselves.” For the past decade, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and president of the U.S. and political action committees have been required to file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Elections Commission. The e-filing system, which also is used for most state office candidates, allows for almost immediate access to campaign finance reports — which reveal who is contributing to campaigns and how candidates are spending their money. For many voters, the money trail provides essential information that helps them determine whom they will support on Election Day. Read More

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